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Consider the following figures. The figure A shows a front view of a motorcycle parked on an inclined floor using its side stand while the figure B shows a side view of it but using its center stand.

I can make an instruction banner accompanied with those figures as follows.

When you park a motorcycle on an inclined floor as shown in figure A, please use the side stand. But if you park the motor cycle on an inclined as shown in the figure B, please use the center stand.

enter image description here

Question

If I don't want to attach the figures to the instruction banner, how do I have to rewrite the instruction in clear and understandable sentences? (As printing figures on the banner take more space and make the cost higher)

  • My hand drawing is really horrible because I usually draw with PSTricks. – kiss my armpit Jan 5 '14 at 2:03
  • A only works on inclines below a certain critical angle. – Jim Jan 5 '14 at 4:28
  • @Jim: So does B. – kiss my armpit Jan 5 '14 at 4:32
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    Yes, and since the center stand folds that direction, that would be a bad thing to do all the way around. Good thing you drew the picture with the bike facing uphill! – Jim Jan 5 '14 at 4:46
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    @CoolHandLouis - Essentially, I see this as a word request question. How would you describe a bike on a slant as shown in Figure A? What about when the slope is changed as in Figure B? I've gone ahead and retagged the question is an effort to help make the question more obviously align with the purpose of this site. – J.R. Jan 6 '14 at 0:56
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When you park a motorcycle on an inclined floor as shown in figure A, please use the side stand. But if you park the motor cycle on an inclined as shown in the figure B, please use the center stand.

Here are the changes I would make:

1) Strike the word "please". I don't think it's appropriate in an instructional context.
2) Change the word "floor" to "surface".
3) When using "incline" as a noun, make sure it doesn't have a "d" (that is, use "incline", not "inclined" – "inclined" is an adjective).
4) Use "Figure B" not "the figure B".
5) I would also bold "side stand" and "center stand," if possible, although that's more of a stylistic choice than an English correction.

Making those changes, we get:

When you park a motorcycle on a surface inclined like the one in Figure A, use the side stand. But if you park the motorcycle on an incline as shown in the Figure B, use the center stand.

Taking out the references to the figures, I would say:

When you park a motorcycle with the front of the bike facing up a hill, use the center stand. However, if the motorcycle is parked perpendicular to the incline of a hill, use the side stand, with the side stand pointed toward the lower part of the hill.

That all said, I'm a true believer in the adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words." I think the explanation would be clearer if figures were included.

  • +1 but I am waiting for other answers if any. – kiss my armpit Jan 5 '14 at 3:30
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    @Stiff - As well you should. It drives me crazy when someone accepts my answer within a few minutes, or a couple hours after I've posted it. It's much better to let others see the question before the matter is deemed "settled," and have their own chance. Moreover, I've seen occasions where an accepted answer was a WRONG answer, which really breaks my kickstand... :^) – J.R. Jan 5 '14 at 3:34
  • Never park it with the front of it facing down a hill. :-) – kiss my armpit Jan 5 '14 at 3:42
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I would clearly identify in your writing what the two stands are (it will help if they have different colors or something easily explainable). Then say something like "if you are parking your motorcycle on a bank, use the [color] side stand", if you are parking it on a ramp, use the [other color] center stand. You will know you have used the correct one when you can let go of your cycle and it stays firmly in place without looking or feeling like it will fall over or roll away".

  • describing the instruction without figures please... – kiss my armpit Jan 5 '14 at 2:55
  • I thought I just did. – K.A.Monica Jan 5 '14 at 2:58

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