Japanese man claims motorcycle that washed up in Canada
A Canadian man says he found this Harley-Davidson in a storage container on a British Columbia beach in April.
May 2nd, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Japanese man claims motorcycle that washed up in Canada

A Harley-Davidson motorcycle believed to have traversed the Pacific Ocean to western Canada after being swept from coastal Japan during a March 2011 tsunami has been claimed by a Japanese man.

Ikuo Yokoyama, 29, of Yamamoto, Japan, says a Harley-Davidson representative tracked him down after the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ran a story about the bike, which was found in a storage container on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands, the CBC reported.

Harley-Davidson now intends to restore the bike, which had rusted but still had its Miyagi Prefecture license plate, and send it back to Yokoyama, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Wednesday.

Yokoyama, who NHK reported lost three family members and his home in the disaster, said he was "so glad that (the motorcycle) will be returned to me.”

“I would like to thank the man who found my bike in person,” Yokoyama said in an NHK interview aired on the CBC.

Peter Mark, a Haida Gwaii resident, told the CBC that he found the container - and the motorcycle, golf clubs, camping equipment and tools inside - on a beach on April 18.

“First I thought, this has got to be the craziest thing anyone has ever found,” Mark told the CBC. “Then I looked a little closer and the license had Japanese writing on it. The wall of the trailer had Japanese print on the tags. And the first thing that popped into my head was this is likely from the tsunami in Japan.”

Thousands of people in Japan were killed on March 11, 2011, during a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami. The tsunami swept an enormous amount of debris from the island nation into the Pacific.

About 70% of the debris sank, according to Japanese government estimates, and no one knows how much of the remaining 1.5 million tons of debris still is floating in the Pacific.

But U.S. officials say some items from the disaster may be washing up on North American shores, thousands of miles from Japan, and that residents along the North Pacific should expect reports of debris to increase and continue over the next couple of years.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there is no current "debris field." Rather, items, large and small, are scattered over a huge swath of the North Pacific and may make landfall intermittently.

Last month, CNN reported that a soccer ball found washed up on a remote Alaskan beach apparently belongs to a Japanese teenager. And the U.S. Coast Guard fired on and sank a rust-stained fishing trawler - swept from Japan by the tsunami - in Alaskan waters, saying that the unmanned vessel was a hazard to mariners.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Canada • Japan
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Aeromechanic


    Thats NOT a Sportster. It has a soft tail chassis. It looks like some sort of custom.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Not a Harley fan but I have to say; this is really cool of Harley to do. I especially like that they are restoring the bike and not just giving him a new one.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. choppertrash

    I commend the Motor Company for their plan to get the bike restored and back to Mr. Yokoyama.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. mr.m

    This is great news for once. I am sepecially happy HD stepped up and will make this guys future brighter and can go on riding his bike . BRAVO HD.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jimmy S.

    Outstanding. And to the complainers.... get real. all the time raggin about compassion and humane action....save this save that.... GROW UP AND START LIVING WHAT YOU PREACH!!!! Congrats to Harley D and the man who found it and started the process

    May 3, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

    Harleys are the bottom of the barrel in the bike world. That is if you care about anything more than a name and trying to look tough on the weekends. That said this was a smart move by HD. Clearly a PR stunt but none the less a win, win for both parties.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      "Harleys are the bottom of the barrel in the bike world."

      Agree... but they are made in America [BFD].

      May 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      Yeah a heck of a stunt! HD planned a 9.0 earthquake, that would kill thousands of people and send a debris field across the ocean, including a worn out old HD in a POD conatiner, jus tso they could have it restored and sent back across the ocean. Wow! HD have some kind of PR machine there huh? Bottom of the barrel? Not sure where you live or what you ride, but if its anything bigger than a Moped I would be surprised. You obviously dont know anything about bikes...

      May 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • rashid

      Harley is stepping up here, nice job. Also note that HD is heavily involved in a variety of charities. Ya, its an underpowered, overweight, overpriced bike, but that's the way the tribe likes 'em.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul in NorCal

      Just one beauty of being American is the right to your own opinion, which you have expressed, another is the ability to utilize free speech and tell you the you are shallow minded wannabe who probably rides some overpriced eurotrash or crotch rocket and subscribes to every "speed" magazine and site out there analyzing the technical abilities of your dream bike and flaunt it in and out of traffic – see you wrapped around a light pole soon moron...

      May 3, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • rashid

      Harley is being a good corporate citizen here, nothing more. They're treating one of theirs right. I hope they make a big deal out of it and it gets plenty of coverage. HD is a good company and helps customers the best it can, no matter how much they whine. Much of their customer base think Eisenhower is still in the White House.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      dismissing an act of generosity to a poor guy who probably had his life destroyed (not to mention probably quite of few of his friends and family) as a "PR stunt" is completely ridiculous. When your life gets destroyed and your favorite posessions lost, I hope you're as quick to dismiss the generosity of a company who tries to lift your back up as a "PR stunt"

      May 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    Everyone's griping and fussing about the tsunami trash wash-up but it's likely going to be a bonanza for junk collectors and inveterate dumpster divers. Can't wait...

    May 3, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. dennis murphy


    May 3, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. JonfromLI

    You'd think Harley Davidson could do a little more for the guy than just restore his old bike. The man lost three family members and his home for G-d's sake. A little charitable contribution to help get him back on his feet wouldn't be too much to ask, would it?

    May 3, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • andres

      Hey YOU listen up, There is no end of the good you wish to do with other people's money is there? If you are so damn concerned about the other aspects of his life, they YOU help him out.

      Harley is doing a great pr job, The man is benefiting from it. Get a life

      May 3, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • PoopDolla

      you must be black or something...did your house get destroyed by Katrina too? people are sad these days...oh poor me, please send money...and lots of it...

      May 3, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. snowdogg

    And it started right up on first kick!

    May 3, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. kizi420

    You know with all the depravity in the news these days baby raping;murders all kind of stuff its nice to see that there are a few decent people left scattered acrossthe world. nice story maybe compassion and good will will spread.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      Keep the faith, kizi420! I believe there are more good people than bad. For some reason, "bad" news sells and that's why we hear more negative than positive.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. bezerker

    It didnt surprise me to see the Harley hating trolls to appear on a positive story for a change. Regardless of your tastes and how you grew up Harley will always be a American icon. A company who will be celebrating its110th birthday next year. They obviously did something right without a bail out.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      You should look a little more closely into the company’s history sir.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fiona

    To the guy who says this is about "compassion", on the part of HD: bollocks. As nice as it s that (restored) motorcycle and owner will be reunited, this is a PR gesture and major marketing opportunity for HD. I predict a commercial featuring bike and owner. Perhaps one of those one-time Super Bowl ads.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      Instead of complaining you might want to look at it from the point of view that every act of compassion has a self interest and extrapolate to a nation that has compassion for its least advantaged citizens. It is good to do good.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. palintwit

    I too commend Harley Davidson for their help. Now if they could just think of a way to help us get rid of the Palins...

    May 3, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Marko

    I commend the company who made the container. Adrift in the Pacific for over a year! Remarkable!

    May 3, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. JS

    Anyone hear about this, media is suppressing news!!!

    Wave after wave of young men surged forward to take turns punching and kicking their victim.

    The victim's friend, a young woman, tried to pull him back into his car. Attackers came after her, pulling her hair, punching her head and causing a bloody scratch to the surface of her eye. She called 911. A recording told her all lines were busy. She called again. Busy. On her third try, she got through and, hysterical, could scream only their location.

    Church and Brambleton. Church and Brambleton. Church and Brambleton.

    It happened four blocks from where they work, here at The Virginian-Pilot.

    The next day, Forster searched Twitter for mention of the attack.

    One post chilled him.

    "I feel for the white man who got beat up at the light," wrote one person.

    "I don't," wrote another, indicating laughter. "(do it for trayvon martin)"

    Search on 'couple beaten in norfolk' – STOP MEDIA CENSORSHIP!!!!!

    May 3, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
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