Learn to Ride FAQs I Gold Star Harley-Davidson I Festus, Missouri

Riding Academy Frequently Asked Questions


I have never ridden a motorcycle, can I do this?

Riding Academy® is specifically designed to accommodate a future rider with no previous experience. While the physical requirements are within reason, you need to be in reasonably good health and be capable of riding a bicycle.

What does the class actually consist of?

Classroom Instruction

  • Confidence on the bike begins with getting to know the motorcycle and what if feels like to sit in the saddle.
  • Shifting becomes second nature when you practice coordinating hand and foot movements and try out the shifter peg.
  • Getting familiar with the controls before you take to the range will help raise your comfort level on the bike.

Range Instruction

  • Finding the friction zone trains you to gradually release the clutch while rolling on the throttle for smooth starts.
  • Turning drills teach you to keep your eyes up, lean with the motorcycle and turn your head to look through turns.
  • Braking exercises help you understand the power of the front and rear brakes and how to combine them effectively.

What are the instructor's like?

Experience and passion are prerequisites for instructors, who not only love motorcycling, but love to teach it. Friendly and approachable, Riding Academy® program instructors create a supportive environment that fosters learning and interaction. Instructors are specially trained to help beginners with all of the issues associated with starting a new hobby from scratch.


  • The Motorcycle Safety Foundation®  RiderCoach Prep Course completed. Certified MSF RiderCoachSM*.
  • The Harley-Davidson® Riding Academy® new rider course instructor training program completed.

What will I need to take the course?

Helmet - You must wear a 3/4 or Full Face helmet that meets DOT requirements. preferably with a face shield. A full-face model offers the most protection. If your helmet doesn't have a face shield, you'll also have to wear eye protection.

Jacket - You will need a jacket to protect your upper body and arms. There are many kinds available, from heavyweight leather racing styles to synthetic all-weather models. And most offer special features for rider comfort and protection. So pick the one that's right for you.

Gloves - The new rider course is a hands-on experience. So you'll need to wear full-finger motorcycling gloves to protect your hands from the wind, sun, rain, cold, pavement and blisters and to help you grip your hand controls. Make sure your gloves fit snugly but comfortably.

Pants - On the range, you'll need to wear long pants made from an abrasion-resistant material like leather or denim. Avoid loose-fitting pants that could flap in the wind or become entangled, and stay away from tight styles that can restrict movement. For an added layer of protection over jeans, leather chaps are a perfect fit.

Boots - You'll need to wear over-the-ankle boots with a sturdy heel and non-slip soles. Proper footwear can protect your feet and ankles from hot exhaust pipes as well as stones and debris that may fly up from the road. So make sure you've got the right style and size.

What if I don't have all of the safety gear on the first day?

The first two days are conducted in the classroom. On the third day, we begin field exercises and you will be required to have your gear together. If you have questions about the safety equipment required, bring them to class on the first day and the instructor will be happy to give you guidance.

What kind of Motorcycle will I ride?

You will learn to ride on a Harley-Davidson® Street 500 on a secure, safe parking lot at Gold Star Harley-Davidson® under the close supervision of our MSF certified instructors. All class participants will utilize the bike. Even if you have your own motorcycle, you will not be allowed to use it during the class. Since our curriculum covers a great deal of information over the course of a few days, this allows us to keep consistent, informative instruction when explaining the features of the bike.

What are the class hours?

Gold Star Harley-Davidson® has the following hours.


5:30am - 9:00pm
5:30am - 9:00pm
7:45am - 5:00pm
7:45am - 5:00pm


Classes may end sooner or later depending on class progress through the exercises for that day. In most cases classes will adhere to published schedule. However please be advised that the schedule may change, due to the upcoming program update.

Can I miss a class?

We certainly understand last minute emergencies and the need for people to work during the week. This being said, you cannot receive certification if you miss any class. Please be prepared to block out the time necessary to attend every day and be on time to class.

What does the class cost?

The cost for Riding Academy® at Gold Star Harley-Davidson® is $245.00. (The lowest price in the area to get you ready to ride!) You will be required to place an $80 deposit within 72 hrs of registration. Within the 15 day window, you will be required to pay the full amount. Failure to do so will result in being dropped from registered class. Payments includes all class materials and the use of a motorcycle. Please note, this does not include safety gear required to attend (helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, boots).

What is Gold Star Harley-Davidson®'s Refund Policy?

Gold Star Harley-Davidson® is committed to providing quality training and helping people become safe motorcyclists in a fun safe environment. If during the course of instruction it is deemed that it is not safe to allow a person to proceed in the class, that person may be counseled out of the class. It is also possible for a person to be unable to pass the final evaluations. In these circumstances you may be given the opportunity to take the class again at the discretion of the rider coaches/program administrator. Class fee is non-refundable once it has been paid for.

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