Ikuo Yokoyama was just one man among hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, but his name will likely resonate with motorcycle enthusiasts for some time.

Yokoyama's 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train was in a container box that was swept away during the tsunami in March 2011, and it washed up on the shore of British Columbia where it was discovered almost a year later. His motorcycle is now on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the exact same condition that it was found on the remote Canadian beach back in April.

After the motorcycle was traced back to Yokoyama, Harley-Davidson offered to have the bike restored and returned to its rightful owner, but instead he has asked that the motorcycle be kept in its current tattered and corroded state and displayed as a memorial to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Yokoyama lives in the Miyagi Prefecture, which was one of the hardest-hit areas of Japan, and in addition to his motorcycle, it's reported that he also lost his home and three family members as a result of the natural disaster.
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HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM® UNVEILS TSUNAMI MOTORCYCLE
Motorcycle displayed at owner's request as memorial to tsunami victims

MILWAUKEE (Oct. 24, 2012) – Today the Harley-Davidson Museum unveils a special display featuring Ikuo Yokoyama's Harley-Davidson® motorcycle that drifted for more than a year across the Pacific Ocean following the tragic tsunami that devastated parts of northern Japan last year.

The 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train, recovered off the coast of British Columbia by Peter Mark, is being displayed at Yokoyama's request. He asked to have the motorcycle preserved in its current condition and displayed at the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

"We're truly humbled to display Mr. Yokoyama's motorcycle," said Bill Davidson, Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Museum. "This motorcycle has an amazing story to tell, and we are honored to be able to share it."

The remarkable story of the motorcycle's survival and recovery made international headlines after Mark found it washed ashore on a remote beach on British Columbia's Graham Island at low tide. He discovered the motorcycle, still bearing its Japanese license plate, in a container where the bike was being stored by Yokoyama.

Working with news agencies and representatives from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada and Harley-Davidson Japan, contact was made with Yokoyama, who lost his home and currently lives in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Still struggling to rebuild his life in the aftermath of the disaster, Yokoyama declined Harley-Davidson's offer to return the bike to him, although he was grateful for the offer and touched by the outpouring of support from Harley riders around the world.

The Harley-Davidson Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., with the exception of Thursday, when it is open until 8 p.m.

About the Harley-Davidson Museum

The Harley-Davidson Museum is located at 400 West Canal Street in Milwaukee and provides a glimpse of American history and culture like you've never seen it before – through the lens of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The Museum, a top destination in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin, is open year-round and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area each year. The 20-acre campus offers abundant and free parking, and includes Motor® Bar & Restaurant and The Shop. For more information on the Museum's galleries, exhibits, special events, tickets, and more, visit the new and improved www.h-dmuseum.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 122 Comments
      GR
      • 2 Years Ago
      I first read about this motorcycle and owner when the Harley was discovered. It was very generous of Harley-Davidson to offer a full restoration, but owner Yokoyama declined and instead asked for Harley to display it in its state as a memorial to those who died in the disaster. It's very honorable of Yokoyama given that Harleys are very sought-out and expensive items in Japan and a bike with this kind of history fully-restored would of had high value. I remember reading that after Harley agreed to display it, they then invited Yokoyama to visit the US to view it. He politely declined and said he would one day visit when things calmed down on his end. Today, I told my mother about this article and about Yokoyama and Harley-Davidson's offer. She had heard of the bike being found. When I told her about Yokoyama's decision to keep it in its state as a memorial, she cried. My mother is Japanese and we are survivors of the 1995 Kobe earthquake that killed over 6000 people, most of them in our city of Kobe. We know what it means to live through a disaster like this and to not forget it.
      Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think harley could afford to send him a new 2012 harley to replace it.
        phgoschke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim
        Who would want them to? This one is only slightly less capable than a new one.
      Randall E. Secrest
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yokoyama is an honorable man!!! Harley Davidson should be honorable as well… At NO CHARGE Harley should provide a replacement HD Motorcycle for Mr. Yokoyama. May the Creator bless Yokoyama eternally!
      advhqs6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Has Harley Davidson thought about giving Mr Yokoyama a new replacement bike? They've certainly gotten a lot of great free publicity from his story.
      palmspringslife
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm reading comments here and amazed. Particularly at janka51,tihipman who obviously have holes where their hearts should be. You people are morons. This man lost family, and home in that disaster. THANK YOU led FOR YOUR COMMENT. THIS MAN DOES HAVE CLASS AND CHARACTER.
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is an exhibit I'd really like to see.
      arenadood
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bikers are stereotyped as evil but the truth is 99.9% of bikers are great people.
      Mary Beth
      • 2 Years Ago
      If he still wants one, HD should give him a new one. Heck, I'd kick in some money for it and I bet a lot of others would too.
      EzinWy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice gesture.
      lineandbret
      • 2 Years Ago
      To honor your family and hardship as Ikuo Yokoyama has done is humbling to me. This has been a very touching story from the first day we all learned of Mark's discovery. It also has instilled in me a new respect of our cultures, one that I have lost over the past years. My brother was a canadian red cross worker who shipped out in the aftermath of this horrible time and who lost his life while doing so. i think he would have been very proud to know Ikuo Yokoyama. while this man will never be able to enjoy his family as he knew it at that time, he at least will know that we here in the United States will never forget the tragedy and hardship Japan endured and still endures today. I thank Ikuo Yokoyama for his donation to the Harley Davidson museum and I will visit it next month as a tribute to my brother. It was a generous donation and I also thank Harley Davison for bestowing a special place for this bike in their history books.
      talari
      • 2 Years Ago
      It shows the fragility of life, of the delicate balance of our life on Earth, how one moment can destroy the things that are important to us.
      Michael
      • 2 Years Ago
      Things like this are for real in Harley World. This guy is a good man.
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