Ouch, felt like only Illinois was getting these bizarre highs and lows recently all in the same week.
Remember to dress warm w/ wind blocking material. 8 hours riding outdoors in those temps is no joke.
First day riding: 40F and wind chill of 30F, today a nice thin covering of ice and a little snow on the ground with a high of 32F and wind chill of about 20F. So I have about 5-6 hours of really crappy conditions ahead today.
Here is my breakdown of the "Harley Davidson Riding Academy":
1. The 45 minute to an hour sales pitch for all things Harley, they drag you around to every department in the dealership telling you how good their prices are and how high quality their gear and bikes are. In truth you can buy better gear for less money without the HD branding on it full stop. This felt like some high pressure timeshare sales pitch. And any time something non-Harley (or dealership) came up they shut it down quick!
2. IMO the Harley Davidson Street 500 is junk. Mainly this revolved around the tank, this thing feels about 4ft wide or enough space to serve dinner to a family for 6. This prevents you from bringing in your knees very far and prevents you from making stable low speed "friction zone" turns. This seems to be a common complaint amongst reviewers with many of the newer Harleys.
3. I'm sure this applies to every trainer bike ever but, The clutch and throttle control is garbage... the clutch is like 99% let out and nothing, then you go that extra 1% and full power. Same with the throttle, have to turn it over a 1/4 turn to get any response. I even had the instructor adjust the clutch, twice, and it only made another 1% difference.
4. New riders, prepare to be sore after the first day riding in your back, shoulders, wrists, and hands. I was a bit surprised at how much manual strength it takes to ride a motorcycle. Its not like lifting weights but after 6 hours of sub 20mph maneuvering and hours of very low speed cornering you really feel it after a while.
1. The instructors are both current police motorcycle cops with about 50 years combined experience riding. And the course assistant is an older riding with about 40 years riding experience.
2. The Street 500 is a 500cc engine, so when you do want power to help correct a mistake it is there.
3. The course and documentation and 'habit forming' processes are great for new and old riders alike, it is very comprehensive.