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Tsunami Motorcycle and Owner Reunited

Ashley Benson

May 2, 2012 - San Diego, CA

If your motorcycle happens to be stolen anywhere in the United States, there's little chance you will ever see it again. If it happens to be washed away by a disastrous tsunami only to turn up on the shores of Canada a year later, turns out that you'll probably get it back. Ikuo Yokoyama, a 29-year-old resident of Yamamoto, and his long lost Harley-Davidson are proof of that.

While the Japanese tsunami disaster struck over a year ago, the debris that was washed out to see has been spotted making its way over the coast of the Americas leaving people wondering what we would find. The chance that anyone guessed a motorcycle would be the first to show up was probably about as great as winning the last mega millions lotto. Still, Canadian Peter Mark was combing the beaching on April 18 and spotted a rather large storage box littering the shore. One Mark was able to get it open, he found a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in relatively good shape.

Since the discovery of the aquatic motorcycle, Mark found the plates to be from Japan and the connection to how it ended up water bound became a sad realization. Up until recently, news on whether the owner had been riding it or had survived during the tsunami was unknown. After hearing about the bike, Harley-Davidson quickly went to work on tracking the vin number and the owner only to find that Yokoyama was indeed alive and very missing his two wheeled friend. Apparently, his ride had been in storage at the time of the tragedy.


To many non-motorcycle riders, the reconnection of this bike and its owner may seem like little less that good karma. But the rest of us know that it surely is a miracle and Yokoyama feels the same. After losing his home and three family members on that horrible day, Yokoyama has been living in temporary housing while trying to regain the life that was washed away. Though the loss of the motorcycle had only been the smallest of many of the troubles following that day, the return of it has brought back the memories of the five years he rode it around Japan before the tsunami.

While the motorcycle was in fairly good shape for having been at sea for over a year, it was obvious that the bike needs quite a bit of TLC to get it back into running order. And Yokoyama's luck continued to pour in when he received a call from Harley-Davidson offering to pay for not only the return of his bike to Japan, but for the restoration of it at the Japanese Harley-Davidson center as well.

After traveling by water for 3,000 miles in over a year, all Yokoyama can say is, "Thanks for coming back, buddy." On another note, though Yokoyama was slightly more excited about getting his motorcycle back, Mark also happened to find the young man's golf clubs among the mess.

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