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  #1  
Old 1 Feb 2011
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Units of Measurement

Why is it if you ask someone who lives near London how far away somewhere is, they invariably reply using time as a unit of measurement. ie how far from St albans to Heathrow? answer 20-30 minutes. This is wildly inaccurate by donkey

Recently ( like today) some one asked about seat height and a response was to get abike between 400-800cc. Engine size bears little relationship to seat height. I have a friend with a 1400cc Honda, that has a really low seat height.
Lower even than my Enfield which in turn is lower than an 800cc bmw rt.

These generalisations tend to breed urban myths and get to be a very unreliable source of information.

I was once told by someone who should habe known better that a unit of centigrade is about twice that of farenheight. Nearly true at 100 C but obviously wrong at -40
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  #2  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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Down to age

Sadly this is down to age. I never understood metric when i was at school. It was all a bit like vitamins and grammes they were not invented by then. As for five a day it was what posh people did. Apparently 300 metres is 330 yards. My bike (Honda Transalp) only understands metric spanners not AF or even whitworth spanners.

I do feel like a dinosaur but I supect I am not the only one although we are a dying breed. Led Zep rock, who the hell is Amy winehouse?
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  #3  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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In the topic "do you gain or lose weight on the road"
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...e-weight-51979

The poll is in stones, I had to look that up.
14 pounds to a stone.

I have to remember that, "I only put on 1 stone". That sounds much better.
It must be whitworth.
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  #4  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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The British are the only nation that truly understand units of measurement and have given the world many very useful and apt ways of mensuration.

Where else could one order a mutchkin or firlot of grain ,sit upon a long or short faggot ,or plough a virgate .
Did you know that a rod is the same as a pole ?
A hide would support a family .
Or a hobbit is worth four pecks .

But the most valuable unit is the furkin [not to be confused with a firkin ], it can be used as a way of measuring and also it can be descriptive .For instance;
Too furkin hot , too furkin cold .
Furkin long or furkin short .
About furkin time .
You are furkin late .
That bike has a furkin loud exhaust .
It's a furkin long way to London from here ,I'd start from somewhere else ,if I were you .
The furkin is an ancient and very useful unit of measurement ,I recommend that you use it at every furkin opportunity .
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Last edited by Dodger; 2 Feb 2011 at 05:30. Reason: furkin forgot something
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Old 2 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post

But the most valuable unit is the furkin [not to be confused with a firkin ], it can be used as a way of measuring and also it can be descriptive .For instance;
Too furkin hot , too furkin cold .
Furkin long or furkin short .
About furkin time .
You are furkin late .
That bike has a furkin loud exhaust .
It's a furkin long way to London from here ,I'd start from somewhere else ,if I were you .
The furkin is an ancient and very useful unit of measurement ,I recommend that you use it at every furkin opportunity .
I thought we were getting a somewhat dusty post about rods and poles and perches (whatever they are) until I got to the bit above. It had me laughing out loud - no mean feat at 7.00am .

I would just mention though that the distance to London bit is only valid if you're starting from somewhere in Ireland
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Old 2 Feb 2011
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Thanks for the replies.

I never understood this fascination of Whitworth spanners. You are very unlikely to find a whitworth nut or bolt on an old British bike. Unless it screws directly into an aluminium casing it will inevitably be BSF, or possibly cycle thread.

Fortunately it is impossible to navigate in Metric, so you have teh ridiculous chaos of maps showing heights and depths in metres (which relate to nothing) and distances in nautical miles, time in non decimal as are latititude, longitude and the angle of sextant readings. It is little wonder they crashed a landing module on Mars due to part of the software operating in Imperial and part in metric. (hit the ground too fast as speed was measured in Meters per second and landing speed calibarated for Feet per second)
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Old 2 Feb 2011
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2 types of GPS coordinates have me furkin baffled, please don't tell me there is more!
When we talk about weather we use both types to suit, like its in the 80's when hot!
Other things sound bigger in metric tho!

In London using a car, we are close to measuring distances in days.
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Old 2 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Thanks for the replies.


Fortunately it is impossible to navigate in Metric, )
Not impossible, just pointlessly hard work. Do your angles in grad, your lengths in meters and the power used by your calculator in KW!

The universe is fabulously analogue. Go to some alien worlds and their pint will be the right size for their hands, their mile will tell you the size of their planets equator and they still won't have any use for an M11 thread. They might have metric, but oddly the half litre of will come in a pint glass, their 15 cm nails will all curiously be 2mm over length and just about anything reliant on volume will have odd bores like 32 and 76 mm.

Andy
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Old 2 Feb 2011
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A friend once calculated a machine traversing speed in furlongs per fortnight. He must have been bored.
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Old 3 Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by Joe C90 View Post
A friend once calculated a machine traversing speed in furlongs per fortnight. He must have been bored.

I think he may have been referring to one of my Diesel bikes
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  #11  
Old 4 Feb 2011
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  #12  
Old 5 Feb 2011
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Right- o Dodger the furkin is rampant

Just a few observations of mine . The excuse that one is too old to be able to grasp metric is really wearing very thin - how old ARE you if you cannot remember it from your youth?. I think you would have to be about 300years old by now , certainly in no shape to be riding or wrenching on bikes.
The Yanks are really bad in this respect , the unwashed masses seem to take it as a badge of honour ( HONOR) to be non-knowledgable about metric (ignorant ) yet their very own American units of measurement are all officially defined as standard sizes described in... in metric units.The US army and government sets all their standards in metric , then translate that back to English, o sorry American , units for publicity purposes And those yank units have such really original names since they fought a war of independence to show that they were truly free of the yoke of English opression Some seem to think that their lb,ft,yd,mi are actually holy and biblically derived units not to be messed with lest the sinner be smitten down.
And why is it that all the containers of oil, detergent,hamburgers have really weird measurements in very irregular increments? ...Because the manufacturers and retailers want to confuse the consumer and make it difficult to make easy price-per-unit comparisons between products. And since they do not want to be seen as raising prices the package size is regularly made smaller for the same price and advertised as being a new ¨convenient size.
Take motor oil for instance- yank marketed oil is done up in 936ml increments. the old US quart and even the Euro originated multi nationals suck up to this practice. Oil in Europe is sold in liter multiples. In both cases you have to buy oil to fill your engine which means that depending on what bike you have there will be any number of liters/qts and part liters/qts required so the actual size of the jug is irrelevant- but it would make things much simpler if they were selling the stuff in in the same units all over the world, since they rally already do all their science in metric anyway .
Now , in Central America as a vestige of the old US imperialism you have the confusing state of some countries selling gasoline by the US gallon , while other sell by liters, but all except Belize measure distances on the roads in km .Furkin silly
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  #13  
Old 5 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Right- o Dodger the furkin is rampant

Oil in Europe is sold in liter multiples. In both cases you have to buy oil to fill your engine which means that depending on what bike you have there will be any number of liters/qts and part liters/qts required so the actual size of the jug is irrelevant- ... .Furkin silly
The unwashed masses don't measure anything, they used sizes. A large glass of , a bottle of milk, the third spanner in the set, regardless of pint, litre, 13mm, 1/2-inch etc. The mess can be worse as it's perfectly possible to put a 1/2-inch AF head onto a bolt with an M8 or M6 thread so somebody call Duanne in Iowa a) doesn't have to buy new wrenches and b) doesn't realise the machine was made closer to Beijing than Baltimore. Now if Duanne looses a bolt he's going to be hacked off that he can't buy one at Walmart, but you just train the dealers to tell him it's anti-tamper or extra strong or something.

Oil isn't sold in whole litres which allows the con. The EU should step in and ban silly amounts in retail, a pint should be a pint, a litre a litre, not weird numbers designed to be both. I can work out that if a 4-litre bottle is £7.75 and a 5-litre of a different brand is £10.00, the smaller bottle is less per litre. If I need 5 litres for the oil change I have a choice. When 936 ml is £2.45 and 1-litre is £2.75 I need a calculator. The big supermarkets in the UK BTW have stopped this racket very simply, they show the £/litre on most things which is maybe the compromise.

Andy
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  #14  
Old 6 Feb 2011
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the reason people in london measure by time is because thats the principal defining and reasonably consistent unit. a mile can take half an hour in town, on the m3 at 2300 60 miles might take 50 minutes. at 0800 in the morning it could take 2 hours or more. if you need to be someonwhere for a certain time, distance is irrelevant, time is all.
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Old 6 Feb 2011
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Having worked on several Landies whose thread sizes seemed to depend on how much coffee I had had that morning vs how much the previous night, to now have an entirely metric truck is a breath of fresh air!

Some of its nuts are furkin tight though!

Anyone know why wheel sizes are still in inches???

Jason

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