Riding Skills 101

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Survival Skills|FREE better biking tips for all motorcycle riders

Learning biking Survival Skills isn't expensive...
...because these tips are FREE for all bikers

I was writing about better riding skills even before I became a motorcycle rider coach in 1995, based on what I'd learned as a courier. These articles were largely written between 1999 and 2006 but have been updated. Many were published on online motorcycle forums, some featured in my column in 'The Road' or other publications, and the rest appeared on the old website. 

I'm sure you must have noticed that there are thousands of videos and written articles about riding technique to be found on the internet. It's good that so many riders are taking an interest in improving their skills but the quality of some sources leaves much to be desired. Whilst promoting positive benefits from riding techniques, these articles rarely come with 'buyer beware' warnings and rarely mention the pitfalls and traps that can await the unwary reader.

My Survival Skills tips are not just a re-hash of what you might find elsewhere but instead written with the insight of an experienced rider as well as the perspective of an experienced rider coach. Just like my practical riding courses, the tips focus less on skills-based 'perfect riding' and rather more on fixing riding problems and understanding the benefits AND potential risks of any particular technique.

As a result, these free riding skills tips often go off at a bit of tangent to conventional 'better riding' articles. Rather than give you simple answers, I try to help you understand the questions too. That way you'll think differently about motorcycling and that way you'll be in a good position to make better riding decisions and know whether any particular skill or technique is something to be added to your own skills toolbox.

Finally, always remember any riding technique can only increase our safety and reduce the risk of an accident if they are supported by positive attitudes, critical self-awareness and above all, by self-control. It might sound a bit preachy, but our safety and the safety of those we share the road with must remain our primary and overriding concern at all times. Ultimately, riding is a lot more enjoyable if we're not scaring ourselves. 

Kevin Williams
Survival Skills Rider Training

...because it's a jungle out there

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What is Survival Skills all about?

How are Survival Skills Courses put together and taught?
   
The Making of a Good Instructor - musings on my Driver Education course

Would a National Standard for advanced training be appropriate?
 
Writing a riding tip - what detail is necessary?
    
What to do if you've had an accident
    
Accident Statistics - dispelling some myths

Improver or advanced, pragmatism or perfection?
    
Piling on the miles
    
Compartmentalisation & Practice -  the key to learning new skills
    
Countersteering - Question and Answer

Braking Rules and Tips
    
Over-confidence and Riding at the Limit
    
Practice makes Perfect
    
The Danger of Misunderstanding
    
Learning from your Mistakes
    
A Moment of Inattention
    
Staying Warm
    
Staying Awake
    
Don't just ride for yourself, ride for others
    
Filtering - what's legal and how to do it
    
Cornering Problems 1 - Lean or Brake?
    
Springing into Summer - polishing off the winter rust
    
Group Riding - Rules and Tips
    
Awareness of Risk and Risk Management
    
Cornering Problems 4 - Stability and the "Point and Squirt" technique
    
Cornering Problems 3 - Staying out of trouble! Pro-active Braking or Acceleration Sense?
    
Cornering Problems 2 - Staying out of trouble
    
What is Risk?
    
Avoiding Diesel
    
The Vanishing Point - is it enough?
    
Posture - the key to smoother riding
    
When the Two Second Rule is not enough
    
Riding in the Dark
    
Roundabouts - straight lines, stability and safety
    
Slow Speed Control
    
Aquaplaning - what it is and how to deal with it
    
Rear Observation - when to & when not to!
    
Staying upright on icy roads
    
KISS - 'Keep it simple, Stupid' or Low Effort Biking
    
Overtaking Safety - avoiding vehicles turning right
    
Proactive versus Reactive Riding
    
Living with  Lifesavers
    
Which Foot? The Hendon Shuffle - Question and Answer
    
Carrying a passenger - Question and Answer
    
Riding in the rain
    
Riding in strong winds
    
Sorry Mate, I didn't see you - an analysis of SMIDSY accidents
    
Ever gone into a corner too hot and had it tighten up on you?
    
The Point & Squirt approach to corners
    
A time to live...
    
Target Fixation - Question and Answer
    
The Lurker, the Drifter and the Trimmer
    
The five most important things I learned as a courier
    
Overtaking - Questions and Answers
    
Precision riding - or keeping it simple?
    
Wide lines, tight lines, right lines - the law of Diminishing Returns
    
Surface Attraction
    
Euphoria - when your riding is just too good to be true
    
Straight line -vs- trail braking
    
Sit back, close your eyes, relax... and hope for the best
    
Before you overtake, do you...?
    
Do you need to blip the throttle on a downshift?
    
Holiday Riding Tips 1 - Dealing with hairpins (a new occasional series)
    
Holiday Riding Tips 2 - The (drive on the) Right Stuff
    
Why SMIDSYs happen
    
Avoiding dehydration - riding in hot weather
    
Riding errors - and avoiding them
    
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness - riding in fog
    
Where does Point and Squirt come from?
    
Overtaking - lifesavers and following distances
    
Offsiding - what is it, and why you should think before you do it!
    
Anger Management - dealing with "red mist" and "road rage"
    
That indefinable gloss
    
Overtaking on left-handers - experts only or best avoided?
    
Apex or Exit - what's important when cornering?

Developing 'Spidy Sense'

Armchair Riding - how to improve summer skills in winter

Working towards a BTEC in post-test instruction part 1

Working towards a BTEC in post-test instruction part 2



SURVIVAL SKILLS BOOKS - If you have enjoyed reading these articles, you'll find many more hours of reading are available in the Survival Skills series of books, available from this website.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This archive of articles is provided free to read and download, but is not for commercial use. Contact me for re-use rights.

IMPORTANT: The information on the Survival Skills website is for your general information and personal use and should be taken as a guide only. Survival Skills Rider Training provides no warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness, clarity, fitness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and you acknowledge use of any information and materials is entirely at your own risk, and that neither Kevin Williams nor Survival Skills can accept responsibility for your interpretation or use of this information or materials. The content of these pages is subject to change without notice. 

 Copyright © 1999 - 2019 Kevin Williams and Survival Skills Rider Training