Tank A Day Adventure - BMW R75: At the onset of Memorial Day weekend, I rode to the Collings Foundation's, newly-opened American Heritage Museum and spent some time photographing and obtaining information on each exhibit. Below is the third of these - the BMW R75 recon vehicle. Although not a tank, it played an important role in WWII and could be found among German tanks on the WWII battlefield. The R75 was undoubtedly one of the most iconic motorcycle and sidecar rigs in WWII. The sidecar was permanently attached to the motorcycle with a shaft-driven sidecar wheel. The rear wheels were fitted with a locking differential and selectable road and off-road gear ratios through which all four and reverse gears worked. This made the R75 highly maneuverable and versatile and were used in North Africa, the Med, and both Eastern and Western Fronts. The motorcycle had a 750 cc, 26 hp, OHV boxer engine with a top speed of 58 mph and a range of 215 miles. The sidecar could be equipped with a machine gun mount. Germany built some 16,510 of these units until the factory in Eisenach was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944. The shaft-driven R75 was so reliable and successful that the U.S. Army requested Harley Davidson build something similar. This request led to the Harley Davidson XA, shown in the (internet) photo below. The XA was Harley's first (and last, to the best of my knowledge) shaft-driven, boxer-engined motorcycle. The XA's engine, however, was not based on the OHV R75 engine , but on the flat head R71. It should be noted that after decades of V-twins, inline 2s, inline 4s and stump-pulling Goldwing 6s; we now have a 5-year running preference for the BMW boxer, wethead version.