Designer reinvents iconic Akira motorcycle


We recently talked about the 5 Classic Motorcycle Movies You Must Watch and in that list was the cyberpunk sci-fi anime Akira. Some of you may have watched this movie before and are intimately familiar with Kaneda’s bike, the bright red tourer / hot rod / superbike featured prominently in the movie.

The movie has been gaining traction again lately because, despite its release in 1988, it predicted the cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Additionally, cyberpunk games have become popular over the past two years, prompting people to revisiting the aesthetic and design idea explored in the classic film.

Many have created their own interpretations of the Akira bike in the past, with some even trying to build the bike for real. The latest is a reimagining of the motorcycle, using current or future motorcycle technology to make it a bit more realistic.

Concept artist Ryan Hong achieved such a reimagining. He submitted his renderings to Design Boom as part of their DIY call for applications.

A designer reinvents the iconic image of the Akira motorcycle

In creating his design, Hong took inspiration from the original creation but made changes to aspects that he deemed impractical in reality.

Hong’s creation is fully electric, using a combination of fixed and interchangeable batteries. The bike contains a lower fixed battery unit and two sets of interchangeable batteries on the sides for more power and range. This gives the rider more control over battery usage with less risk of overheating both sets of batteries.

A designer reinvents the iconic image of the Akira motorcycle

To keep the batteries cool, he installed nitrogen cooling to keep both engines cooler, even when running at high revs. We assume that these are the two cartridges at the rear that look like tailpipes. They work overtime when the bike’s supercharging system is on, the same way he gets a speed boost in the movie.

A designer reinvents the iconic image of the Akira motorcycle

The bike retains its overall aerodynamic structure. The long, curved fighter-plane-shaped windshield has been removed. Instead, it compensates with aerodynamic features around the headlight and duck fenders on the body. The air entering the air intakes at the front is directed to the sides of the body to cool the batteries.

A designer reinvents the iconic image of the Akira motorcycle

As for the pilot, he has a built-in GPS display to know where he is going. There does not appear to be a speedometer or other monitors for the battery level. But then again, the Akira bike has always been kind of a custom hot rod, which usually doesn’t have these features.

It may look like a real bike, but it’s actually a high-res render. We have to supply artist Ryan Hong with props to make it as real as he makes it, right down to the imperfections on the tires, carbon fiber surfaces and even the warning decals on the batteries. He even thought about technical aspects like power sources and cooling. It even has a center stand.

You can see more of Ryan Hong’s creations, like his epic Kei Truck, here.


About Todd Wurtsbach

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