Not much is known about the specifics of Kaneda's power bike as little material has
been released featuring it. I don't know much about bikes myself so I can't comment
on similarities to existing models, but will bring you as much information as I can from
people who have built/are building prototypes and from existing sources.

This part of BBAKIRA has become a very popular section and is updated every few
months with others' contributions so check the Updates Page for latest developments


Akira Mechanix 2019


Visit the Akira Mechanix 2019 book section for further info on how Kaneda's Bike was inspired, deleloped and built for publicity back in 1988. A MUST SEE


Bandai Bike 1Bandai Bike 2Bandai Bike 2Bandai Toy Bike 1Bandai Toy Bike 2

The latest full-sized replica of Kaneda's Powerbike was showcased at Japan's
2004 Shizuoka Hobby Show. For those of us who can't afford the real thing, Bandai
have also released a detailed new 1/12 scale collectors toy.
 Pictures are property of Hobbylink Japan.


The 'Official' Power bike prototype

The closest I have come to finding a
blueprint for the power bike- this is the
back of a trading card. The thumb isn't
clear but the full image is excellent

The bike was made for official promotion
of the anime. This pic is from the Akira
Club book. Main pic includes detail of the
dash/display console

CG BikeCG Bike

Another picture showing bike inards



CG'd interpretations of the bike by Rene Garcia at Psychoform



Bike Blueprints

Bike Blueprints

Pictures of bike blueprints taken from the DVD
Bike Spec 1
Power Bike 'Spec' picture drawn by Akira fan John Jones
Bike Spec 2
Comprehensive and detailed specifications picture drawn up by Darryl Jolly



A number of people have been in contact with me regarding Kaneda's Bike. Some
people are particularly anxious for info and pictures because they are making replicas,
or they are working on related game projects.

Pictures of the bike:
To find plans/blueprints of the bike I can direct you to the book AKIRA MECHANIX
It is a rare Japanese book but I hope to supply pics at a later date from a friend
who said he'd scan them me. (Thanks PT) The following description is from PT

     "An Art and Film production book, with schematics of vehicles, production
     drawings from the film, deleted pages from the manga... character sheets
     and a detailed section on full size bike replicas...
     Very cool... Very hard to find... Cost me nearly 300!!"

In fact I've recently seen it sell for over US$500 in 2002/2003 (Krafty)

Making the Bike:
The following three people/groups are working on constructing replicas of Kaneda's
bike and the others have contributed some useful info on the bike's construction.
Those making the bike are in need official pictures of the bike, and serious theories
on the bike mechanics so this page is a discussion on those theories.

[Stephen] (Gyrotech Industries)   [Australia]

[Mike]   [California, USA]

[Mark]   [UK]

[Karl Alaska]   [USA]

[Joshua Irish] Electrical Engineer   Has theories on construction

[Drew Northcott]   Lead artist, Awesome Developments Ltd   [UK]

[Michael D]   Has a website on his construction of the bike,

[LP, aka Fire]

[Chris White]

[Troy King]   Mechanical Engineer   [Michigan, USA]

[Ben Lipkowitz]

Interesting Information:
Among the emails I received from these dedicated fans, here are some choice
questions and information. Please scroll down the page to read notes from each
person mentioned above:

"I was just curious, do you know how the engine works?  See, I am not sure if it is one
wheel drive with the engine in the frame, or if there are two independent engines in
each of the wheels, because that is what I think but like I said I'm not sure.
I was also wondering, are there any blueprints of Kaneda's bike and if the body is
made of fiberglass or what?

I am pretty sure that the base frame to Kaneda's bike is a standard Delta-Box
frame (common in racing bikes and fits with almost any design)."

"The model idea seems sound for the bodywork, but not for the frame. I've had some
new ideas for the frame, using a modified BMW Telelever system so that the handle-
bars could be raised, with minimum fork dive and it is also compatible with some
power steering systems in case the front became too heavy (which it probably will).

The rear wheel needs to be linked to the frame using a simple twin single-sided
swingarm arrangement (two independent SS swingarms on top of each other) with
the shock absorber running between them, or for compactness just in front of the
mounting hinges on the frame, connected with linkages.
It has taken me a long time to come up with the ways that this bike could be built, so I
recommend using a frame similar to what is used on most Ducatis in style, as it would
be light yet strong enough to allow the amount of space for the engine parts etc. Hope
you find this stuff useful cos it took me ages to come up with it."


Unveiling the Bike
I too, have seriously considered the construction of a replica of Kaneda's bike.
Had I all the requisite tools and a shop, I'd have started years ago.
Perhaps you would like to hear my musings on the subject.

-- [Mike asks] "I was just curious, do you know how the engine works?
I am not sure if it is one wheel drive with the engine in the frame, or if there are two
independent engines in each of the wheels?" --

If you listen to Tetsuo as he sits on the bike in the "back alley" scene, early in the
movie,he imparts quite a lot of pertinent information. The newest American release
has a better translation than the older one. I've got both, In fact, I just picked up the new
Collector's Edition DVD set. Horay for me! (Hence my renewed interest in the subject).

Tetsuo says that the bike has "Ceramic double-rotor two-wheel disk drive!" Which I
interpret to mean that in fact, the drive is electric, with four high-efficientcy "pancake"
flat disk motors powering the bike (two for each wheel). Indeed, since they are
ceramic, they may be super-conducting as well.
Tetsuo also says that the bike produces "200 horsepower at 12,000 RPMS!" And the
bike certainly has an internal combustion sound to it in the movie (it sounds to me,
in many scenes, as if they've used a V-8 exhaust sample for the effect).
   So, It's my belief that the bike has an internal combustion engine which powers a
dynamo, which then sends electrical power to the wheels (much as the new "hybrid"
gas/electric cars do). Since there is mention
of 'shifting gears above 5,000 rpm' I would also assume that there is some sort of gear
box between the engine and the dynamo, probably to give the rider more sense of
control, as he would be using a system he was already familiar with (not many motor-
cycles have automatic-shifting transmissions). If the powertrain were superconducting,
the time lag could be much shorter than with modern electrics, and would indeed feel
much like a manual gearbox rather than an automatic.

This leads us to an unfortunate conclusion: With existing technology, we cannot
replicate the powertrain. I have settled on a more conventional engine arrangement,
with the engine in front of the rider and between his legs. This means that this portion
of the bike will be less than 'authentic' but in my view, it will be necessary in order to
make a functioning bike.

Currently I'm trying to figure out a way to transmit the power from the front mounted
engine to the rear wheel, and so far all I've come up with is a rather convoluted system
of chains and idler sprockets that would run under the seat and up the back, to where
the swing-arm would mount (as you will note, the swing-arm mounts very high and at
an angle, much like an MX or motard bike, unlike the rather linear mounting of most
conventional road bikes).


The first thought I had when I heard this line was - twin rotor rotary engine.  Honda
made the RE5 (not successful) and Norton made Rotary design their own sweet
little concept in the 70s and 80s, even making police bikes with the concept.
Problem is, the rotor tips are fragile, but with flexible ceramic material (which doesn't
exist yet, but could in Akira's time) this problem could be overcome. Rotaries are
known for being extremely flexible when it comes to tuning, and, so I have heard,
efficiency (though fuel consumption can be a pig). I thought of Kaneda's bike being
rotary engine running a generator (which you'd need for all those electronics) with
power assisted steering running off the same engine.
The drive is electric cos when they pull off from the alley, there are sparks from the
(poorly insulated?) wheels. What'd ya all think?

-- [Mike asks] "Are there any blueprints of Kaneda's bike and if the body is made of
fiberglass or what?" --

"The bodywork on Kaneda's bike is probably just as exotic as the powertrain.
Carbon fiber is probably stone age technology to Kaneda and all the other
delinquents at Ward 8 Vocational School. I will probably work in fiberglass, because
it will be the easiest for me to work with, and the methods I will use will make for
relatively easy copies of body pieces so that if the cosmetics are damaged in a spill,
they will be easily replaced".

-- [Mike says] "I am pretty sure that the base frame to Kaneda's bike is a standard
Delta-Box frame (common in racing bikes and fits with almost any design)." --

"I think it's more likely that the frame is monocoque, and that most of the bodywork
(with the possible exception of the cowl) is integral to the structure of the bike.
This is the lightest and most efficient use of materials, especially if you have some
super-exotic-extra-light-stops-bullets-and-road-rash material for the body.

My first sketches used a down-tube "hoop" or "diamond" type frame, much like older
motorcycles, and virtually every Harley Davidson still made. This would make the
frame very narrow, as I had planned to use a transverse V-twin powerplant, this would
be more authentic, and easier to sit on, than say, a wide inline-4.
   However, upon reflection, I've decided that it would probably be much more flexible
and weaker than a steel trellis frame (like a Ducati or Buell) for the same amount of

-- [Mark says] "I've had some new ideas for the frame, using a modified BMW
Telelever system so that the handle-bars could be raised, with minimum fork dive
and it is also compatible with some power steering systems in case the front
became too heavy (which it probably will)". --

"I had not thought of a tele-lever system. Could one be modified or manufactured to
work at the required rake angles (which would be quite extreme)?
   Before It was stolen (and still incomplete, GRRR!) I had an old basket-case Harley
Sportster that was converted into a rigid-frame chopper. It had an 8" over stock length
front end and an extreme degree of rake. In fact, with the exception of the frame neck
being somewhat higher on the sportster, I'd imagined the steering geometry to be
quite similar to Kaneda's bike. And I can tell you, once you turned the front wheel
beyond a certain point, it would get far too "heavy" to hold up, and would "flop" over to
90 degrees from the direction of travel. Very interesting in a parking lot".

-- [Mark says] "The rear wheel needs to be linked to the frame using a simple twin
single- sided swingarm arrangement (two independent SS swingarms on top of each
other) with the shock absorber running between them, or for compactness just in front
of the mounting hinges on the frame, connected with linkages". --

"I've come up with a much simpler, and perhaps more practical solution.
At first I was thinking of ways to build the bike with a single swing-arm, but I don't
trust my own fabrication and engineering skills highly enough to feel safe with one.
Grafting on, say, a BMW shaft drive swingarm would be difficult (again, powertrain
issues) and expensive. A chain drive single swing-arm, like a Ducati 916/996 would
be ridiculously expensive, just the swing-arm would cost more than I'd planned for
the whole engine!
My solution is simply to use a more conventional swing-arm, from either a motard type
bike, or a resprung MX style rear-end. Kaneda's bike in the Manga does indeed have
a two sided swing-arm, so I don't think it's that much of a departure. The swing-arm
would of course be covered to look like the "real thing."

-- [Mark says] "I recommend using a frame similar to what is used on most Ducatis in
style, as it would be light yet strong enough to allow the amount of space for the engine
parts etc".

"I agree, that while it may get in the way a bit when it comes time to figure out the
bodywork, a steel trellis is probably the best way to go. So long as the geometry is
right, it's relatively easy to construct and much stronger than a "downtube" type
frame, which is pretty much your only other choice when fabricating with steel.
Stamped aluminum frames, as are found on most modern sport bikes, require a
great deal of tooling to produce, and while they're cheap and easy to create in
bulk, I don't see why anyone making a one-off bike would want to try this method.
Aluminum trellis would require a great deal of bulk in order to be as strong as steel
(compare a Susuki SV-650 to a Ducati M-750) and so would be difficult to mount a
body onto. Also, believe it or not, an aluminum trellis of equal strength is actually
heavier than steel (the aeronautical industry discovered this years ago, that is why
all cloth-covered planes have steel frames [many very old ones have wooden
frames, constructed before reliable steel welds were implemented]).

I do have one question though: Has anyone thought of a way to build a safe
articulation system that will allow the handlebars to raise with the cowling?
The Tele-lever idea has promise, if indeed one could be modified for the extreme
rake angle, but what about a more conventional tube style front end? I have some
ideas, but I'm not sure they'll work, or, if they do articulate and lock, I'm not sure the
handle bars will stay locked, secure, and flex-free while the bike is in motion".

Thanks a lot for all that detailed information Karl! 



The gentlemen discussing Kaneda's bike have rejected out of hand the idea of
building the bike as it is in the film. I see no reason to abandon such an effort.
In fact, my little brother is attempting to goad me into doing it myself, but as I know
very little about motorcycle frame building, I am out of luck.

As for the drive train, as an electrical engineer with an electric motorcycle in my
garage (not running currently due to financial....issues) I think that the bike is possible
with existing technology.  On to my notes:

1) "200hp" is a relatively meaningless term as electric motors don't operate in the
same fashion as an internal combustion engine.  Many electric cars have 30hp
motors, but remember that is there continuous rating.  ICE are rated by their
maximum, not continuous.
2) Kaneda's bike could be reproduced with 2 electric "wheel motors"(1 per wheel)
and a diesel generator package with a set of batteries for peak buffering.
This is existing technology (although few companies make wheel motors of such a
small size).
3) Another alternative would be to use Lynch Electric motors (
Supermotors. They weight about 50 pounds a piece but can put out a little over 20
continuous hp from 0-5000rpm. Expect about 40hp peak per motor.
It doesn't sound like much, but the fact that you never shift and you don't lose any
power in transmission (or very little since it is hooked to the wheel closely if not
directly). With a water cooling system, they might be capable of more.

4) Another alternative to the diesel generator is something coming from Freedom
Motors ( I am not too sure when these fellas will be out of the
prototype stage, but their motor is small, simple and versatile.
Using it for the power generator would be great because it can put out 60hp, weighs
60lbs, and can run on gas, diesel, kerosene, alcohol, or even hydrogen. Obviously,
some mods have to be made for carburetion and intake mixing.
If I could put together funding for this kind of a toy and knew somebody good with
motorcycle frames, I would definitely put this bike together. The real problem would
be to figure out how to drive it without killing yourself. 2 throttles for front and rear
wheels?? Consider also that the motors would have to be synchronized so that the
front didn't start going faster than the rear. This isn't too hard.
But sometimes, for stunts, you want to get the rear to go faster or slower than the front.
Hard to negotiate.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts on the subject.

Thanks for the thoughts and links Joshua. Let's hope others can gain something 
from this. Troy has made his reply in February 2003:


Joshua suggested building an electric bike just like the one in the movie, I agree.
The company American Superconductors makes
electric motors with outputs in excess of 5000 HP, using their high 
temperature superconductor (HTS) wire. They don't make any motors at the moment that could be applicable to kaneda's bike, but I can imagine you could create a 100 HP motor (one for the front and one for the back) or pair up a couple 50 HP motors on each end using the HTS technology. Just a thought. [Ben] Info added April 2004 Someone in Indiana not 20 miles from me invented a new type of electric motor that puts out ridiculous amounts of power and torque in a small package.check out:
such a motor could be built into the rim of the wheel and drive the axle - this is the reverse of normal. This configuration would require sliding electrical contacts, hence the sparking at high power levels. Also for a generator engine why has nobody considered gas turbine engines? Extremely lightweight, powerful, and of course futuristic. Power and efficiency go up with temperature and pressure in a gas turbine engine. Therefore, highest performance engines would be made of an extremely high temperature material such as high-purity alumina ceramic. Turbine engines with
separate gas-generator and drive turbine rotors ("dual-rotor") operate most efficiently for varying output load. A large-diameter turbine rotor, say 21 inches, would reach supersonic tip speed at approx 12200 rpm. A radial turbine/compressor such as the infamous "tesla turbine" would pack nicely into a bike like kaneda's. Such a bike could be on the market in ten years if someone actually tried - leaving just enough time for a nuclear holocaust to happen. Yay!
Please remember that many obscure details get lost in the transition from book to
film. Multiply that by bad english translation and things get ugly.



I have a Honda Hawk swing arm which I am planning to use. The layout of the arm means it will be easy to add a lever to make the rear shock line up to a strong enough part of the frame. The ideal is probably it flat along the lower line of the bike, Buell style, but that depends on how high the swingarm pivot point is.

The arm is also very square in cross section, which should make it easier to bolt on brackets for the "chaincase" The reason Karl's Harley suffered from 'fork flop' was to do with having too much trail, If the angles are right this can be avoided, but it is harder to avoid the problem as the forks get longer. I guess the best thing to do is to make everything as adjustable as possible.

I was thinking of using a version of the classic"springer" fork, with much larger diameter fork tubes than usual, and damping(which the originals don't have). It would be heavyish, but the unsprung parts shouldn't be much heavier than a normal telescopic fork. I have seen a lowrider which had *way* oversized rocker arms on a radical springer front end. This took the rocker arm pivot points very low and shortened the trail therefore lightened the steering (no 'fork flop'). It also threw the front wheel further forwards which should mean you could get the steering head lower and out of your eyeline. For the final drive I am considering either a long chain path with idler gears, or maybe a belt dirve which would be quieter and last longer. Yamaha have done a hydraulic drive on some of their team motocross bikes, which feeds power assistance, via kevlar hoses, to a small hydraulic 'motor' on the front wheel, (It's meant for beach races apparently), I guess you could use a similar system to get drive to the back wheel, hydraulic drives have been around for a while so I might well some further research on that one.

Thanks for the info Drew!



Some general points commenting on the bike's swingarms and power source by LP


Suzuki made a prototype two wheel drive dirt bike. I think it was a yellow DRZ, a 400,
with chain drive to both wheels a few years ago.
Bimota make single sided swingarms at the front that look similar on some models.
Honda make single sided rear swinging arms, VFR, RVF, BROS etc.
IF the bike was made as a fully functional working electric model it would probably
have to be nuclear powered.
A cheap equivalent would be any Honda gear driven cam engine.
Well silenced these engines can sound almost electric.

Thanks for your input LP. If anyone else has something to add, or can answer any questions, let me know and it'll get posted here.


For the best pages I've found on Kaneda's bike visit:
Meico's Alternative Motorcycle Design Homepage



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