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The Hendon Shuffle is the act of alternating between planting the left and then the right feet on the ground (and the left feet again) after bringing a motorcycle to a stop.
The modern motorcycle has its gears on the left side and the rear-wheel brake on the right side. When stopping a motorcycle, riders usually use their right foot (rear wheel brakes, and the right hand - front wheel brakes) to slow and stop the motorcycle. When the motorcycle comes to a stop, the rider puts the left or the right feet on the ground to maintain the motorcycle in an upright position.
Good riding techniques tune a user to downshift the gears along with slowing down the motorcycle using the brakes. However, changing the gears along with braking may not be possible in all circumstances (for example, emergency braking). In this situation, the rider may first plant their left foot on the ground. Once the motorcycle is stopped, they then put their right foot on the ground and then use the left foot to downshift the gears. Once the downshift is complete the rider again puts their left foot on the ground and uses the right foot on the brakes to keep the motorcycle stationary. This motion of alternating with different feet on the ground to change gears and maintain the motorcycle in an upright position when stationary is a Hendon Shuffle. This is an acceptable method if used in correct circumstances and its practice is also encouraged with new learners.
With some riders, when the motorcycle comes to a stop the first time, with the riders left foot on the ground, at the first shuffle, the right foot moves to the ground, and some riders use their left foot then to change the gear into neutral. They then put the left foot on the ground again and move the right foot on the brakes to keep the motorcycle stationary.
When the need to move off arises (for example, when the light changes from red to green), the rider then again puts their right leg on the ground, uses the left leg to change the motorcycle into gear, puts the left leg to the ground again, put the right leg up on the brake-side foot rest and then accelerate and move. This process is also sometimes referred to as the reverse Hendon Shuffle. This is an inefficient method and is usually not recommended.
It is said that the Hendon Shuffle originated in the British Police Motorcycling rider handbook. This instruction was included to keep the heavy and powerful police motorcycles of old days in place using the rear brakes. Modern motorcycles have technically advanced (power-assisted, hydraulic and linked brakes) and a user can even keep the motorcycle in place with a light touch on the front brakes only. The Hendon Shuffle is no longer referenced in the Police Motorcycling handbook.