Ikuo Yokoyama's Tsunami Motorcycle to be Preserved at Harley-Davidson Museum
Posted on May 26, 2012
Ikuo Yokoyama's Harley-Davidson motorcyle traveled 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean following Japan's devastating Tsunami on March 11, 2011. The motorcycle still contained the license plate when it was found inside an insulated cargo van container by Canadian Peter Mark on a remote beach on British Columbia's Graham Island at low tide.
Working with news agencies and representatives from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada and Harley-Davidson Japan, contact was made with 29-year-old Yokoyama, who lost his home and currently lives in temporary housing in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Harley-Davidson offered to return his bike. But still struggling to rebuild his life in the aftermath of the disaster, Yokoyama respectfully declined. Although grateful for the offer to repatriate his motorcycle and touched by the outpouring of support from Harley riders around the world, Yokoyama requested to have it preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum in honor of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the disaster.
Yokoyama says, "It is truly amazing that my Harley-Davidson motorcycle was recovered in Canada after drifting for more than a year. 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. 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."