Harley-Davidson has chosen the aptly named town of Ryder to teach the population how to ride this northern summer.
The townsfolk like the idea so much they have even renamed the town “Riders” and replaced “Ryder” on their water tower with “Harley-Davidson” for the summer-long promotional campaign.
Already the town has become a bit of a tourist attraction with riders stopping to have their picture taken in front of the water tower.
Mayor Jody Reinisch says it’s exciting to see “several generations of Ryder residents on motorcycles learning together, trying new life experiences and enjoying the beauty of our town and surrounding area”.
Harley chose Ryder above other towns such as Independence and Freedom because the town’s water tower is a dead ringer for one that Harley has at its headquarters in Milwaukee.
Ryder is in North Dakota, about 335 miles from the world’s most famous motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
It’s not exactly great riding country. It’s flat, the roads are straight and they can’t ride at all for about six months of the year because of the cold and snow. Consequently, motorcycle ownership rates them at 44th in the 50 states.
The whole state has only 35,000 motorcycle registrations out of a sparse population of about 750,000.
However, Harley plans to change that.
Ryder is a farming town with only 85 residents and about 50 are eligible to take the rider training.
Harley wants it to be the first town where all eligible riders have a motorcycle licence.
After they get their licences, Harley plans to take them on a group ride to Milwaukee to visit their museum and manufacturing plant.