Wikipedia:WikiProject Motorcycling/Conventions

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WikiProject Motorcycling follows these conventions for all motorcycle-related articles. Remember that Wikipedia:Five pillars and other core principles overrule any project guidelines or conventions. All of the conventions here are intended to be derived from these core policies, applying them in the context of motorcycling articles.


Not every model of motorcycle ever made should have a separate article, just as some manufacturers, and many, many motorcycle clubs or events, have not had sufficient coverage to merit articles of their own. Wikipedia's general notability guideline applies in all cases, although you should expect to see many articles created under the mistaken assumption that there should be one article per model. One of WikiProject Motorcycling's goals is to clean up, merge, or delete these hundreds of extraneous articles. See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Yamaha FZ700 for some previous discussion of whether all models must have an article.

Models which have not been covered in independent sources may be mentioned in lists or in manufacturer pages. Consider what best serves the reader's needs as well. Many times two or more motorcycle models which could technically get separate articles would work better merged on a single article, in order to present the history of their development and product life cycle as a coherent narrative.

Article name[edit]

Motorcycle articles should generally be placed under a title named in a two-part format: <Make> <Model>. Example: Honda CBX1000. The make should be a short form of the maker's name, as would be commonly used (see: Wikipedia:Common name), unless disambiguation with other makes is required. The model name should be the basic name for that model.


  • Version: more often, motorcycle models are ambiguous temporally; they refer to different vehicles produced at different times. Identically named models that fill the same market niche might be best covered in one article, for example, Honda CB900F. If the article becomes unwieldy, splitting into multiple articles should be considered.
  • Sometimes the same model name is used to refer to unrelated vehicles at different times or in different markets, and it might be preferable to make an article to cover multiple versions in one. The Honda CBR250 and Honda CBR250R (2011) were identically named for some models, but the differences in design, purpose, and market suggested two separate articles.


Each article shall be titled with the model name used in the subject vehicle's home market, unless a single name other than the home-market name is used in English-speaking markets, and the home market is not English-speaking. In such cases, the article shall be titled with the model name used in English-speaking markets.


  • Home market refers to the market the vehicle was primarily designed for, which is usually the country that the vehicle's manufacturer is headquartered. Where no such market is applicable or cannot be ascertained, it should be assumed the "home market" is the market where vehicle was launched first.
  • Manufacturer headquarters refers to the entity chiefly responsible for designing and/or producing the subject vehicle, not necessarily the uppermost corporate parent.

Manual of style[edit]

  • MOS — The overall guidelines are in the Wikipedia:Manual of Style. The best examples to imitate are the Wikipedia:Featured articles.
  • WikiProject AutomobilesWikiProject Automobiles/Conventions are generally followed, but there are several Motorcycling Project exceptions.
  • Bold titles — Use boldface markup for the first occurrence of the model name(s) in the first paragraph of articles. For example, '''BMW R80G/S''' (triple apostrophes) would result in BMW R80GS.
    • Do not embed links in these names, such as Honda Super Cub. Instead, link to the maker in the opening sentence of the article: The Honda Super Cub is a motorcycle manufactured by Honda. Only the first instance of the name will be emphasized. Link to Kawasaki motorcycles, not Kawasaki Heavy Industries, BMW Motorrad, not BMW.
    • Bold the <Make> <Model> name (e.g. BMW R1200RT), but not standalone variants (e.g. BMW R1200RT LE). Standalone variants comprise trim levels and option packages, and should never be emphasized by bold or italicized text.
    • Bold, and list in the first sentence of the article, the names of any models that are redirected to the page in question. In other words, since Kawasaki Concours 14 is a redirect to Kawasaki 1400GTR, then the 1400GTR article mentions the Concours 14 using boldface in the first sentence. See WP:R#PLA.
  • Specialist terminology and jargon — Avoid ambiguous terms like "transverse engine", "longitudinal engine", "parallel twin", "inline twin" without explicitly saying whether the crankshaft or the cylinder bank is transverse or longitudinal. See discussion at V-twin engine#Orientations and Straight-two engine#Motorcycle use. See also the guideline Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable.
    • Class or type of motorcycle can be ambiguous, like "naked bike", "adventure", or "roadster", so stick close to what sources say, but do not assume the reader knows the precise definition of the terms. Try to be consistent within a given article: if you wrote "roadster" in the lead, use roadster in the infobox and elsewhere. Giving readers hints, like saying "roadster (or standard)" can help clarify this muddy area. If sources don't clearly tell us what class a bike is in, don't guess or add original research to the article. Just leave it out. If sources give a bike more than one class, cite both.
  • Puffery and marketing buzzwords — See WP:PEACOCK for avoidance of puffery in favor of just the facts. Almost all motorcycle marketing copy uses "features" instead of "has". Articles should say that a bike has a given component or technology, and cite only expert opinions as to whether it is a feature or liability. Similarly, replace "utilize(s)" with "use(s)".
  • Undue weight and Indiscriminate collections of information:
    • Colors — Color schemes or trim options are generally not mentioned, as these vary by country. As with prices and trivia, the exception is if reliable sources are cited showing a color scheme was notable.
    • Recalls — Some specialist publications have routine coverage of every single recall announcement. Government agencies have bulletins of official recalls, but these are primary sources. Generally we only mention recalls that received attention in non-motorcycling enthusiast or industry media, such as mainstream media newspapers, magazines, and books. As with colors, the article should state why this particular recall was of interest. See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Automobiles#Recalls-notability.
    • Lists of media appearances or In popular cultureManual of Style (trivia sections) says article sections with miscellaneous collections of information, such as lists of movie appearances, should be reorganized. See also content policies for inclusion and exclusion of various types of information. Remember, per WP:NNC, notability guidelines do not limit content within an article, but unsourced and poorly sourced material may be deleted.
  • Citation columns —Use {{Reflist|30em}} in the Notes (or References) section. Use of {{Reflist|2}} to force columns is deprecated. See Template:Reflist#Columns
  • Avoid the abbreviation MCN for Motor Cycle News or Motorcycle Consumer News, especially in articles that name both publications. In most cases we have to spell out the whole names to avoid confusion.


Use {{Convert}} for units. Except for US-made motorcycles, we lead with metric, because unit order follows a vehicle's major market. Rest-of-world motorcycles will use kilowatts (kW) and metric horsepower. British motorcycles may use brake horsepower (bhp) and kilowatts (kW).

In almost all cases, do not specify a target unit. Only give the original unit and let the template pick the default conversion, e.g. {{convert|62|mph|abbr=on}} not {convert|62|mph|kph|abbr=on}}. Thousands of editors use {{Convert}}, and the default settings represent a widespread Wikipedia consensus. If the consensus changes, the template will change with it without us having to change any articles. In a few cases the template will give an undesirable conversion and you have to force the target units.

General conventions for units:

  • Use the standard International System of Units (SI) describing automobiles, and will generally follow the SI writing style
  • separate all units from numbers with a non-breaking space (for example, we type 750&nbѕp;cc so that 750 cc will be displayed in the article).
  • Use commas but not spaces in numbers used as measurements, and separate decimals from whole numbers with a full stop/period, not a comma. That is, rather than "1 796 cc", we use "1,796 cc", and rather than "2,2 L", we use "2.2 L".
  • Use correct unit abbreviations. Capital letters are only used for unit symbols named after a person, for example kW, N⋅m and L. The rest are lowercase, for example: rpm (not rev/min, not REV/MIN, not Rev/Min, not RPM) for revolutions per minute, km/h (not kph, not KM/H, not KPH) for kilometres per hour, mpg (not mi/gal, not MI/GAL, not Mi/Gal, not MPG) for miles per gallon, and mph (not mi/hr, not MI/HR, not Mi/Hr, not MPH) for miles per hour.
  • If your source unit doesn't match the order we will use for the article, keep the number found in the original source, but add |order=flip, e.g. Cycle World prints that a Ducati motorcycle has a 4.1 gallon fuel tank. We know they use US gallons, so we write {{convert|4.1|USgal|abbr=on|order=flip}}.
  • Normally rely on {{Convert}} to handle precision and rounding. Use {{convert|100.2|kW|abbr=on}} instead of {{convert|100.2|kW|abbr=on|0}}


Engine displacement should be expressed first in cubic centimeters, and converted with the template default. Cubic inches can be used first to express the displacement of engines originally engineered, designated, and marketed in cubic inches, such as typical American brands. When dealing with engines that were originally marketed using cubic inches, but later adopted metric designations, use {{convert}} with the |order=flip parameter.

Where conflict exists between the actual and advertised displacement of an engine, we treat the advertised displacement as a part of the engine's designation or name, writing it in italic. We also express the actual displacement. E.g. "...a 250 cc class motorcycle of 234 cc (14.3 cu in) displacement".


Power figures should usually be written in metric form with the imperial conversion in parentheses. SI measurements should be expressed in kilowatts (kW).

In some cases power figures should be written in imperial units first, with the metric conversion in parentheses. Imperial measurements should be expressed in horsepower (hp) or brake horsepower (bhp) for British and pre-1972 American vehicles. Cases where imperial units should be given precedence include vehicles produced by U.S.-based companies, or those produced by companies that used imperial units at the time of the vehicle's manufacture (such as in Australia prior to 1974).


Torque figures should be written in metric form with the imperial conversion in parentheses. Metric measurements should be expressed in newton meters (N·m).

In some cases torque figures should be written in imperial units first with the metric conversion in parentheses (see above for more details). Imperial measurements should be expressed in pound-feet (lb·ft) (not ft·lb or ft·lbf).

Performance, fuel consumption, and weight[edit]

Care must be taken when including fuel consumption and performance figures. Always provide a footnote at the end of the sentence containing performance figures or weight, or at the line in a table or list. Performance figures and weight should only be given if a reliable third party test can be sourced, otherwise leave them out entirely. We usually delete unsourced performance figures in old articles, unless we are certain a good source is contained in the article. Then we tag with {{Citation needed}}. Express acceleration and braking using the {{Convert}} template: {{Convert|0|to|60|mph|abbr=on}} time, {{Convert|0|to|1/4|mi|abbr=on}} time and speed, {{Convert|60|to|0|mph|abbr=on}} braking distance.


Infobox motorcycle parameters
{{Infobox motorcycle
|name             = 
|image            = 
|alt              = 
|caption          = 
|aka              = 
|manufacturer     = 
|parent_company   = 
|production       = 
|assembly         = 
|predecessor      = 
|successor        = 
|class            = 
|engine           = 
|bore_stroke      = 
|compression      = 
|top_speed        = 
|power            = 
|torque           = 
|ignition         = 
|transmission     = 
|frame            = 
|suspension       = 
|brakes           = 
|tires            = 
|rake_trail       = 
|wheelbase        = 
|length           = 
|width            = 
|height           = 
|seat_height      = 
|dry_weight       = 
|wet_weight       = 
|fuel_capacity    = 
|oil_capacity     = 
|fuel_consumption = 
|turning_radius   = 
|related          = 
|sp               =  


The manufacturer field should list the company, division, or subsidiary responsible for the vehicle's development, for example:

The appropriate parent company may be used if applicable. For example, BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle division of BMW:

  • Parent Company: BMW


The production field of the automobile infobox should mention the date production started and ended. Dates should be expressed in years (for example, 2001–2006) or in months and years (for example, April 2001–November 2006). Full dates should not be included (for example, 7 April 2001–16 November 2006); these dates can be mentioned in the text of the article if they are known.

"2017–" is preferable to "2017–present" while we are still in 2017. Also, vehicles yet to enter production should state "2017 (to commence)". For all previous years, "since 2006", et cetera is the preferred style.

For vehicles sold in North America where the use of model years is widespread, the "model_years" field of the infobox may be used in addition to "production". Model years are a marketing concept and thus are restricted to full years only; no months or half-years.


The assembly field should state the country of manufacture first, followed by a colon, and then the exact location, such as the city or town followed by the state or province if applicable. If the manufacturing entity is separate from the entity responsible for the design and development of the vehicle, then this entity should be parenthesized after the location:


Cscr-featured.svg Ducati 748 by Ritchyblack is a Featured image, rated as among the finest images on Wikipedia
This is a halfway decent photo of a 1974 Honda CB360. Non-stock sissy bar and panniers are a minus. It's neither here nor there that the bike is wet from recent rainfall. The main thing is that you can see what it looks like.
Tokyo Motor Show 2007. Many motorcycle photos are taken in trade shows or dealerships with glaring overhead lights, foreground and background clutter, distracting crowds, and bikes placed on platforms, giving an unrealistic upward view angle that distorts the scale. We make do with what we can find.
Action photos can be a good illustration of what a motorcycle is all about, showing context and rider posture, but excessive drama may be unencyclopedic.
  1. In choosing images, quality should be the overriding factor. Cscr-featured.svg Featured picture criteria gives detailed criteria on what a quality encyclopedia image is. See WP:IMAGE RELEVANCE for help on relevance. Try to emulate the examples found at Featured pictures/Vehicles/Land and the other Featured Picture galleries.
    • Make sure the motorcycle is entirely in frame and is not obscured with objects, people, mud, snow, etc.
    • Crop out distracting elements like parking lots, objects, or other vehicles.
    • Do not take photos through window glass, fog, or with poor focus.
  2. The lead image or main infobox image should be a side view of the motorcycle. This is in contrast to the Automobile Project's WP:CARPIX rule of using a front ¾ view, because motorcycle design is generally two-dimensional, while cars have design details contained in their width.[1] If a side view is unavailable, front ¾ is acceptable. Next, use a front view, or else make do with any quality image you can find.
    • Articles with more than one infobox can have more flexibility in the lead image if there are two side-views in two infoboxes, then yet another side view in the lead would be redundant. An action photo, with rider, or other angle, could be appropriate for the lead.
    • After the lead and/or infobox, then other views, like front, rear, ¾, etc, should be included. Illustrations of unique details of a bike should have priority. A photo of the motorcycle being ridden may be ideal for a lead image because it adds scale and context, and shows rider posture, but only if it is sharp and shows most of the motorcycle, and does not show the rider's face. See Commons:Photographs of identifiable people.
    • All else being equal, quality trumps other considerations. If all the side view photos are out of focus, poorly cropped, poorly lit, etc, then another view should go in the lead.
    • Boring backgrounds, like the bike-in-front-of-garage-door cliche, should be avoided, all else being equal. Interesting background and context make an image preferable. The bike itself should still fill the frame, so the background doesn't dominate the image.
    • An image of the bike upright, on a center or paddock stand, or using props to hold it up, is preferred over a bike leaning on a side stand because it usually shows more of the bike's details.
    • The image selected for an article's top (lead) infobox does not need to show any particular version or generation of the vehicle, such as the latest, the last, the first, the best-selling, or any other. Image quality and overall relevance are the determining factors.
  3. Respect the user's thumbnail size user preferences rather than force a pixel width on all users, per WP:IMAGESIZE.
    • "[[File:...|thumb|...]]" is used for almost all horizontal images.
    • Use "[[File:...|thumb|upright|...]]" for vertical images.
    • Lead images should be 20% to 35% larger than the thumb width, so use
      • [[File:...|thumb|upright=1.35|...]]
    • Where no caption is called for, such as in many infoboxes, use frameless instead of thumb, as in
      • | image = [[File:...|frameless|upright=1.35|...]]
      • |caption= ......
    • If the default image width of 180 pixels looks too small to you, change your preferences; don't force the images larger in the article.
    • The "File:" prefix may be used interchangeably with "Image:" See MOS:Image syntax.
  4. Use free images, preferably uploaded to the Commons. Images of vehicles are seldom irreplaceable. Do not use "fair use" promotional images of vehicles. These will be deleted under {{db-f7}} because they are replaceable.
  5. The caption should clearly identify the motorcycle. The year or model year (single year or range), model code, or any other relevant descriptor (for example, "pre-facelift" and "facelift") should be included in the image caption. If available, the trim level should also be included.
  6. The quality of an image is always more important than the quantity of images included — a gallery or a link to the Commons is preferable to flooding an article with images. Articles with little text but a long, tall infobox can't support more than a few images. In order to have many images below the infobox, fill the empty space with well-researched, encyclopedic words.
  7. In pictures of private vehicles, license plates and other personally-identifying information should be unobtrusively blurred or edited out, or, ideally, not be present in the first place.
  8. Avoid pictures of heavily customized bikes as they may not be very representative of the vehicles most common appearance, unless the text in context to the picture is dealing with the customization of the vehicle. If the only photo available is of a modified motorcycle, note in the caption how it differs from stock.
  9. Avoid photoshopped images, especially those with an unnatural appearance. Avoid images with the background colored white or the background layer cut out. Any photo retouching should look natural, faithfully depict reality, and not draw attention to itself.


Calendar and model years[edit]

Articles that use the model year format should clearly differentiate such years from calendar years.

  • Prose: when dealing with model years, prose should include the actual model year (e.g. 2006) followed by or preceded by the words "model year" (e.g. 2006 model year, model year 2006). This is only necessary in the first instance per section/paragraph, although longer sections may repeat the term intermittently.
Instead of this:
"For the 2008 model year, curtain airbags were made standard with dual knee airbags offered as an option. 2009 model year versions received a revised grille, and for the 2010 model year, the manual transmission variant was deleted from the lineup."
we write this:
"For the 2008 model year, curtain airbags were made standard with dual knee airbags offered as an option. 2009 models received a revised grille, and for 2010 the manual transmission variant was deleted from the lineup."
  • Image captions: when dealing with model years for vehicles sold in North America, image captions should include the abbreviated and linked "MY" prefix (e.g. MY2006).
  • Language usage: when referring to model years, state: "for 2010 curtain airbags were made standard" as opposed to "in 2010 curtain airbags were made standard" as the latter suggests calendar years, and not model years.

Unannounced vehicles[edit]

In accordance with WP:CRYSTALBALL, articles about future or speculative vehicles that have not been officially announced by their manufacturer should not be created. If an article is created about a speculative vehicle, it is to be either deleted or redirected to an article whose subject is most relevant to the redirect's subject.