The 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Softail Night Train that floated 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from tsunami-wracked Japan will be enshrined at the Harley-Davidson Museum at the request of its owner.
Ikuo Yokoyama lost relatives and his home during the disaster, as well as a box truck containing the Night Train. The storage container was recovered on an island in British Columbia, Canada, by beachcomber Peter Mark, more a year after the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami, with the motorcycle damaged but mostly intact.
Harley-Davidson had originally offered to restore the lost motorcycle and return it to Yokoyama but the 29-year-old asked instead for the Softail to be preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to the 15,000 lives lost in the disaster.
“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,” says Yokoyama who still lives in temporary housing.
“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,” says Yokoyama. “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.”