When Harley-Davidson learned of the Japanese FXSTB Night Train that washed up in British Columbia a year after the Japan tsunami, they offered to restore and return the bike to its owner. Although greatly touched by this proposition, the bike’s owner, Ikuo Yokoyama, has declined to take the bike back. Instead, he has asked that his Harley be put on display in the Harley-Davidson Museum to remind visitors of the great tragedy that struck Japan in 2011.
A Harley Washes up in British Columbia
The Japanese Harley was discovered back in April by Canadian Peter Mark on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands. Mark, who was exploring a beach on one of the islands, happened upon the cargo container of a moving truck. Upon opening the container, Mark discovered the intact, but rusted Harley Davidson with Japanese plates.
With the help of some friends, Mark brought the motorcycle back into Victoria and contacted the Japanese consulate with hopes of tracking down its owner.
Ikuo Yokoyama’s Response to Harley-Davidson’s Offer
With the help of a Japanese Harley-Davidson representative, the bike was traced back to Ikuo Yokoyama of the Miyagi prefecture – the area of Japan hit worst by the earthquake and tsunami. The 29-year-old Yokoyama, like many others in his district, is currently trying to rebuild a life that was tragically washed away. At this point in his recovery, there is no room for the luxury of a motorcycle.
Yokoyama has expressed deep gratitude for the offer from Harley-Davidson, as well as the outpouring of support from Harley owners worldwide. After carefully considering what to do with the motorcycle, Yokoyama gave this response:
“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.”
Harley-Davidson has invited Yokoyama to visit the museum whenever he feels he is ready to make the trip to the States. In addition to someday visiting the museum, Yokoyama also looks forward to meeting Peter Mark and thanking him in person for finding his motorcycle and making the effort to return it.
Yokoyama’s Harley Heads to Milwaukee
Honoring Yokoyama’s wish, the motorcycle will be sent to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee where it will be preserved in its rusted and battered state. All parties involved with this amazing story seem to be satisfied with the outcome.
Peter Mark believes that “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.”
Bill Davidson, Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Museum, has graciously taken on the bike and has stated that “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.”