By J.R. Tidwell
Whether you have never ridden a motorcycle before or you have been hitting the road on two or three wheels for years, Riders Harley-Davidson in Trussville has exactly what you need to hit the open road. Seasoned riders can find anything they need at the shop, from clothes and helmets to parts and service.
People who have never ridden a bike before and would like to learn may also find what they need at the business.
“We have a riding academy here, which has been very successful,” said Riders sales manager Joe Bonds. “We run about four classes a month through the peak season. 35-40 people take it a month. It is a basic riding course.
When they start out they are feathering the clutch and walking the bike down the course. They start out there to going in and out of cones, learning to do turns, abrupt stops, starting back, just basic maneuvers but making it more reactionary. We take people who have never ridden a motorcycle before and make them more comfortable with it.”
Riders will even make sure you feel comfortable on the right bike.
“We have seven bikes in each course, which we provide. We have two coaches per class, so there is a lot of individualized training. There is bookwork involved, and there are two days on the bikes. They have rev limiters and engine guards, so that way if the bike does fall it’s
not on top of you.
It takes someone from never being on two wheels to a proficient rider in three days. The coaches in our class are certified through two separate organizations. It has been very beneficial to the business.”
Riders also has a full-service center to assist with any repairs.
“This is a one-stop shop for anyone who is already a rider,” Bonds said. “We have any parts you need. All our technicians are factory certified. They renew their certifications every year. We have a dyno machine, so we can tune bikes. We can order parts for older bikes.”
Riders also carries many lines of merchandise for everyone.
“We sell motor clothes. There are plenty of people who don’t even ride motorcycles that love Harley-Davidson clothes,” Bonds said. “The leather, and stuff like that. It’s known worldwide that Harley makes the best riding clothes. We have everything someone needs to ride a motorcycle.”
According to Bonds, Harley-Davidson has been around since 1903, and fans of the brand like pretty much anything with that familiar logo on it.
“People collect old merchandise, hats, T-shirts, poker chips, signs, all kinds of stuff,” he said. “That stuff is very popular. There is a lot of tradition and heritage with Harley-Davidson.”
When it comes to the sales team at Riders, they are there more to help customers find the right vehicle than to sell a bike.
“Our products sell themselves,” Bonds said. “Our job as a sales team is to match a customer’s needs and what they want to the bike that best suits them. Our job is to listen, then pair you on the bike. When people come in here they want quality. They want something that has a name behind it.
What sets Harley apart from other motorcycle manufacturers is if you break down on the side of the road you call your local dealership and they will bring the bike in. You go straight to the front of the line. The way Harley looks at it, this person has spent money on our product to get out on the road and enjoy it. We get the bike fixed and get them back on the road as quickly as possible.”
Riders Harley-Davidson also does a lot to give back. In fact, they encourage the community to participate in all their family-friendly events.
“We are big into charity events,” Bonds said. “It is well known that the biker community is a giving community. We really band together and try to raise money for good causes. We have a group that does a big ride every year to raise money for Big Oak Ranch. They charge per person to ride in it, and they know it goes to charity.
We are doing a ride in April that raises money for multiple sclerosis. We have groups that raffle bikes every year. Pretty much every weekend we have a ride leave from here or stop in here.”
To find out more about Rider’s charity and other upcoming events, please visit the Riders Harley Davidson event calendar at www.ridersharleydavidson.com.