Ever since the release of Katsuhiro Otomo’s fantasy-based cyberpunk epic, AKIRA, in 1982, the world has dreamed of a day where Kaneda’s jet-like street rocket would be adapted from a manga-based moto into a living, breathing platform. While a worthy project has yet to be produced, we’ve come surprisingly close with a handful of different renders, designs, and visualizations, including this beautifully-imagined example from Shanghai-based automotive artist, James Qiu.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for artists and engineers, alike, when it comes to the AKIRA-inspired cycle, is the ability to adapt a contemporary platform for elongated use, especially since the bike’s rear end raises a handful of questions that can’t be answered by traditional moto design. The closest we can get is Ducati’s Diavel platform, which looks to be the basis atop which James Qiu’s bike was built. It features the original’s unique raised subframe and seating area, a jet-inspired cockpit outfitted with carbon components, valves, pipes, and a heads-up-display, and adheres to the iconic design set forth by Otomo over 35 years ago, thanks to its futuristic LED lighting, Pirelli P-ZERO rubber, and aesthetic stickering. Regardless, if someone were ever to bring the bike to production, we’re hoping that they give Qiu a call for the project. Head to the designer’s Behance to learn more.