advanced motorcycle rider training by

SURVIVAL SKILLS


where shall we go today?















inspiring motorcyclists since 1997

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Whatever you ride...

Honda, Harley, Hyosung. Cruiser, tourer, adventure or sports bike

...Survival Skills will help you get the most from your machine. 

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Wherever you ride...

Rural roads, city centres or alpine passes

...Survival Skills has the routes that will test your ability.

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However you ride...

New or experienced. 17 to 70. Recreation, touring or commuting

...Survival Skills will build your knowledge, awareness and technique.

What do you want to discover?


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PERFORMANCE

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For the recreational rider, the one-day Performance: BENDS course focuses on developing a high level of technique on twisty roads. We build quick-steering cornering skills with reference points to plan a line and enhance risk awareness to avoid the hazards. 

Go large with an extra day looking at braking in bends, body-shifting, hairpin technique and more on the Performance: SPORT two-day course.


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SURVIVAL

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Our original two-day Survival: SKILLS course covers a well-balanced mix of rural cornering, urban collision avoidance techniques, high-speed roads and slow riding. You'll develop go-anywhere, do-anything skills perfect  for any kind of riding.

For commuters, the Survival: URBAN course delivers the essential traffic know-how and slow riding skills in a one-day package.




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DEVELOPMENT

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Newly qualified or back-to-biking? Struggling with a new machine? The Confidence: BUILDER  one-day course picks up where DAS leaves off, builds essential cornering skills,  corrects weak areas and gets you used to a new bike.  

This course is all about your needs so drop us a line and we'll have a frank discussion and talk you through just what this course can do for you. 



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BUDGET COURSES

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Tight for cash? Just need a quick fix in one area? Then check out our budget two-hour Basics courses. They may be short in time but they are heavy on results. Choose from Basics: BENDS, Basics HAIRPINS, Basics: SLOW RIDING and a RIDING ASSESSMENT. 

Survival Skills also offers one- and two-day REFRESHER training and SMALL GROUP training for clubs. 

ALL TRAINING IS ONE-to-ONE (unless you want to bring a buddy!)

To prevent mismatches that can occur when trainees are paired up, we run all one- and two-day training courses STRICTLY 1 to 1. 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, with second person SAVING 50% of the normal course cost  - contact us for more details.

Survival Skills courses are different

Like all post-test training, Survival Skills courses aim to improve your machine control and planning skills. But Survival Skills courses move a step beyond Roadcraft-based training by introducing an understanding of driver and rider error. 
 
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Your rider coach is Kevin Williams MSc BTEC, one of the most highly-qualified and experienced rider coaches in the UK. Kevin has trained several thousand riders at all levels from CBT to advanced. Formerly a member of the National Motorcycle Escort Group and a 'blood runner', he has worked as researcher and writer for ACEM (European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association) (ACEM) on the Lucky 13 cartoon series and is an NVQ-qualified 'e-tutor'. Kevin says: 

"I spent sixteen years as a courier and survived half a million miles on the roads. If there's one thing that I learned, it's that no matter how good we are at riding, it's just as important to recognise when things are about to go wrong. Understanding how crashes develop, then having a strategy ready, is the only reliable way to stay out of trouble. Riding is a continual exercise in disaster management and that's what Survival Skills emphasises. The best bolt-on accessory for any motorcycle is the rider.  No Surprise? No Accident!"  

What keeps us out of trouble is a full and honest understanding of errors, our own or someone else's. That way we can avoid mistakes whenever possible, and have a chance to get out of trouble when we have to.

Our approach? SUBTRACT scares and ADD fun!

What do you want from a training course?

Ask yourself some questions...

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Start by asking "what kind of training do I need?" If you're looking for a standard riding qualification or a certificate that nets an insurance discount, then by all means look at the national organisations. 

But if you want to develop in a specific area or need a fix for a particular problem, then it's unlikely their 'one-size-fits-all' approach will be appropriate.  No two riders are the same and Survival Skills avoids turning out 'clone riders' - we adopted 'client-centred' training in 1997 long before it became fashionable. 

So before you book a course, we'll discuss your training, help you choose from our range of courses, and if nothing fits we'll offer bespoke training. We won't fit your style to suit ours but work with you, around your needs. 

Training is based on the latest education practice including goal setting and task analysis to achieve a building-block approach to cover the core skills whilst staying flexible enough to move at your pace. You're never asked to do anything you're not ready for and there's no push to 'make progress' on these courses.

There's no test at the end of the course, just your own challenge to be the best rider you can possibly be.

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Next, ask yourself "what do I want from the trainer?" Do you want a club atmosphere or  professional, full-time, independently-qualified, rider coach with a long history of training at all levels from CBT to expert?             
A proven communicator, presenter and writer with a higher degree in science and an NVQ in distance learning, Kevin has worked with Bucks County Council and Somerset Road Safety Partnership on rider safety schemes. Kevin is part of the team delivering the international road safety award-winning 'Biker Down' course in Kent and presents on the 'Ride Skills' courses at Brands Hatch.  

Most recently, Kevin spent five weeks in New Zealand as a keynote speaker on the 'Shiny Side Up Tour 2018' delivering his rider safety message at venues all over the country. 

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. 

The fact Survival Skills has been around for over twenty years speaks for Kevin's continuing success as a trainer. 

what about the RPMT?

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MB, an IAM observer, contacted me for two reasons. He wanted a second opinion from someone outside the organisation, and was looking for a better understanding of bends to improve his own coaching. 

Meeting in Kent, it was quickly obvious he was a careful, competent and observant rider, but we were able to work on a number of issues. We discussed less extreme positioning on narrower two-lane roads, the need for a much greater awareness of the risks posed by junctions and other entrances allowing a more pro-active response to the threats, and an improved awareness of vision when setting up overtakes. 

MB's feedback a few days later read: "I have implemented a new style of riding where hopefully, I don't position to far right on left hand bends unless the road is wide enough , I react to signs before I can see the hazard and I'm working on positioning to getting a better view past larger vehicles. I felt I got a lot from our session, so I'm very happy. I had a club social ride last Thursday evening and when we reached our destination one of the more senior observers had noticed a difference, and gave me a nice compliment."

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I first met SG way back in 2008. She'd passed her test but was feeling defeated by her new Moto Guzzi V7. Struggling and depressed - not least because she couldn't turn right - we booked her on a one-day Confidence: BUILDER meeting her at her home because of her nerves. Five hours of carefully-planned training later, the series of exercises produced a nervous "maybe I CAN do this after all" smile by the end of the day. A few days later, I bumped into her at the Cassington Bike Night. Sporting a big grin, she’d ridden there with a friend, something she said she would never have done before the training. 

We kept in touch via texts and a couple of years later, she booked a two-day Performance: SPORT course on her new BMW F650GS, so she could head abroad and to the mountains. After successfully negotiating my 'secret' hairpin bend near Oxford her cornering skills were ready for her big adventure. A new text arrived: "Did my trip to Europe to Sardinia and the Stelvio pass.”  Impressive!

The next text arrived from Morocco, a trip she made on her own, and the latest updates show that she's got seriously into off-roading.  I call that a success story!

No Surprise? No Accident!

If you want to be ahead of the pack, then you need to think about riding in new ways, and Survival Skills offers courses based on the principles of the 'No Surprise? No Accident!' safety initiative. No Surprise promotes what's known as 'insight training'. Increasingly used in airline pilot training, insight training eschews the conventional 'more and better skills' approach, and instead promotes knowledge and understanding of failure alongside technical ability. A key risk factor in motorcycle crashes is a failure to predict what's about to happen. And when we're surprised, we forget even basic collision avoidance training. The challenge is to improve our ability to predict what happens next and prevent surprises.

the SCIENCE OF BEING SEEN

For many years motorcyclists have known that the most common collision involving a motorcycle and another vehicle happens at a junction. We've had more than four decades of safety initiatives aimed at drivers and riders, and and we’re still grappling with the problem. Back in 2011, Kevin created the ‘Science of Being Seen’ presentation for the international road safety award-winning 'Biker Down' course, which seeks to explain just why drivers sometimes don't see motorcycles.

Where do you want to train?

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SE London / Kent

Kent isn’t all high speed rail and motorways, and if you book a Performance course, you won't be disappointed by our quiet, twisty roads. Towns are busy enough to make you think about your urban riding skills too. Just off the M25, our meeting point is easily accessible from NE & SE London, Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex.

Courses run March to November and local accommodation is available.

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NW London / Bucks

The beautiful roads of the Chilterns are not only a lovely place to train, they set a real challenge to riders whilst I can find plenty of traffic is a perfect place to hone your town riding skills. Our meeting point just off the M25 is easily accessible from NW & SW London, Bucks Berks and Oxfordshire, as well as central southern England and the Midlands.

Courses run March to November and local accommodation is available.

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Devon / Wales

Great roads and great scenery make for great riding and great learning. On demand we'll provide training in alternative venues such as Dartmoor and 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.

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France

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.

Want to train in London? We can organise that too!

Don't just take our word...

...here's what our trainees have said...

Had a fantastic couple of days with Kevin. Having ridden sports bikes for more years thank I care to remember i added an adventure bike to the garage. A blast but a completely different ride. Kevin is a very knowledgeable, patient, skilled & all round good egg. I have to thank him for giving me my biking mojo back.

Denise Woofinden March 2017

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!

Cheryl Carlisle September 2015

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.

Matthew Barnes August 2014

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"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."

Greg Southey June 2011

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!

Andy Taylor ADI December 2013


more reviews of our training

Thank you very much for your course observations and constructive comments. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days and really felt it has been of great benefit in confirming those things I was doing right and reminding / informing me of ways I could improve my riding in both technique and personal survival. I would certainly recommend the course to anyone looking to brush up their riding and survival techniques. Thanks again for a very enjoyable 2 days both from a course point of view but also for two days pleasant riding in the Kent countryside.

Mick Warling March 2017

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.

Ian Pattie October 2014

CONTACT SURVIVAL SKILLS / BOOK A COURSE

IMPORTANT - available dates are open to all on a first-come, first-served basis so availability may change without notice. You can reserve a date for SEVEN DAYS by contacting us via the booking form choosing your preferred date(s). Payment of your deposit confirms your booking. If we don't receive your payment within seven days, the reservation will be cancelled and the date(s) opened up again. Dates currently shown as unavailable may be opened up again, so if you can't see a date that suits you contact us anyway - we may be able to rearrange our commitments.

 

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Do the training, read the books

Survival Skills doesn't just run training courses. You can find out how deeply we've researched the field of better riding by reading our books. 'Survival SKILLS' is a DIY guide to better riding that mixes practical exercises with the theory to show you HOW to improve, not just why. 'Tarmac Tactics' offers insight into riding in every situation imaginable from city streets to alpine passes. And 'MIND over MOTORCYCLE' look at the mental side of riding. 'The MAG Columns' and 'End of the Road' contain all the columns written for 'The Road' magazine between 2002 and 2014. If you want to stretch yourself, and improve your riding, visit the STORE to find out more about our books.

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