Kaneda’s red bike from Akira has become an iconic image in global entertainment, with homages to the “Akira bike slide” scene in everything from dozens of other anime to Ninja Turtles and the animated Spiderman. Those who haven’t actually seen the anime have probably seen the red bike. Throughout the years, fans have tried customizing bikes to resemble the iconic red machine, with varying degrees of success. The bike created by Barcelona-based design company Bel y Bel, however, is the most successful attempt so far.

We talked to Bel y Bel online to find out more.

The Art of Upcycling

Bel y Bel was founded in 2005 by Carlos and Jesús Bel. The co-founders have always been into motorcycles, bikes, scooters and classic cars, often upcycling old machines into custom furniture such as their Vespa office chair.

“We see ourselves as artists and upcyclers, blending retro aesthetics with new technologies. Our inspiration comes from the world of automotive and past motorcycles, creating new pieces with a renewed meaning and functionality,” they told Tokyo Weekender.

They also confirmed that they are both fans of Akira Torayama, creator of Dragonball, and Katushiro Otomo, the man behind Akira. Combining their passion for vehicles and anime was only a matter of time.

anime bike dragon ball

Bringing Anime to Life

In 2020, Bel y Bel created two vehicles from Dragonball — Bulma’s Capsule No. 9 motorcycle and Lunch’s pink monowheel. After receiving positive reactions from fans, Bel y Bel was geared to make the ultimate fictional bike a reality. They started working on Kaneko’s bike from Akira in 2023 and unveiled a successful prototype in January 2024. The first build was a hybrid of a Yamaha combustion engine and an electric motor. The following updated version will be fully electric.

“The manufacturing materials are diverse, primarily metal for the chassis and some body covers. We also used fiberglass and carbon, along with electrical components and various LED lights,” Bel y Bel explain. They continue, “It includes a digital panel with all lights and controls integrated, rear and front air suspension, perimeter LED lights on both wheels, a front pop-up light, speed fibers (full fairing of fiberglass and carbon), 17″ rims and Moto GP slick tires.”

Photo credit: Brazo De Hierro and Marc Flaquer

How to Get Your Own Akira Bike

Here’s where fans’ hearts will start to beat faster: Bel y Bel is already building two more of these bikes ordered by other parties. The designer duo plans to create a limited series available for purchase before the end of this year.

Everything is custom-made, so to order an Akira bike you need to contact Bel y Bel via their website’s contact form. A down payment of €5,000 is required to start production, while the rest of the cost (estimated to be €24,000) can be paid later via installments.

The Vespa chairs by Bel y Bel

More About Bel y Bel

Follow Bel y Bel on Instagram to see the process of creating the bike. The company often posts videos of it in action.

Go to the firm’s website to check out its other projects such as the aforementioned Vespa chairs which were recently added to the Google offices in New York and Milan.

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