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Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists - Survival Skills Newsletter - Kevin Williams

Survival Skills Newsletter – 2nd December 2021

Welcome to the new-look newsletter that takes you to this week’s posts on Ko-Fi enabling you to sidestep Facebook altogether. In case you are worrying, Ko-Fi is NOT a subscription-only site – everything in this newsletter is FREE TO READ for at least seven days. Click the link, and read the post and it won’t cost you a penny. Best of all, no tracking or ads!

Just register as a FOLLOWER – it’s free, and you get email alerts a new post is ready to read.

And if you find the articles useful, then you can consider supporting my writing by becoming a one-off SUPPORTER which will open up content to well over SIX HUNDRED better biking articles, or a monthly SUBSCRIBER opening up specialist posts including DIY training articles, bike set up and rider psychology. Not bad for a little as £3 per month.

I’d welcome your feedback, as always.


NEXT LIVE PRESENTATIONFILTERING – what’s legal, what’s illegal and what’s common sense… in this webcast, I’ll use my background as a courier to offer not just sound advice for staying out of trouble, but also explain how the law determines responsibility for filtering collisions – it’s not as clear-cut as often made out! Tickets cost £5 – get yours here:


FEBRUARY’S TALK: SCIENCE OF BEING SEEN (SOBS)… SOBS is an in-depth investigation of the most common motorcycle crash of all – the ‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’ or ‘SMIDSY’ collision at junctions. We’ll look at why drivers don’t see motorcycles, why day-riding lights and hi-vis clothing are often ineffective and suggest some pro-active riding strategies for staying out of trouble… all based on REAL SCIENCE.

Tickets cost £5 – get yours here:


CLUB & GROUP TALKS – I’ve delivered one more group talk and added another to the diary for some weeks ahead, and if you’d like me to arrange something for your own group or club, get in touch. As well as ‘Science Of Being Seen’‘Crash Course (in how not to…) and my latest ‘Fewer skills, more Insight’ presentations, I have a selection of others on various riding issues. Available weekday evenings and weekends. Drop me a line to sort something out.

Elevenses 193 Wed 1 Dec

*** ELEVENSES *** Elevenses 193 Wed 1 Dec in today’s show… …final call for tonight’s SOBS webcast …Motorcycle Live at the NEC reopens this weekend… Devon bloodbikers have volunteers but need funding… Honda’s latest NC750X gets a power boost… Royal Enfield’s 650 concept bike shows in Milan… today’s discussion point – are the latest tyres all they are cracked up to be?   Make a brew, grab a biscuit and pull up a chair ready to tune in to the ‘ELEVENSES’ LIVE webcast. Join me, Kevin Williams, twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday at 11am at for 30 minutes of topical news, controversial views and better biking tips! Can’t make it live? Watch it here later or catch up at…

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ToT November 30 “Which position approaching a multi-lane roundabout?”

We’re into Week Three of a mini-series on roundabouts. I’m sure some people are thinking “an entire SERIES on roundabouts, how hard can it be?” but roundabouts are probably the worst-driven junctions in the country. That puts us at risk and riders aren’t perfect either, by any stretch of the imagination. The reason for standard systems is to help all us know what everyone else is doing. So today’s issue is approaching and negotiating a roundabout with multiple lanes.  One of our problems is the Highway Code. Whilst it offers plenty of advice for a standard ‘two lanes in, two lanes out crossroads’ roundabout, there’s barely any guidance for non-standard layouts which probably explains why last week there was an objection that a roundabout…

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Elevenses 192 Sun 28 Nov

*** ELEVENSES *** Elevenses 192 Sun 28 Nov in today’s show… three men charged with causing death by dangerous driving after four dies in ‘street race’… 60 year old rider gets suspended sentence after crash that killed his pillion… but a Scottish rider whose passenger died walks free after court finds case ‘unproven’… councils to be given increased powers to issue traffic fines… Milan motorcycle show returns after COVID… new Benelli TRK 800 adventure bike… €4700 Vmoto Stash claims ‘up to 250km of range’… today’s better biking tip – cognitive biases; the optimism bias and the ‘illusion of control’… Make a brew, grab a biscuit and pull up a chair ready to tune in to the ‘ELEVENSES’ LIVE webcast. Join me, Kevin William…

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SoS November 27 Where can we expect metal covers?

*** SKILLS ON SATURDAY *** Where can we expect metal covers?  A common – if incorrect – statement is that a motorcycle is most stable when upright at constant speed. In fact, bikes are also stable when braking, accelerating and when cornering since all the forces operating on the machine are in balance. If they weren’t, we’d be falling off. And since we don’t fall off every time we try to change speed or direction, the bike must be – by definition – stable.  But what is happening when changing speed and direction is that we’re applying a force to make that change. And that force is generated via the tyres as the rubber grips the tarmac.  And since since tyre grip doesn’t really change, it should be pretty obvious that we need to keep a…

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*** FOCUS on FRIDAY *** Self-directed learning – recognising a need

November 26 2021 Last week I was talking about how question and answer – the so-called Socratic teaching method – produces deeper learning than the “do what I tell you to do” method of rote learning.  The problem is, when riders turn up to take a basic training course, they’re not really open to learning – many do just want to be “told what to do” to pass the test. Since they have no real choice about taking training, they want the quickest, easiest – and cheapest – training experience that produces the desired outcome – that all-important certificate that entitles them to ride a bigger bike.  The bike test may have changed since I ran my last DAS course but what hasn’t changed is that attitude of the average learner. If anything, it’s…

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*** COMMENT *** Phone use and cognitive bias

I was posting up this morning’s 60 SECOND SAFETY video on LinkedIn when an article popped up in my alerts entitled: “Drivers and hand-held mobile phones: extending the ban won’t solve the problem – here’s why” Written by Gemma Briggs and Helen Wells (both senior lecturers at the Open University in psychology and criminology, respectively) the article covers the extension of the laws on using a hand-held mobile phone to cover taking photos or videos, scrolling through playlists or playing games. Frankly, until a couple of days ago – I covered the changes in a recent Elevenses webcast – I actually had no idea that the previous round of changes to the rules on using in-car communications had NOT banned this kind of use. It turns out t…

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Advanced Riding: Vehicles making frequent stops…a Kevin Williams production.

TRAINING – I’m still training but bookings are now:

  • short notice only to take advantage of dry days (with a WET WEATHER GUARANTEE)
  • based on my North London training routes

Visit for more info.


Please Please PLEASE pass on the newsletter to biking family and friends. If everyone who reads it shares it to one other rider, that’s another hundred riders who have a chance to read something potentially useful to them. Let’s get everyone we know ‘better biking’.

See you all next week

Kevin Williams
Survival Skills Rider Training

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