Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    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.

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    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.


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    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.
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  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Several Views From The Road: Some random shots taken while riding a favorite road (i.e., River Road) on a very nice day recently. The first below is one of the few places where the road is straight for a bit.

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    Like many other roads in the state, it's called river road because it follows the course of a river. Below is a a short straight stretch thereof.

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    The above pic was taken from one of the few bridges across this river, which now blocks a tasty-looking trail into the woods.

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    It was a beautiful day with no wind, temps in the high 60s/low 70s, nary another bike or cage on the road and loads of green spring scenery.

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    And, to top it off, we got in some gravel on the way home, but that's another post/pic.
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - Sd.Kfz. 10: 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 fourth of these - the Sd.Kfz. 10 German half-track recon vehicle. Although not a tank, it also played an important role in WWII and could be found with and among German tanks on the WWII battlefield.

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    The German Sd.Kfz. 10 Sonderkraftfahrzeug was a specialized, half-track, motorized vehicle used mostly as an artillery prime mover, hauling such things as a FlaK 30 or PaK 36 anti-tank gun and respective crew. Some 14000 of these were built between 1938 and 1945 by various companies (in 7 different factories) who also manufactured variants for chemical detection and contamination, anti-aircraft weapons, etc. The vehicle had a 6-cylinder, 95 hp Mayback engine and could do 40 mph for 190 miles on-road or 93 miles off-road.

    The Sd.Kfz. 10 was unique among German half-tracks in that it had a hull rather than a frame. It had a semi-automatic Maybach Variorex-transmission with seven forward and three reverse gears. Both the tracks and wheels were used for steering with the tracks wheels suspended on swing arms with torsion bars. The front axle used more conventional leaf springs and shock absorbers.

    The Sd.Kfz. 10 served with German troops in N. Africa, Europe and Italy. It is estimated that only 30 or 40 of these still exist worldwide and the vehicle above is the only one on public display in the U.S.
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  4. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    that's some great looking scenery for a spring ride pops...
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  5. Ccieurzo

    Ccieurzo Been here awhile

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    One more steamer pic:
    IMG_2277.jpg
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  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Winner, winner, steam train dinner! Great photo!
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - Sd.Kfz. 222: 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 fifth of these - the Sd.Kfz. 222 light armored reconnaissance vehicle.

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    The German Sd.Kfz. 222 Leichter Panzerspähwagen was a light, 4x4 armored car built on the chassis of a Horch heavy passenger car. It can be argued that the Sd.Kfz. 222 was some 50 to 60 years ahead of its time with fully independent suspension, all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering. The vehicle had a rear-mounted 89 hp Horch V8, could go 52 mph (max) and had a maximum range of 186 miles. Some 2,394 were built between 1936 and 1944.

    The Sd.Kfz. 222s served as the eyes and ears of the a Panzer division, running ahead of the main force looking for enemy positions, ammo and fuel dumps or anything that would give the division the upper hand in battle. The vehicle performed well on paved roads, such as those in western Europe but was less effective off-road. It had a crew of 3 that often ate, slept, scouted and fought aboard the vehicle.

    The Sd.Kfz. 222 above was built in 1942, captured by the British in North Africa and is the only completely-restored vehicle of its kind in the world.
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just Chasing Trains: A pic taken during a recent train chasing episode. Didn't catch any moving power but had a good ride.

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    Chasing trains is but one of many reasons and/or excuses to go riding. Whether you catch one or not is mostly irrelevant.
    15's Pop, B10Dave, Shaggie and 4 others like this.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - M5: 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 sixth of these - the U.S M5 Stuart light tank.

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    The American M5 Stuart was a light tank built to relieve wartime demand for the radial aero engines that were used in the M3 light tank. It weighed 17.3 tons and used two, Cadillac flathead V8 engines with twin hydramatic transmissions producing 110 hp each. The M5 could travel 38 mph with a range of 100 miles. Some 8,885 were built by GM between 1941 and 1944.

    The M5 became the standard light tank of U.S. armored divisions throughout WWII and saw service in North Africa, Europe and the Pacific theater. The tank above was the very first tank acquired by the late Jacques Littlefield, whose collection is now the property of the Collings Foundation and displayed at their museum.
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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    What Is This Thing? I had just crossed the Deerfield River at Monroe Bridge, was riding up Depot Street and noticed this structure. You can tell right away that it was one of those older school/town hall type of buildings in need of some repair. Anyway, I stopped the bike, pulled the camera out of the tank bag, took the picture below and rolled on.

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    Later, when uploading the picture, the thing on the side of the building caught my eye. What is that all about?

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    Wiring? I've never seen any wiring like that - outside and exposed. Anyone have any ideas. I hate to ride all the way back there to find someone who knows, but I will if I have to.
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  11. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile

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    On the southern wall? My guess is homemade solar water heater.
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I am guessing you're correct. What else could it be? Good catch! Thanks!! If I am up that way again and somebody's actually out or in the town hall, I will ask.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    TGIF Train Fix: I always make it a point to stop by the yard to see if anything's up and about.

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    The C40 Dash 8 was up. The rest were hibernating.
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  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Another Inmate: Met another inmate up on the back roads of VT today. He gave me several usernames but I can't remember which was which. Perhaps he will reintroduce himself here so that we may follow his adventures.

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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - M3A1 Scout Car: 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 7th of these - the U.S M3A1 Scout Car

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    The American M3A1 was a light armored, open-topped, 4-wheel drive, personnel carrier that saw action in North Africa and Italy for scouting/recon work and as a command vehicle. It weighed 8,900 lbs and was powered by a Hercules JXD 6-cylinder , 110 hp engine. The M3A1 could travel 55 mph with a range of 250 miles. Some 20,918 were built by White Motor Company of Cleveland, OH, between 1940 and 1944. The armored body (.5 inch thick) was built by Diebold Lock and Safe company.

    The M3A1 Scout Car was typically armed with a .50 cal M2 Browning heavy machine gun and one or two .30 cal M1919 Browning medium machine guns, all mounted on a skate rail. In case you were wondering, the thing on the front bumper frame is an 'unditching roller' that prevents the front of the vehicle from digging-in to the opposite face of the ditch being crossed.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just Another River Road: Another 'bike on the road' shot taken on one of the many roads named 'River Road' in the state. Some are paved, some are not. This one is.

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    R2 and I once rode this one in the winter when it was covered in ice and snow. It is not likely I will do that again.
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  17. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

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    Nice to meet you I’m spinalcracker.
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  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Got it. Thank you for the reply to the old and forgetful. It was a pleasure meeting up with you and and having the opportunity to chat a bit. Look forward to seeing any/all pics you might want to share.
  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Seen On The Road - An Unusual House: With over 60 years of riding under my belt, I've seen a lot of houses, here and abroad. The other day, though, I am coming down this back road and see this strange thing right in front of me. I had to stop and take a pic. Shown below, it appears to be a primitive old colonial cape that was given a much newer, tall and skinny, Greek revival front entrance. Huh?

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    Maybe it's just me but I've never seen one of these before and have trouble believing it was originally built that way. Typically, an old colonial cape would look like the one below, which is on Green River Road in VT.

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    Sometimes these old capes had 2nd story windows and sometimes not, depending on how much money for windows the original builder or subsequent owner had.
  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Tank A Day Adventure - T-34/85: 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 8th of these - the Russian T-34/85 Model 44 medium tank.

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    The Russian T-34/85 Model 44 was a medium tank that formed the backbone of Soviet tank forces in 1944 and beyond. It was an up-gunned version of the T-34/76 with an 85 mm gun. It weighed 35 tons and was powered by a model V-2-34, 12-cylinder, 500 hp diesel engine. The tank could travel 33 mph with a range of 90 miles. Some 84,070 were built between 1943 and 1958.

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    The T-34/85 had armor up to 3.54 in. thick that reportedly had problems with the armor's build quality and the use of soft steel combined with shallow surface tempering. Aside from problems of reliability, the T-34/85 could hold its own against anything except Germany heavier Panther and Tiger tanks. Russian production rates for the T34 were much greater than that for any/all German tanks, giving the Russians the sheer advantage of numbers. It should be noted that the Germans utilized many captured T34s by reworking them to fit their specifications and standards.

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    When I first started taking a picture of the T34, there was a loud boom and it suddenly erupted in (fake) flame. That took me by surprise and I botched the pic of flames coming out of every opening. The pic above was taken as the flames were subsiding. As it turned out, every so often museum lights dim, a screen would drop down from the ceiling and a movie about tank battles would play. At a certain point in the movie, there is a tank battle that results in some museum floor theatrics like the T34 going up in flames. Great stuff if you're a WWII history buff.
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