I agree with electric_monk.
I have been riding for 25 years and have taken part in various advanced riding courses.
Each one has,in one way or another, been beneficial. It's not until you attend one of these courses that you appreciate what you've been doing wrong or right for so long.
For someone contemplating a long overlanding trip, particularly someone who hasn't been riding that long, some form of advanced training could only be beneficial and potentialy be a life saver.
I would also say that if your intended trip involves some off-road riding some training in this area would not only be enjoyable, but invaluable.
Experiance is also important. I know alot of people go off RTW with relatively little experiance, but such a trip demands a very steep learning curve.
Sure, if you've been driving a car for a few years or even ride a bicycle you have some road sense, but riding a motorcycle with competency and skill takes time and training will accelerate the rate at which you learn.
I hope I don't sound like an old fart, but when you've sold your house and all your possessions to fund your trip and spent weeks, months or years planning and preparing, it seems a bit daft not to have spent a few quid learning how to ride properly. Not only will you be less likely to destroy the bike you've probably spent a large fortune on buying and prep'ing, your plans or indeed yourself.
[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 30 November 2003).]