It was caked in corrosion, encrusted with sea salt and littered with rocks when a Canadian discovered it buried on a sandy beach in British Columbia.
But the rusty Harley-Davidson that was built in York, and got washed away in Japan, is still mostly intact and on its way home.
Mechanics at the Steve Drane Harley-Davidson dealership in Victoria, British Columbia, determined the 2004 Softail Night Train's frame is "still good." And the engine and transmission cases, as well as the bike's front end, are "in good shape," a spokesman said.
On Sunday, they worked to prepare the bike for shipment to Japan and return it to its rightful owner Ikuo Yokoyama, a 29-year-old man who lost his house and three family members in the
Once the bike makes its way back across the Pacific Ocean, Harley-Davidson Japan will restore the bike at no cost before returning it to Yokoyama, the company said.
"(I'm) so glad that (the motorcycle) will be returned to me," Yokoyama said to the Japanese media.
During the last two weeks Harley has been working to track the bike's route, which has included thousands of miles, a natural disaster, an ocean and a few volunteers.
It started in Harley's York plant in Springettsbury Township, where Softail, Touring and Trike motorcycles are built. Then it was stored in a crate and shipped to Japan until the tsunami washed it away.
Last month, Canadian Peter Mark found it covered in corrosion on Graham Island and tracked the owner through a Japanese license plate.
"That island is so remote. We're very lucky an honest man lived there," said Marypat Blankenheim, Harley spokeswoman.
Upon Mark's discovery, Harley was able to trace its path by using the vehicle identification number.
"It suffered a lot of water damage, but not enough to keep us from determining it was a Softail made in York," she said.
The York-built bike traveled by boat from Graham Island to Prince Ruppert, British Columbia, where it then got a lift from Canadian motorcycle enthusiast Ralph Tieleman, a volunteer who transported the Softail by truck from Prince Ruppert to Victoria.
"It's been quite a story, but it's finally going home," she said.
- Reach Candy Woodall at 505-5437 or email@example.com.