I don't know about California, but here in Michigan the Harley course is exactly the same as the MSF Basic Rider course. In fact, the local Harley dealer even employs the same teachers that I took my MSF course with years ago now.
It is just a LOT more expensive ($25 for MSF compared to $250 for the Harley one) but it is also much more accessible as the $25 MSF courses often fill up by the time the snow is gone.
I don't know for sure what Harley uses here, but I assume it's Buell Blasts. The MSF course uses mostly 250cc bikes. I took it again with my son about 3 years ago and rode a TU250. Nice little bike.