A view of Bel & Bel's "Akira Bike Project." Media provided by Bel & Bel.
Bel y Bel (Bel & Bel) Akira Bike Project began with a single, Yamaha-powered prototype
The series to follow this prototype will be electric, with debut expected later this year
Price is listed around $26,287 USD with ~$5,000 USD deposit required
Everybody has a different reason to ride.
Some might wish to carry forward their family’s biker legacy; some hunt for the ultimate adrenaline rush, while others are just looking to save a few dollars on the daily commute.
I myself began riding only a handful of years ago, but my love for bikes began almost a decade before that when I first set my eyes on the Japanese cyberpunk action film, “Akira” (1988).
About the cyberpunk film “Akira” (1988)
Secret military projects, ESP experiments, biker gangs, and an atomic climax aren’t even half of what this flick has to offer. A highlight of the plot, for me, is the camaraderie of a vigilante bōsōzoku gang that calls themselves “The Capsules.”
As you can imagine, a high-octane sci-fi film like this has the Capsules pulled into conspiracies that threaten humanity and, consequently, the world as they know it.
Amidst the chaos and beautifully depicted scenes of carnage lie a series of frames where one of the gang’s main guys, Kaneda, swoops in on a swanky machine called “Shotaro.”
About the original Akira motorcycle
Kaneda’s two-wheeled choice is a blood-red bike that sits so low – and so far back – that “cruiser” aesthetics lean more toward “recumbent.”
To the slightly unrealistic visuals, we add Shoei, Arai, and U.S. Air Force stickers. Akira fandom’s website also points out the following hardware/specs for Shotaro:
Ceramic, double-rotor, two-wheel disk drive
Electronically controlled Anti-Lock Brake System (a pretty advanced concept for 1988)
200hp, no torque designation
A gearbox case and the appearance of electricity at the front tyre suggests this motorcycle is a turbine-electric hybrid
Cool fact: Shotaro’s pipe notes were pulled from an actual MiG-21 fighter jet and merged with a recording of a 1927 Harley-Davidson.
To this was added fiberglass/carbon fiber fairings and 17’ wheels shod in race rubber, while the generous 78.74” wheelbase was added between the front and rear tire.
The whole caboodle purportedly weighs a surprisingly scant ~374 lbs.
Are Bel & Bel taking orders for future Akira bikes?
Heads up, the next models will be a bit different from the prototype we’re covering in this article. Coverage from Janaki Jitchotvisut (RideApart) shows that the next generation of Bel & Bel Akira bikes will feature the following, among other things:
A fully-electric rear hub motor capable of 5000w and 72v, though Carles says we can “mount more power and more battery if necessary”
A range of about ~64 miles on a standard 60AH battery
~75 mph top speed
Three speed maps
Expect the new series of Akira bikes to come through sometime this year; Carles tells RideApart that each bike will cost around €24,000 ($26,287 USD), with a required deposit bringing that price up by €5,000 ($5,475 USD).
What do you think of the Bel & Bel Akira Bike Project?