Honda, Harley, Hyosung! Sports, cruiser, tourer or adventure
...Survival Skills will help you get the most from your machine.
Rural roads, city centres, motorways, alpine passes! Fun or necessity
...Survival Skills offer the courses to build your skills and ability.
Newly rider, returning to bikes, intermediate or experienced! 17 to 70
...Survival Skills give you the techniques to deal with today's roads.
The Performance: BENDS one-day course develops twisty road technique to a new level. Hazard perception, risk management, lines, positioning and machine control are matched to our unique 'reference points' to provide a totally planned approach to corners - £235
Take an extra day to cover trail and mid-corner braking, body-shifting, hairpins and more on the ultimate two-day Performance: SPORT course - £435
Based firmly on my courier experience, the two-day Survival: SKILLS course offers a balanced mix - rural bends, urban and high-speed roads, collision avoidance techniques and slow riding. You'll develop go-anywhere, do-anything skills perfect for any kind of riding - £435
The Survival: URBAN one-day course delivers traffic know-how and slow riding skills in a one-day package - perfect for commuters - £235
Newly qualified or back-to-biking? Struggling with a new machine? Coming back from a crash? The Confidence: BUILDER one-day course is the choice for you.
We can pick up where basic training left off, address your weak areas, get you used to a new bike, or rebuild confidence after a spill. You name it -it's all about your needs so drop us a line for a frank chat about just what this course can do for you - £235
Tight for cash? Need a quick fix for one problem area? Then check out our 'Basics' courses. At just £80 for a two hour session, they're short on cost but heavy on results. Sessions cover counter-steering, hairpins, slow riding, collision avoidance. Or get an objective two-hour riding assessment - £80
Survival Skills also offers one- and two-day REFRESHER training and SMALL GROUP training for clubs - £POA.
South of London, we've opened up a new training area in leafy Surrey to go with our existing routes in Kent. You'll love our quiet, twisty roads for building cornering skills, whilst the towns are busy enough to test your urban riding skills. For either area, we start just off the M25. Easily accessible from S London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Courses run March to November
Northwest and northeast of London, we have challenging training routes in Buckinghamshire and Essex. As well as urban routes, both areas offer the cornering challenges you expect from a Survival Skills course. Meet us just off the M25 from N London, Oxfordshire, Bucks, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and Suffolk.
Courses run March to November
We also train in the Heart of England exploring the Cotswolds from the A34 near Oxford, and can start from the Ace Cafe on the North Circular road.
Finally, if you're within 120 miles of London, we may be able to come to you! A small mileage charge covers fuel. Find out more by dropping us a line.
Courses run March to November
Our 'on tour' training spends a day or two in SE Devon or Shropshire / mid-Wales in some wonderful scenery. We also offer one-day courses from Calais on some great roads, and can also organise short touring trips to Normandy, enjoying well surfaced and quiet roads before stopping at a well-appointed B&B in the Alps Mancelle.
Contact us for available dates and prices.
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.
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.
In 2018 and 2019, Kevin spent February in New Zealand as a keynote speaker on the 'Shiny Side Up Tour' promoting 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?
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 so 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."
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 onto 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, and in early 2019 I met her in New Zealand. I call that a success story!
If you want to be ahead of the pack, then you need new ways to think about riding! 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.
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’ (SOBS) presentation for the international road safety award-winning 'Biker Down' course. SOBS seeks to help riders understand just why drivers sometimes don't see motorcycles - and take appropriate action.
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.
Like all post-test training, Survival Skills courses aim to improve your machine control and planning skills. But Survival Skills courses take a big step beyond Roadcraft-based training, introducing a fresh approach focusing on a fuller understanding of driver and rider error, based on the innovative 'No Surprise? No Accident' safety initiative. What keeps us out of trouble is not just 'rider skill' but a realistic knowledge of rider error, as well as an appreciation of where others make mistakes. Only by understanding error, can we avoid making our own mistakes and staying out of trouble when other road users put us at risk.
With Survival Skills, you're not just getting training from an advanced instructor; you'll be working with an internationally recognised rider safety expert. Your trainer, Kevin Williams MSc BTEC, is not just one of the most highly-qualified and experienced rider coaches in the UK, but has also:
- worked as researcher and writer for the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (ACEM) developing the Lucky 13 cartoon series
- authored the 'Science Of Being Seen' (SOBS) presentation delivered by many UK fire services as part of the award-winning 'Biker Down' course
- delivers a module on the 'Ride Skills' initiative run by Kent Fire and Rescue Service at Brands Hatch
- worked on rider safety iniatives with Buckinghamshire county council and Somerset Road Safety Partnership
- spent February in 2018 and 2019 touring New Zealand on the NZ Transport Agency rider safety initiative 'Shiny Side Up'
- trained thousands of riders at all levels from CBT to advanced
Kevin, an NVQ-qualified 'e-tutor', 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 riding is a continual exercise in disaster management. No matter how good we are at riding the bike, 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 and that's what Survival Skills emphasises. The best bolt-on accessory for any motorcycle is the rider. My approach? SUBTRACT scares and ADD fun! No Surprise? No Accident!"
Kevin is also a former member of the National Motorcycle Escort Group and an ex-'blood runner'.
I went on a BikeSafe course after I got back into riding following a lay off of at least 6 years. Although it was useful, it was fairly immediately after that that I realised I hadn't got from it what I'd hoped I would, and so very shortly after that I booked a two-day course with you Kevin. And from your course, I learned a heck of a lot, including stuff I'd never really been acquainted with in the first place!
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.
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.
The course was very informative, enjoyable and well-structured. The period of training was ideal and was interspaced with valuable input from you at just the right time. I would recommend your training course(s) to anyone out there who genuinely wishes to improve their biking skills.
"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 am a Cardington-qualified CBT/DAS instructor but had a day with Kevin to get a check up on my own riding - well worth the money and had a good day out to boot!
I have taken extra training as I had some bad experiences during my DAS that have knocked my confidence to the point I felt I wasn't getting any better in certain aspects of my riding even after 8 years. Kevin was brilliant. I felt under no pressure from him and just did my best. I came away happier and more confident with lots to practice and improve. I would recommend it to everyone
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.
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.