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A Concept Artist Turned a Ducati Diavel into the Iconic Akira Motorcycle

Photos: James Qiu

Originally debuting as a manga in 1982, Akira is a legendary Japanese franchise that’s gone on to spawn numerous films and video game properties. Created by Katsuhiro Otomo, the Akira franchise is almost certainly best-known for the futuristic motorcycle ridden by its main character Kaneda. And while the Akira bike has gone on to inspire a host of tribute builds and designs, few if any are as impressive as the Ducati-based render from Shanghai-based concept artist James Qiu.

Constructed around Ducati’s Diavel cruiser model, Qiu’s Akira tribute utilizes the Italian donor’s trellis frame and L-Twin engine, though the former has been built up with additional framework to support the rider’s back while the latter has received a set of turbochargers. Spitting spent fumes from a dual Termignoni silencer setup linked to blued titanium headers, the project also sports a slew of carbon fiber elements, a single-sided swing-arm, and an 80s-inspired neo-retro display setup. On top of boasting numerous Ducati signature design elements, Qiu’s Akira tribute also features many of the key hallmarks of Kaneda’s original two-wheeler from the manga, such as the massive front intakes and oversized spherical Pirelli P-ZERO tires. The render’s headlight has also been set in the front wheel, while a set of belly-pan-mounted LEDs provide additional lumens.

Overall, Qiu has done a phenomenal job delivering a Ducati-based Akira bike, with the design being made all the more impressive by the meticulous level of detail in which it’s been rendered. And, while it has no official connection to this project, seeing Qiu’s work makes us extremely excited to see the vehicles in the franchise’s forthcoming film installment.

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Photo: James Qiu
Photo: James Qiu
Photo: James Qiu