Earlier in May this year, 32 year old Peter Mark discovered a Harley Davidson motorcycle on the coast of British Columbia while he was riding his ATV. After inspection, Mark realized that the HD motorcycle lying in the white trailer had traveled across the Pacific ocean, just like other debris which was piling up on the Canadian coast, thanks to the Tsunami which ruined Japanese East Coast last year in March.
Within a matter of hours, the story became news headlines the world over. Everybody, especially Harley Davidson fraternity, was now looking for owner of this Harley Davidson motorcycle which carried a license plate of Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst affected areas where 10 meters high Tsunami waves were recorded and 11,000 people were dead or missing.
Two days after Mark found the Harley, its owner, 29 years old Ikuo Yokoyama was found surviving in a government shelter. When Ikuo was told about his HD motorcycle, his joy had no bounds and tears of joy started flowing from his eyes. In the last one year, Ikuo had lost his house and family, so the smile brought on his face by the Harley Davidson, was really something.
The Harley Davidson motorcycle owned by Ikuo was a 2004 FXSTB Softail Night Train. Obviously the 5,000 kms long journey across the Pacific ocean had killed the motorcycle. It was believed earlier that Harley Davidson would be restoring the motorcycle to its original glory and ship it back to Mr Ikuo. But this seems impossible now. So Mr Ikuo has now requested Harley Davidson to add this motorcycle to their collection at their museum in Milwaukee.
Mr Ikuo said, “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 too would like to meet Ikuo one day. He said, “My heart really goes out to Ikuo Yokoyama and all the survivors of the 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.”
Mr Bill Davidson, VP, Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, said, “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.”