Harley-Davidson Is Teaching a Whole Town How to Ride

Ryder, North Dakota will soon live up to its name.

byEric Brandt|
Motorcycles photo

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Harley-Davidson, the world's largest heavyweight motorcycle manufacturer, is making a bold attempt to create what they're hoping will be the first town in America where everybody has a motorcycle license. The town is Ryder, North Dakota and there are only 85 people there, about 50 of which are eligible for the program. Every willing resident will get free riding lessons this summer from the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy.

“We are all fired up to give it a whirl,” Ryder Mayor Jody Reinisch told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’ve probably had more motorcycle traffic in the last two weeks than we’ve ever had,”

Harley was intrigued by the town’s name and their water tower, which closely resembles the one standing above their headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They liked the water tower so much that they gave it a Harley-Davidson livery and even went around painting some of the fire hydrants Harley-Davidson orange (all with the town's permission, of course).

Ryder is a very rural town about 40 miles south of Minot, North Dakota. They’re so excited about Harley coming to teach everyone how to ride a motorcycle that they’re officially renaming the town “Riders” for the 2017 riding season.

This has already been a nice PR boost for both Harley and the town of Ryder, as some bikers are riding to Ryder to take their picture by the water tower in Harley-Davidson livery. Say what you will about Harley’s retro iron, but they still do marketing better than most in the business.