Motorcycle Types Cruiser Tsunami Harley to be Preserved

Tsunami Harley to be Preserved

2012-tsunami-harley-preserved-by-h-d-museum 1

Owner Ikuo Yokoyama Grateful for Support of Harley Owners Worldwide

A Harley-Davidson 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 Japanese Tsunami will be preserved by the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee as a memorial to the tragedy that claimed more than 15,000 lives, in accordance with the wishes of its owner, Ikuo Yokoyama.

The remarkable story of the 2004 FXSTB Softail Night Train 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 license 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 Canada and Harley-Davidson 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 offered to return his bike. But still struggling to rebuild his life in the aftermath of the disaster, Yokoyama respectfully declined. Although grateful for the offer to repatriate his motorcycle and touched by the outpouring of support from Harley riders around the world, Yokoyama requested to have it preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum in honor of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the disaster.

Ikuo Yokoyama says: “It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year. 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.

“Since the motorcycle was recovered, I have discussed with many people about what to do with it. I would be delighted if it could be preserved in its current condition and exhibited to the many visitors to the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to a tragedy that claimed thousands of lives. 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.”

Peter Mark says: “My heart really goes out to Ikuo Yokoyama and all the survivors of the Tōhoku earthquake and Tsunami for everything that was taken from them. I cannot even begin to comprehend the loss of family, friends and community.

“I think it is fitting that the Harley which was swept across the Pacific Ocean by the Tsunami will end up in the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to that tragic event. It has an interesting and powerful story to convey preserved in its current state.

“I look forward to one day meeting Mr. Yokoyama face to face. I would also like to express my gratitude to all those that have taken part in the retrieval of the motorcycle, especially Ralph Tieleman, Steve Drane, and Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada.”

The motorcycle was recovered by Mark with the help of friends and transported to Victoria with support from Ralph Tieleman and Steve Drane of Steve Drane Harley-Davidson. It has since been transferred to Deeley H-D Canada in Vancouver. Plans for its transportation to and display at the Harley-Davidson Museum are being developed.

Steve Drane (Owner, Steve Drane Harley-Davidson in Victoria, B.C.) says: “I’ve always felt Harley-Davidson motorcycles have a soul, and their owners obviously have an emotional attachment to their bikes. I just wanted to reunite this bike with its owner.”

Bill Davidson (Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Museum) says: “The Harley-Davidson Museum is honored to receive this amazing motorcycle to ensure that its condition is preserved and can be displayed as a memorial to the Japan Tsunami tragedy.”

2012-tsunami-harley-preserved-by-h-d-museum 2

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

Team RB Freestyle Randie and Birdman Motorcycle Stunt Riders

Hello Rider Readers, It’s Randie Raige of Team RB Freestyle here! Come take an inside look at tandem stunt riding with me. That’s right, two...

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts)

The Aprilia Tuono V4 has earned a reputation for being an uncompromisingly high-performance upright sportbike. Note that we didn’t say naked, as it has...

2021 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Lineup First Look: Adventure and Travel

Sporting two touring-oriented ADV motorcycles, the 2021 Moto Guzzi V85 TT lineup returns with some motor and electronics package updates, and a bit more....

2021 American Flat Track Schedule: 17 AFT Rounds Planned

The 2021 American Flat Track schedule has been revealed, and it features 17 rounds running from March to October, and coast-to-coast. There are four...

2021 Aprilia RSV4 and RSV4 Factory First Look (11 Fast Facts)

There are quite a few updates to the 2021 Aprilia RSV4 and RSV4 Factory. None of them are revolutionary. However, taken together, they add...

Honda CRF110F EFI Long-Term Test: 11-Year-Old Tested

When we got a hold of the 2019 Honda CRF110F, we were reluctant to give it back. Test rider Ben Karsian was cutting his...