Tsunami Harley-Davidson owner gives bike to museum
By: Web Editor
A JAPANESE registered Harley-Davidson bike found washed up on the coast of British Columbia a year after the tsunami has been gifted to the H-D museum in Milwaukee by its owner, Ikuo Yokoyama.
The 2004 FXSTB Softail Night Train machine is to be preserved as a memorial to the tragedy that claimed more than 15,000 lives, in accordance with the wishes of Mr Yokoyama.
Canadian beachcomber Peter Mark made international headlines after he found the bike washed ashore on a remote beach on British Columbia’s Graham Island at low tide. He discovered the motorcycle, still with its Japanese licence plate, along with several other items in the remains of an insulated cargo 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 Mr Yokoyama, who lost his home and currently lives in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
Harley-Davidson offered to return his bike, but although grateful for the offer to repatriate his motorcycle and touched by the outpouring of support from Harley riders around the world, Mr Yokoyama requested to have it preserved in the H-D Museum.
“It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year,” said Mr Yokoyama. “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.”
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