Honda, Harley, Hyosung. Sports bike, cruiser or adventure bike.
...Survival Skills will help you get the most from your machine.
Rural roads, city centre or alpine passes
...we have the routes that will test your ability.
New or experienced. 17 to 70. Recreation, touring or commuting
...our training will build your knowledge, skills and awareness.
Survival Skills is a founder member of the 'No Surprise' motorcycle safety
initiative. No Surprise seeks to change the way we think about training.
Conventional training has always been about 'more' or 'better' skills as
a way of avoiding crashing, yet despite steadily improving riding standards,
the majority of crashes involving motorcycles continue to happen in the
same places they have always done; junctions, corners, overtaking.
The key risk factor is surprise. When we're surprised, we don't respond appropriately.
Conventional advanced training teaches us that if we do the right things,
nothing will go wrong, that we're 'safe'. If we take up the right position
at a junction, a driver will see us and wait. If we read a bend correctly,
we'll negotiate it safely. If we plan an overtake well, it'll go as we
expect. Most of the time, that's exactly what happens. But expecting things
to go right doesn't prepare us for the rare occasions it all goes wrong.
Despite tougher basic training and more riders than ever taking post-test
training, junctions, corners and overtakes remain major accident hotspots,
and not just for new riders either.
The fact is that riding is an exercise in disaster management; dealing with the driver who doesn't wait, the bend that doesn't go where we expect, the overtake that doesn't go to plan.
KEVIN SAYS: "As a courier, I spent sixteen years and around half a million miles surviving the busy roads of central London and the south of England. If there's one thing that I learned, it's that no matter how good we get at the conventional 'better riding' skills, it's just as important to know recognise just how things could go wrong in the seconds ahead. Only then can we stay out of it if that's possible and figure out how to get out of trouble if we can't. No Surprise? No Accident!"
We don't just offer advanced motorcycle training courses. We've written
a series of books too. There's the trio of books that cover riding skills
in-depth ('MIND over MOTORCYCLE', 'Tarmac Tactics' and 'Survival Skills'),
or there are the two books containing all the Survival Skills columns written
for 'The Road' magazine between 2002 and 2014. And there's also the semi-autobiographical
'Riding with the Devil' which tells you how I first got into biking and
started working as a courier.
Visit the STORE to find out more about our books.
If you just want to read some short 'riding tips' articles, then look at our riding skills pages. Check out the 'Lucky 13' cartoons we helped create for the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (ACEM) back in 2009. And download our free 'Motorcycle Accident Top 10' PDF. It’s written to give all riders from newbie to experienced an insight into the mistakes that lead to crashes and thus give you a better chance of avoiding them. It’s the extra information like this that helps you use your existing riding skills to better advantage. The ebook is 60 pages long, so there’s plenty to keep you interested. As it’s in PDF format, you should be able to read it on just about any device.
For the recreational rider, these courses focus on open road riding and
dealing with twisty roads, building cornering skills.
Choose from our one day Performance: BENDS or two day Performance: SPORT course, or the two hour Basics: BENDS or HAIRPINS courses.
Our original course is the Survival: SKILLS two day course for the all-round
rider featuring a balance of rural and urban riding.
You can also choose our one day Survival: URBAN course which focuses on dealing with traffic and is perfect for the commuting rider.
Newly qualified or returning riders will benefit from the Confidence:
BUILDER one day course to correct weaknesses and build core skills. The
Development: FRANCE day offers a chance to experience riding on the 'wrong'
side of the road.
And check out our two-hour Basics courses too.
We also offer 'Great Escape' adventure riding courses and trips in the
UK and abroad, one and two day refresher training, and inexpensive two
hour riding assessments.
We can also arrange bespoke training including small group training for clubs.
Our normal policy is to run one and two day courses strictly 1:1. This means that you will not be paired with an unsuitable trainee and can proceed at your own pace. However, we also understand that on occasion you may want to train with a friend or a partner so 2:1 training is available on request.
Kent isn’t all motorways and high speed rail, and if you book a Performance
course, you won't be disappointed by our quiet, twisty and hilly roads. Towns are
busy enough to make you think about your urban riding skills too. Our carefully planned
routes are easily accessible from NE & SE London,
Essex, Surrey and Sussex.
Courses run March to November and local accommodation is available.
The beautiful roads of the Cotwolds and Chilterns are lovely and set a
real cornering challenge to sporting riders whilst the town centres offer perfect locations
to hone your urban riding skills. Our routes are easily accessible from
NW & SW London, as well as central southern England, the Home Counties
and the Midlands.
Courses run March to November and local accommodation is available.
Great roads and great scenery make for great riding and great learning.
Several times a year, we mix training with two or three nights accommodation
in mid-Wales. These courses have proved very popular over the years with
riders who find our usual training locations in the South East and Midlands
too difficult to get to.
Contact us for available dates and prices. Local accommodation is available.
As well as our one day training on the Cote d'Opal, we can also organise
short touring and training trips to Normandy, to take advantage of the
well surfaced and nearly deserted roads just over the Channel. We’ll spend
3 or 4 nights at a well-appointed B&B in the Alps Mancelle region before
heading back to the UK.
Contact us for available dates and prices.
Survival Skills Rider Training is a motorcycle training school run by
BTEC-qualified advanced instructor instructor Kevin Williams. With a BSc
in the biological sciences and an MSc in Ecology, Kevin has a proven track
record in research and critical thinking.
Since training as a CBT instructor in 1995 after a decade and a half as a courier, Kevin went on to become one of the first Direct Access instructors in the country and by 2006 had trained around two thousand riders at basic level. Since starting Survival Skills in 1997, over one thousand riders of all standards from newly qualified to police licence holders, from IAM to RoSPA, from Harley to Honda riders, have taken Survival Skills courses.
Kevin has ridden extensively in the UK, Europe and the USA. He trained and qualified as a member of the National Motorcycle Escort Group, and volunteered for several years as a 'blood runner'.
Having written for motorcycle magazines and national newspapers, authored books about motorcycle skills and spent over two decades offering advice on motorcycle forums, Kevin is also an NVQ-qualified 'e-tutor', uniquely capable of delivering training via distance learning.
Kevin has been invited to work on a number of road safety schemes including Buckinghamshire County Council's 'Be a Better Biker' scheme and Somerset Road Safety Partnership's 'Rider Skills' days at Castle Coombe circuit. Kevin worked as researcher and writer for the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (ACEM) on the Lucky 13 series of cartoons which were published in 2011 and have been translated into nearly a dozen European languages. Kevin currently works with Kent Fire and Rescue Partnership on their 'Ride Skills' days at Brands Hatch, and as part of the award-winning 'Biker Down' team, which was awarded a Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Award in 2012.
WITH OVER 30 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL RIDING EXPERIENCE, KEVIN AND SURVIVAL SKILLS ARE DEDICATED TO IMPROVING MOTORCYCLE RIDER SKILLS IN THE UK.
With a background in science, a higher degree, an Edexcel-moderated BTEC
in post-test instruction, and an NVQ in distance learning, Kevin is one
the UK's most highly-qualified rider coaches.
A proven communicator, presenter and writer, Kevin is also one of the most experienced trainers in the UK.
With the educational and technical knowledge to deliver appropriate training for all riders, you can be sure you're getting top-quality training from a top-notch instructor.
No two riders are the same so we don't offer 'one-size-fits-all' training
- Survival Skills has long recognised the value of 'client-centred' training
based on sound education techniques. We don't try to change your riding
to fit our style but offer you new ideas.
Before you book a course, we'll discuss your training needs to help you choose from our range of courses, ensuring our training is the best fit for your riding experience and riding style.
And if none of our courses suit? We'll offer bespoke training.
what about the ERS?
After booking the course, you'll get a full briefing by email before the
course, as well as course-specific 'crib notes' so you know what to expect
on the day.
The course itself uses a building-block approach to ensure we cover all core skills whilst retaining flexibility. We can move at your pace, maximising learning and setting challenges appropriate to the ability of each trainee.
On our risk-assessed training routes, you're never asked to do anything you're not ready for. In particular, there's no push to 'make progress' on our courses.
Kevin honed his riding skills by spending a decade and a half as a full-time
courier, riding in all weathers, all over the UK, with much of it in the
pressure cooker environment of London and the south-east.
Qualifying as a DSA-approved instructor in late 1995, Kevin spent more than ten years conducting CBT and DAS training. Unhappy with the standards of post-test training, Kevin launched Survival Skills in 1997.
Kevin has also ridden extensively for pleasure in Europe and the USA.
Please note that available dates listed here are open to all on a first
come, first served basis so availability may change without notice. Dates
that are not currently on the calendar may become available at short notice,
so if you can't see a date that suits you, contact us anyway - we may be
able to rearrange our commitments.
To reserve a date, contact us using the booking form below stating which dates you'd prefer for training and if they're available, we'll reserve them for SEVEN days pending payment of a deposit. Please note that your deposit confirms your booking and if we don't receive your payment within seven days, the reservation will be cancelled and the date(s) opened up for general bookings again and you may lose your chosen dates.
Really fantastic couple of days! I met Kevin for the first day's training in September, learned a huge amount then spent six weeks or so practicing and today was the second training day. Kevin has a pretty unique way of training, he is able to explain very technical things in a way I could understand (I'm not techy) and his knowledge is astounding! And the patience of a saint :) His approach of 'risk minimisation'' is a concept that I could really understand. I think when I first went to Survival Skills I was looking for faster cornering but Kevin has taught me much more than that! I wouldn't have a moment's hesitation recommending Survival Skills to anyone!! Thank you!
I first meet Kevin on the Biker Down course run by the Kent Fire and Rescue service where Kevin gives the module 3 presentation, I thought that he talked a lot of sense so bought his books and followed his news feed on Facebook, after almost a year I decided to take up the ride assessment that Kevin offers, I was so impressed with the way it was delivered and what I learnt I wish I hadn't of waited so long, so I've just been back for the Performance: SPORT two day bends course, and what a two days it was, highly recommended. Kevin is the font of all knowledge for all things motorbike related.
"I had a great ride home. The concept of using the middle third of the road [on a wide road, where the limits were relatively low and we were riding within a busy stream of traffic] worked really well, central positioning [at a safe distance using the middle third of the lane] behind cars worked a treat instead of hovering on the right when waiting for an overtake [where there was no opportunity], and looking at the braking surface is a great improvement. All in all, I got a lot of value from the session and felt it improved my riding significantly. I noticed my standard of observation was back up to a high standard too. Job done! thank you."
I took a 'Bends' course with Kevin to try to give my confidence a bit of a boost as I had been doing a lot of commuting and hadn't been on the 'twisties' for a while. I met Kevin and found he listened carefully to my riding history and then he explained how the course would run. We set off and Kevin started by giving me a commentated ride, although there were a few problems with the radio link I was able to glean the gist of what was being said. We then set out onto some lovely roads in Kent where I was able to put the theory into practice. Kevin was available on the radio to give me a breakdown of my riding throughout the route. However this was not constant or annoying, for a lot of the time the radio remained silent and we just enjoyed the roads. Kevin stopped the ride regularly and he was able to give a detailed breakdown of the ride. In short Kevin has a wealth of knowledge, information and techniques he is only too willing to share and I found a few of his little gems extremely useful. All in all a great trying day with a thoroughly nice bloke. Hope to see you for the second day soon Kevin.
I am a Cardington-qualified CBT/DAS instructor but had a day with Kev to get a check up on my own riding - well worth the money and had a good day out to boot!