Updated: Aug 16, 2022
There are tens of thousands of videos and written articles about riding techinque to be found on the internet. How do you know which are the good ones?
It's good that so many riders are taking an interest in improving their skills and it's fantastic that there are so many places to turn to for help these days.
But that doesn't mean we can be totally uncritical and rely 100% on the writers or the video creators.
Why do I say that? Well, here's one very good reason. Whilst promoting positive benefits to the rider, few of these articles ever come with any 'buyer beware' warnings. They may promise positive outcomes, but only rarely do we hear of the pitfalls and traps that can await the unwary reader who hasn't spotted the issues for him or herself.
So are my tips any better? I certainly hope so!
I have been writing about better riding skills almost since the beginning of the internet. I was active on the old Compuserve system and had a website by 1995, even before I became a motorcycle rider coach later that year.
All of what I write about has been tried out in real life - I was a motorcycle courier for many years. So my Survival Skills tips are not just a re-hash of what you might find written in books like 'Motorcycle Roadcraft' but are written from experience, from the twin perspectives of an experienced working rider AND an experienced rider coach.
Just like my practical riding courses, the tips often focus less on skills-based 'perfect riding' and rather more on fixing riding problems, and attempt to offer an appreciation of the benefits AND potential risks of any particular technique. In consequence, these free riding skills tips often go off at a slight tangent to conventional better riding articles. The idea is to help you think differently about motorcycling and enable you to make better riding decisions. Ultimately, riding is a lot more enjoyable if we're not scaring ourselves. Knowing that, you'll be in a better position to decide whether any particular skill or technique is something to be added to your own skills toolbox.
Many of these articles were originally published on online motorcycle forums, some featured in my regular rider safety column in 'The Road', some were written for other publications including Bike, Ride, Superbike and Two Wheels Only. The rest originally appeared on the old website. Many were written between 1999 and 2006 but the content has been revised and completely updated for 2019.
Last but not least, 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.
Kevin Williams Survival Skills Rider Training
...because it's a jungle out there