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‘Basics’ Courses

Looking for advanced training on a budget? Our range of ‘Basics’ courses was created to address the complaint that advanced training is too expensive. Anyone can afford these courses! Check the website for the latest prices – http://www.survivalskills.co.uk.

You can choose from:

Basics: BENDS – the Basics: BENDS course is suitable for newly qualified riders with a fresh test pass and riders coming back to biking. The course has proven to help motorcyclists preparing for their IAM test. And if you’ve got a specific problem riding bends, then this inexpensive course will help you find a fix. In short, it’s for any rider struggling on rural bends. It’s inexpensive too, as it’s intended to be affordable by all riders.

The DVSA’s syllabus for new riders means that cornering technique is either poorly taught or neglected completely whilst the IAM’s ‘observe then correct’ coaching system doesn’t offer structured training. The Survival Skills approach is to start with the basics then build new skills layer-on-layer. This approach means you’re never asked to try something new that isn’t firmly grounded on what you understand and can already do.

We’ll begin by looking at how to control a motorcycle using counter-steering, braking and throttle/gear techniques. You’ll discover how to spot potential hazards like driveways and junctions, and how to apply the fundamental ‘stop in the distance you can see clear’ rule to set your speed. After looking at how to use road signs and road markings to help read awkward corners, we’ll see how to set a line around a corner. And the session will round off with a discussion of how we can change our position to improve views but only where we don’t compromise safety. The focus on hazard awareness will help develop your ‘Spidy Sense’ hazard awareness.

Expect to cover around 30 to 40 miles in a a short but intense two hour session, at the end of which you’ll be able to corner to approximately IAM standard.

Basics: COLLISION AVOIDANCE – the most recent research into rider safety is showing that despite better training at all levels from CBT to post-test and much tougher test standards motorcyclists at all standards continue to have the same crashes as they have always had, and collisions at junctions in towns and cities remain the number one motorcycle crash.

The most common crash of all happens when a vehicle turns out of a side road into a motorcycle’s path. But few riders know that the collision with an oncoming vehicle that turns right across the motorcycle’s path is actually the number one killer in urban areas. The sad fact is that most of these crashes were predictable and avoidable, had the rider been prepared for the emergency. In many cases, riders fail to deal with turning vehicles that they could actually see in the run up to the collision.

This course focuses on avoiding these collisions. We’ll explain why they happen and what we can do to avoid one using the insights from the innovative No Surprise? No Accident rider safety campaign. We’ll spend some time explaining why drivers make visual perception and judgement errors that put riders at risk. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of passive day riding lights and hi-vis clothing, and show you how to ride proactively with emphasis on risk management, low-risk riding and developing ‘Spidy Sense’ situation awareness ready to deal with the ‘worst case scenario.

In two hours, we’ll work on ‘see and be seen’ positioning, and emergency braking and swerve techniques. You will be far more aware of urban collisions, know where they are likely to happen, and have a far better understanding of how to avoid being caught up in one.

Basics: SLOW CONTROL – when our slow riding is shaky, it affects so many different areas of our riding; from pulling away and stopping, manoeuvring in confined spaces, negotiating awkward junctions and sharp bends, even riding a loaded bike or carrying a passenger.

This course will get on top of your slow riding fears. We’ll go back to basics and show you how to adjust the controls on your machine to best advantage. Then you’ll spend time working on the necessary practical skills – clutch, throttle, rear brake, balance and steering. We’ll make sure you are looking where you want to go and help you with some posture exercises. Once we’ve built up your confidence with our carefully designed off-road exercises, we’ll head out on the road to find you some awkward junctions, mini-roundabouts and corners to see just how you have improved!

Basics: NIGHT RIDING – timed to start in in the late evening daylight , we ride through the awkward period of twilight before finishing up in full darkness. That allows us to adapt to the changing light levels then see how our view of the road changes under headlights and how we can use reflective posts and cats-eyes to read the road ahead.
“What a brilliant idea! ” Jim Newman, Somerset Road Safety Partnership

Basics: HAIRPINS – thinking of heading for the Alps or the Pyrenees? Then this course is for you. We’ll develop your slow, tight turns before heading to our ‘secret’ hairpins in Kent and Oxford which will challenge even the best riders.


Q: Can a two hour session really achieve anything?

A: I have received very positive feedback on these short courses. Here, Richard talks about his two hour Basics: BENDS course: 

“If it helps encourage people, I would like to say that I benefited enormously from one of these sessions… I am not sure I am going much faster, but I am now further inside my comfort zone! I am much more confident that I can tighten my line / swerve around an unexpected hazard / take a less than ideal cornering line around a pothole or manhole cover when needed. And the counter-steering lesson made my first track day a few weeks later much more enjoyable! 

“For any on here who are coming to biking later on in life [cough, cough], you may be interested to hear that my bike rides are now not followed by applications of Deep Heat and 1,000mg of Ibuprofen to stop the pain in my elbows and wrists; it’s all due to the LBM (Light Bulb Moment) sparked (sorry!) by Kevin riding by and steering round a corner with one finger. ‘Oh, so you don’t need to grip the bars as though your life depends upon it…’ 

“Ok, I realise this is just getting me to basic competency, but I felt it was such a momentous step forward!”

Basics: BENDS – an inexpensive way to get a massive confidence boost in the twisties!


About the course: Your course begins before you start. We’ll offer free advice on which course to choose to suit you via email or telephone. And if you have a different problem, just ask – in the past I’ve run courses for a rider converting to a super-scooter from a manual and vice-versa, wet weather riding, overtaking, dealing with narrow lanes and loose surfaces, and group riding.

When you have booked your course, we’ll provide comprehensive briefing notes (including links to useful videos to help illustrate points in the notes) about what’s to come by email.

Each session lasts approximately two hours including pre-ride briefing and post-ride debrief. Although our time is limited, it is used constructively and intensely. Trainees are surprised at how much improvement they can make when the training is highly focused.

Post course support is provided by email and via our Facebook page.

The course is suitable for all riders with a full licence including A1 and A2 licences and can be taken on any machine from a 125 upwards. It is equally suitable for geared motorcycles or automatic motorcycles and scooters.

Basics courses are perfectly suited from newly qualified motorcyclists to experienced riders including those who have taken post-test training elsewhere. Whilst it’s always difficult to make exact comparisons, the standard of training is approximately IAM test standard and exceeds that of the DVSA’s Enhanced Rider Course. There’s no test at the end of the course, although we’ll help with guidance if you want to take an external riding test.

Courses run from March to November at our regular training locations in Buckinghamshire / NW London and Oxfordshire, with limited availability in Kent.

For prices see our website. For latest availability see our booking page here. And check our Facebook page for special offers.

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