Radio Chipstone: Tsunami Harley

Apr 22, 2017

She's rusted, her spokes are melted, and her gas tank is peppered with holes. Not the typical description of a motorcycle found in Milwaukee's Harley Davidson Museum. However this is not your typical bike.

In 2011 an earthquake and tsunami caused catastrophic damage to the Northeastern coast of Japan and its communities. The death toll reached nearly twenty thousand and many are still missing. Debris from the event washed into the ocean including a storage container, belonging to Mr. Ikuo Yokoyama.

One and a half years and 4,000 miles later, it was found on the coast of British Columbia, Canada by a beachcomber. In that container was the Harley Davidson motorcycle now on display in the museum. Natalie Wright is a curatorial fellow at the Chipstone Foundation, and in this edition on Radio Chipstone, she tells contributor Gianofer Fields the story of this iconic object of freedom and power and its journey across an ocean:

Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.