SURVIVAL SKILLS

Survival Skills Rider Training
Extraordinary times. Extraordinary training.

Rider Training – has just
been re-imagined!

COVID-19 ADAPTED TRAINING COURSES

  • all training is ONE-to-ONE
  • moving briefing and debriefings ONLINE complies with government advice to work from home
  • hygiene maximised by supplying BRAND NEW headsets for use with radios
  • online working MINIMISES personal contact
  • a SHORTER on-road session AVOIDS the need for a mid-ride break and a visit to a cafe
  • multi-mode training MAXIMISES the learning experience – feedback has been excellent

THIS IS RIDER TRAINING RE-IMAGINED


SURVIVAL SKILLS IS NOT ‘ORDINARY ADVANCED TRAINING

What are Survival Skills courses all about?

“Modern bikes are easier to ride, more agile, and more fun than ever! They have better brakes, better tyres and better handling. And that performance can get us into serious trouble in a fraction of a second.

“Despite ever-tougher training for new riders, plus more riders than ever taking some form of post-test training – whether that’s BikeSafe or the IAM and RoSPA, surprisingly experienced and competent motorcyclists continue to crash in the same old places as they ever did – at junctions, in corners and during overtaking.

These three areas remain major motorcycle accident hotspots…

…yet how to STAY OUT OF TROUBLE is
almost completely ignored by conventional advanced training!

“Years riding as a courier gave me a unique insight into rider safety. Using my science background, I’ve extensively investigated the research papers which investigate and explain just where, how and why motorcyclists crash. As a rider coach I’ve combined that knowledge, deliver it using proven education techniques and added industry best practice training including making courses fully client-centred.

“The result is my Survival Skills courses.  

“Whether we’re interacting in person during an on-road course or online via one of my remote coaching sessions, my approach is all about achieving a real-world standard of riding that copes with the challenges of today’s roads, wherever you ride – enjoying twisty rural roads, commuting along busy motorways or negotiating the urban jungle. The techniques and tricks you’ll learn on a Survival Skills course – whether ON-ROAD or ONLINE – will open your eyes to the hazards even advanced riders miss, help you understand the risks they pose, and develop pro-active techniques to manage your exposure to danger.

“Survival Skills courses are much more than developing police-style technical excellence or advanced test ‘polish and sparkle’. Survival Skills demand that we match our practical skills with an understanding of just how and where to use them – that’s the approach known as ‘INSIGHT TRAINING’.

“Ultimately, Survival Skills are all about remaining in one piece by staying one step ahead on today’s roads. And guess what – riding is a LOT MORE FUN that way!” 

Kevin Williams, Survival Skills Advanced Rider Training

SUBTRACT SCARES then ADD FUN…

…that’s the Survival Skills approach

What kind of training does Survival Skills offer?

Survival Skills courses are not ‘one size fits all’. With no need to pass a standardised test at the end of the course, there’s no pressure to train to a standard syllabus either. Courses are fully client-centred – that means they are based around the kind of riding you want to do, and suitable for all standards of rider – from newly-qualified to expert. Whatever your level of ability prepare to be challenged to improve and be the best rider you can be. 

Whatever your standard of riding from learner to highly experienced, Kevin’s insights from years of working as a courier and a full-time instructor are bound to help you deal with the 21st century roads. Learn Survival Skills!

Who delivers the training?

Your instructor is Kevin Williams, a highly experienced ex-courier and professional full-time rider coach with an independently-assessed BTEC in post-test motorcycle instruction. Kevin not only has a long history of training at all levels from CBT to expert, Kevin’s science background and experience as a former professional motorcycle courier ensures he is uniquely qualified to deliver carefully-researched post-test rider training.

Where can you take a Survival Skills course?

Survival Skills courses run seven days a week from March to November from convenient locations near the M25 in Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Essex and Herts, as well as NW London / SE London & Kent. In non-COVID times I also go
‘On Tour’ several times a year to locations such as mid-Wales and Devon. It is also possible to offer bespoke training by arrangement.

“Ordinary training?
No, extra-ordinary training”
Barbara Alam

Visit www.survivalskills.co.uk to find out more.


RIDER TRAINING RE-IMAGINED
– distance is no barrier

ONLINE COACHING – inexpensive one-hour online coaching sessions!
Shielding? Too far away for an on-road session? Reach out to Survival Skills today via the wonders of the internet! Survival Skills – helping bikers right across the world. 
Visit www.survivalskills.co.uk to find out more.

GOT A RIDING PROBLEM? GET HELP – get a consultation for the price of a coffee!
Drop me a line with your issue and I’ll offer some suggestions.
Visit www.ko-fi.com/survivalskills to find out more.

CLUB AND GROUP PRESENTATIONS – looking for a speaker? I can deliver presentations to your members online too, including the award-winning ‘Science Of Being Seen’ (SOBS) – see below for more on SOBS.
Drop me a line via the contact form on the website.


SELF-HELP – help yourself
(with my compliments)

HELP YOURSELF – FOR FREE – eighty no-charge ‘better biking’ tips on the Survival Skills website.
Just click the link and read – no catch! Read them here! 

FACEBOOK ARCHIVE – I’ve been writing about better biking since the mid-1990s – there are hundreds of free and almost free articles to read on my www.ko-fi.com/survivalskills page. Access the archive of the acclaimed weekly TIPS on TUESDAY and SKILLS on SATURDAY series of Facebook articles. That’s 100 articles PER YEAR and the earliest posts date from 2014.
Sign up today and get one month’s FULL ACCESS for the price of a coffee!

FREE SIXTY SECOND SAFETY VIDEOS – to help riders maintain and develop their skills during these unusual times, I’m creating a series of FREE videos. They last just sixty seconds and each looks at one important aspect of riding.
Find them on the Survival Skills YouTube channel. 


TOPICAL NEWS, CONTROVERSIAL VIEWS & BETTER BIKING – LIVE

ELEVENSES – tune in to my LIVE WEBCAST every Wednesday and Sunday at 11am UK time. Make a brew, grab a biscuit and pull up a chair and enjoy the show.

Join me on Facebook or catch up via YouTube or Ko-Fi – where you can buy me a coffee if you like.


MORE READING MATERIAL

PAPERBACKS – if you can’t ride, you can still read – the three books in the Survival Skills series cover every aspect of riding; ‘Survival SKILLS’ is a DIY guide to better biking complete with exercises, ‘Tarmac Tactics’ looks at the problems posed by every riding environment imaginable from city centre to mountain top, and ‘MIND over MOTORCYCLE’ focuses on the mental game of riding. And other titles are available too!
Take a look at my paperback books.


about SURVIVAL SKILLS COURSES

The best bolt-on accessory for any motorcycle is the rider, but before choosing which route to go for post test training, it’s worth asking yourself two questions:

  • what do I want from the trainer?
  • what do I want from the course?

(Find out more about how to choose post-test training here: ‘how to improve your motorcycle riding skills’

Offering advanced rider training since 1997, Survival Skills was one of the first motorcycle training schools to use a fully structured yet flexible approach to training. Survival Skills courses move beyond Roadcraft-based training by studying driver and rider error. Regardless of our own level of skill, what matters is understanding how errors occurs, being able to recognise when things are about to go wrong, and having a strategy ready to deal with the error.

This risk-based approach is introduced using proven ‘building-block’ education practices such as task analysis and goal-setting. The approach is motivational, ensures nothing is overlooked and that the training moves at the pace you are comfortable with – you’re never set a task you’re not ready for. With no push to ‘make progress’ when riding, the challenge is simple – be the best rider you can possibly be.

From the very first, Survival Skills courses have been client-centred (an approach only just adopted by the DVSA), tailored to the differing needs of experienced, newly qualified and returning riders. Twenty years ago I wrote: 

“A good course doesn’t deliver a fixed syllabus nor force you to change style to fit,
but should show you how new skills fit in around your existing style of riding.”

It’s still true today, Survival Skills courses have never been ‘one size fits all’ and I never turn out ‘clone riders’. Before you book, we’ll discuss your needs and if you can’t choose from one of the range of courses, I’ll offer bespoke training. In particular, if you have a specific riding problem, I have the experience to identify, then the flexibility and expertise to fix, the issue. 

In short, gaining Survival Skills is a great way to enhance your enjoyment of two wheels and you can be sure you’re getting top-quality training from a top-notch instructor.


about ‘No SURPRISE? NO ACCIDENT!’

‘No Surprise? No Accident!’ is a world first – a fully-researched investigation BY BIKERS, made accessible and
AIMED AT BIKERS!

If you want understand why Survival Skills is different, look no further than the ‘No Surprise? No Accident!’ safety initiative. ‘No Surprise’ aims to change the way we think about training by promoting 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 the need for knowledge and understanding to work alongside the technical skills. An important insight is that a key risk factor in motorcycle crashes is SURPRISE! When we’re surprised, whatever our level of technical skill, our training is derailed and we act in unpredictable ways. Kevin is a founder of ‘No Surprise’ and the Survival Skills challenge is to improve our ability to predict what happens next and prevent surprises.


about the ‘SCIENCE OF BEING SEEN’

The Science Of Being Seen is a world first – a fully-researched investigation BY A BIKER, made accessible and
AIMED AT BIKERS!

The SCIENCE OF BEING SEEN (SOBS) presentation was created by myself for Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) as one of the three modules of our international road safety award-winning ‘Biker Down’ course. I delivered it for the first time in early 2012 and continued to deliver it until February 2020 when COVID brought things to a halt. 

The Kent Biker Down course featured three modules:

  • accident scene management
  • first aid at the scene
  • Science Of Being Seen

Biker Down itself has gone national, with well over half the nation’s Fire and Rescue Services offering this free course. It’s also been picked up by the military and other organisations. Many deliver a simplified version of SOBS.

If you’ve never attended Biker Down, or have been along to a session outside Kent, I’ll be offering regular opportunities to see the FULL VERSION as a LIVE WEBCAST on my Survival Skills page on Facebook.

Join me whilst I take you through the secrets of motorcycling invisibility. The presentation will last about 45 minutes, and I’ll be taking questions via the comment stream at the end.

Don’t miss it – watch out for announcements! 

SOBS is continually UPDATED with the latest research. Find out more about SOBS on the SOBS sister site.

THE BOOK OF THE SOBS PRESENTATION – as a handy reference book, the SOBS presentation is now available as an inexpensive paperback, available direct from my author page. 

#survivalskills #advancedriding #skillsonsaturday #tipsontuesday #focusonfriday #nosurprise #scienceofbeingseen #SOBS #CrashCourse #shinysideup2019 #RideForever #ACC


about KEVIN WILLIAMS

After spending a decade and a half as a courier, Kevin Williams switched to working as a motorcycle instructor, gaining a BTEC in post-test motorcycle instruction. With a science background and an NVQ in distance learning, Kevin is a proven rider coach, communicator, presenter and writer.

With a Masters degree in the biological sciences, Kevin researched the ‘Science Of Being Seen’ over the winter of 2011 and delivered the first SOBS presentation in 2012 for Kent Fire & Rescue Service. SOBS delves into the world visual perception and rider conspicuity issues behind the ‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’ SMIDSY collision between a bike and car.

Kevin delivered the SOBS module on the international award-winning ‘Biker Down’ course on behalf of KFRS from 2012 to 2020. In February 2018 and 2019, Kevin was invited to take part as a keynote speaker on the month-long Ride Forever / ACC initiative ‘Shiny Side Up Tour’, delivering SOBS at venues all round New Zealand and reprised that role in February and March 2021 as a virtual presenter on that year’s event. SOBS has also been delivered to a world-wide audience via the online REVVTalks series in the USA.

The long-time writer of the safety column for the Motorcycle Action Group, Kevin also researched and wrote the text to the ‘Lucky 13’ cartoon series for the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association, ACEM, in the mid-2000s.

Kevin has worked on rider safety projects on behalf of Buckinghamshire Council (‘Be a Better Biker’) and Somerset Road Safety Partnership (‘Rider Performance’ at Castle Coombe circuit). From 2011 to 2020 Kevin worked with Kent Fire and Rescue Service on ‘Biker Down’ and the ‘Ride Skills’ rider safety initiative at Brands Hatch, and still provides support for SOBS presentations used by other Biker Down teams. Kevin was one of the founders of the ‘No Surprise? No Accident!’ project which aims to change the way we think about crashes. Kevin regularly delivers presentations to rider groups on a variety of biking issues including SOBS. 

Kevin was called in as a consultant into a Transport Research Laboratory investigation into the effectiveness of rider training schemes in London in 2019.

In 2018, 2019 and 2021, Kevin worked with the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Accident Compensation Corporation and the Ride Forever scheme in New Zealand as a speaker on the nationwide ‘Shiny Side Up’ rider safety initiatives.


about SURVIVAL SKILLS BOOKS

Training might be the quickest and most effective way to improve your riding, but many of us can learn from books. Three complimentary books make up the Survival Skills trilogy, offering insights in three different areas.

Survival SKILLS is the latest book in the series of three written by Kevin Williams of Survival Skills Rider Training. Completely rewritten from the first edition (which was on a CDROM) and laid out as a ‘do it yourself’ guide, this is a highly practical book which shows you how to improve machine control techniques, risk assessment and risk management, and the planning skills that we need to ride well in all environments from filtering in city centre to cornering on rural roads. Whatever your standard, wherever you are taking training, the easy-to-follow practical exercises will help you master advanced  motorcycle riding technique.

MIND over MOTORCYCLE explores the often-ignored area of human factors – how our brains interpret the environment around us and allow us to interact with it on a motorcycle that’s capable of travelling far more quickly than the human body was designed for. The book explains the major flaw in road safety, that humans are essentially prone to error, and how a riding strategy that predicts error can help us avoid making them or falling into the traps created by other road users’ unwitting errors.

Tarmac Tactics is the courier rider’s equivalent of the taxi driver’s ‘knowledge’. Drawing on his vast experience of riding, Kevin helps you broaden your knowledge of the road and how to deal with the hazards posed by different riding environments from city centres to mountain tops, from bright sun to snow. Explore the problems we encounter as we ride and discover solutions to deal them. Covering the commonplace – junction collisions for example – and more unusual issues – riding abroad – you can use this book to gain knowledge of situations you’ve not yet encountered and still have solutions ready to deal with them.