Tsunami Motorcycle To Be Preserved By Harley-Davidson Museum

In accordance with the wishes of its owner, Ikuo Yokoyama, the Harley-Davidson(R) motorcycle, recovered on the coast of British Columbia after drifting for more than a year and 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean following last year’s tsunami in Japan will be preserved by the Harley-Davidson Museum(TM) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a memorial to the tragedy that claimed more than 15,000 lives.

The remarkable story of the 2004 FXSTB Softail(R) Night Train(R) motorcycle’s survival and recovery by Canadian Peter Mark made international headlines after he found it washed ashore on a remote beach on British Columbia’s Graham Island at low tide. Mark discovered the motorcycle, still bearing its Japanese licence plate, along with several other items, in the remains of an insulated cargo van container where the motorcycle was being stored by Yokoyama prior to the tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

Working with news agencies and representatives from Deeley Harley-Davidson(R) Canada, and Harley-Davidson(R) Japan, contact was made with 29-year-old Yokoyama, who lost his home and currently lives in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Harley-Davidson Motor Company extended an offer to return the bike to him and to restore it to running condition. Still struggling to rebuild his life in the aftermath of the disaster, which claimed the lives of three of his relatives, Yokoyama respectfully declined. Although grateful for the offer to repatriate his motorcycle and touched by the outpouring of support from Harley(R) motorcycle riders around the world, Yokoyama’s strong desire instead is for his bike to be preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum(TM), in honour of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the disaster.

“It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson(R) motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year,” said Ikuo Yokoyama. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to Peter Mark, the finder of my motorcycle. Due to circumstances caused by the disaster, I have been so far unable to visit him in Canada to convey my gratitude.”

“I am very grateful to Harley-Davidson for offering me an opportunity to visit the museum, and I would like to do that when things have calmed down. At the same time, I would like to meet Peter, who recovered my motorcycle, to express my gratitude. Finally, I would like to thank all people around the world once again for their wholehearted support of the areas hit by the earthquake and tsunami. I would like to ask them to help convey messages from the Japanese people about the tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was a disaster of historic proportions.”

Since its recovery, the Harley has since been transferred to Deeley Harley-Davidson(R) Canada, in Vancouver. Plans for its transportation to and display at the Harley-Davidson Museum(TM) are being developed.

21 Responses to “Tsunami Motorcycle To Be Preserved By Harley-Davidson Museum”

  1. 1 David Blevins May 25th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    A classy move by all parties involved. An interesting story indeed.

  2. 2 GuitarSlinger May 25th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    The story about finding this bike al the way in BC months after the Tsunami still boggles the mind .

    And what an appropriate ending to it as well .

    Two Thumbs Up to all involved

    Quite the apposite move

  3. 3 Fritz May 25th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    A lot of really good folks stepped up to the plate on this one.

    The gentleman in the photo is Steve Drane, chief of the local Vancouver Island H-D dealership. He had already offered to rebuild and return the bike before Milwaukee also very graciously stepped in. Steve is very much appreciated within the local motorcycle and business community and a really good guy on top of that too.

    Heartfelt condolences to Ikuo Yokoyama. Not only did he lose his bike, members of his family and his house but it looks like with Fukushima he will lose his home community and a good part of his local heritage

  4. 4 BrotherTiberius May 25th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    That story makes me wonder also what else might be floating out there in a cargo container…

  5. 5 U. Dick May 25th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    H-D should step up and give this guy a voucher for a new replacement bike. It would be great PR, besides a damn nice thing to do.

  6. 6 alan sharp May 25th, 2012 at 2:27 pm


  7. 7 Gunslinger May 25th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    @alan – I was thinking the same thing!

  8. 8 Dennis Crabtree May 25th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Poor thing just wanted to come home.

  9. 9 golfish May 25th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    great story ….

  10. 10 courtney May 25th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Wish the bike had been able to have been rescued the first time it had been found by Peter Mark –still upright & unstrapped in its storage container, along with golf clubs etc., lol!

    Wow, I agree, awesome story.

  11. 11 Marc Frantz May 26th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Steve Drane has always been a stand up guy and an awesome dealer!! God bless him for his act of kindness towards a “brother from another mother”!!

    I agree with U.Dick in his post above, in that it would be a tremendous gesture for Harley-Davidson
    to show up at Mr. Yokoyama’s temporary home in Miyagi Prefecture with a brand new Harley to trade for his contribution to the museum.

    Imagine what it would mean to him, with family members gone and nothing left of his life, and what it would mean to all the Harley owners around the world by having our beloved motor company show us that they truly lead the world as a global company. A story that anyone would tell their grandkids about.

    U.S. pride spanning all over the world. You couldn’t buy that kind of advertising, respect and goodwill.

    “We are family. We are global. We are Harley-Davidson” “JOIN US!!”

  12. 12 Gerry Meyers May 26th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Kenny at Deeley’s will do an awesome job of packing this bike up for it’s trip to Milwaukee. Great story would love to see photo of Yokoyama and Peter Mark beside the bike in the Museum. Give the bike a kiss for me Kenny.

  13. 13 Smittydog May 26th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    That thing is going to need a lot of work, good luck to the mechanics at the museum im sure they will do a great job.

  14. 14 Gio Santa Mamba May 26th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I don’t know Why, Tragedy make us believe and live as unity.

  15. 15 Mikes Hawg Paint May 27th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Amazing story!

    Instead of a restoration, they should just clean it up for display so it retains some of its oceanic adventure “patina”

  16. 16 Olive oil May 27th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    The latest I read in the Vancouver paper was that the bike will remain as it is and placed in the Milwaukee Harley museum just as it was found to commemorate all those in the Japanese Tsunami.

  17. 17 dragon May 28th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    H-D give the man a bike

  18. 18 Mazz BMHS Bike Klub Canada's Only Chopper Class May 28th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    The kids and I at Canada’s Only Chopper Class also offered to rebuild the bike, it’s cool to see what they have decided to do with it, a reminder of how fragile life is.

  19. 19 ValueTeck Enterprises May 29th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Yup, Dragon has it. Give him a new HD.

  20. 20 Curt! May 29th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I agree with dragon. Give the man a new Harley!

  21. 21 drew May 29th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    give the man a bike

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Cyril Huze