SURVIVAL SKILLS

advanced motorcycle rider training



where can we take you today?

SURVIVAL SKILLS RIDER TRAINING
inspiring motorcyclists since 1997

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Whatever you ride...

Honda, Harley, Hyosung. Sports bike, cruiser or adventure bike.

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

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Wherever you ride...

Rural roads, city centre or alpine passes

...we have the routes that will test your ability.

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However you ride...

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

...our training will build your knowledge, skills and awareness.

No Surprise? No Accident!

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.

Surprise derails our training. No Surprise? No Accident!

want to know more about No Surprise?

So Survival Skills isn't 'ordinary' advanced training

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!"

Our approach? SUBTRACT scares and ADD fun!




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Do the training, read the books

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.

what do you want to read today?

What do you want to discover?

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PERFORMANCE

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 course.


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SURVIVAL

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.


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DEVELOPMENT

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.

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OTHER COURSES

We also offer adventure riding courses and trips, one and two day refresher training, and inexpensive two hour riding assessments.

We can also arrange bespoke training including small group training for clubs.


Want to train with a friend or partner?

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.

Where do you want to train?

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Kent

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 roads. Towns are busy enough to make you think about your urban riding skills too. Just off the M2, our meeting point is easily accessible from NE & SE London, Essex, Surrey and Sussex.

Courses run March to November and local accommodation is available.

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Oxford

The beautiful roads of the Cotwolds are not only a lovely place to train, they set a real challenge to riders whilst Oxford’s notorious traffic is a perfect place to hone your town riding skills. Our meeting point just off the A34 is 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.

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Wales

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.

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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.

Meet the trainer

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KEVIN WILLIAMS Msc BTEC

Your instructor is Kevin Williams MSc BTEC

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.

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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 instructors.

A proven communicator with years of experience as a rider coach, presenter and writer, Kevin is also one of the most experienced instructors 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.

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No two riders are the same so we don't offer 'one-size-fits-all' training or try to change your riding to fit our ideas. In particular, there's no need for 'progress' on our courses. Instead, Survival Skills adopted 'client-centred' training long before the DVSA heard of it. 

Before you book a course, we'll identify the best options by discussing your training needs to help you choose from our range of courses, to ensure 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.

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Our training is based on sound education techniques, worked it into our carefully risk-assessed courses. 

You'll get a full briefing by email before the course so you know what to expect. On the day, using a building-block approach ensures we cover core skills but retains flexibility to move at your pace, maximising learning and setting challenges appropriate to the ability of each trainee, but you're never asked to do anything you're not ready for.

There's no test at the end and no certificate, just a comprehensive debrief and suggestions for future development.

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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.   

CONTACT SURVIVAL SKILLS

Don't just take our word...

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

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


more reviews of our training

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

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

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