New home is found for the ‘Tsunami Motorcycle’ that was recovered on Canada’s west coast a year after it washed ashore in the tsunami that hit Japan in March, 2011.
By Anne DT
Long time users of Farkle My Ride will remember this story about the Tsunami Motorcycle. The 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train had drifted 3,100 miles across the Pacific Ocean after being washed away in a storage container during the devastating tsunami that followed the Tōhoku/Fukushima earthquake that devastated parts of the nation of Japan on March 11, 2011.
The Softail had been owned for five years by 29-year-old Ikuo Yokoyama, who was storing it in a container when the tsunami hit. The motorcycle, still bearing its Japanese license plate, was found in the storage container washed ashore on Graham Island in British Columbia, Canada by local Peter Mark. Using the VIN and license plate, that was still attached to the bike, Ikuo Yokoyama was identified as the owner of the Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train.
Harley-Davidson offered in a show of corporate generosity and decency to restore and return the motorcycle to Mr. Yokoyama. Mr. Yokoyama who had lost three family members in the tsunami and had been living in temporary housing after losing his home, declined the offer. The Japanese motorcyclist did not want to receive any preferential treatment, citing the numerous other Japanese people that needed help far more than he did.
Instead of returning the motorcycle home to Japan, the owner of the 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train requested that the bike will be displayed in the Harley-Davidson museum in its rusty and corroded condition, as a memorial to the 15,000 people who died in the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Mr. Yokoyama says that he is hoping to one day visit Peter Mark who discovered his motorcycle on the beach in Canada’s remote Haida Gwaii region. Harley-Davidson has also offered to pay his plane ticket, so he can see his old bike on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI.
Ikuo Yokoyama’s Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle can be seen on display at the museum located at 400 West Canal Street in Milwaukee, WI. The museum’s hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., except Thursdays, when it is open until 8 p.m. For more information, please visit the museum’s website here. The following video is great to watch for those who can’t make the journey in person to see the Tsunami Harley at the museum.