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It’s hard to believe over three decades have passed since the release of 1988’s Akira manga movie. The Katsuhiro Otomo story is harrowing, visually overwhelming, and truly epic. Perhaps, even more than the tragic characters themselves, its Kaneda’s motorcycle that stands out the most. Among designers trying to replicate the bike in modern form, it seems Shanghai-based automotive artist, James Qiu has outdone just about everyone else. Qiu’s version gets the same low-slung silhouette and worn red coloring as the original, as well as LED lighting, huge Pirelli P-Zero tires in front and back, and a thoroughly modern head-up display. We also love the copious use of carbon fiber trim and the muscled quad short pipes protruding from the back. It’s just the kind of fantasy motorcycle icon that justifies a real build from a shop ready to take on the task.

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