Mike was captivated by the biker gang chase in the classic anime.
Having grown up in Harlem, Mike, a.k.a. Clutch First NY, was no stranger to motorcycles. Between MotoGP racing and the outlaw "riding dirty" culture of kids tearing up streets on unregistered dirt bikes and ATVs, he was clearly familiar with them. They just didn't inspire him. That is until he saw the classic anime Akira.
Everyone who rides has some spark that got them interested. For some, it's an experience or a person in their life who rides. For others, it's TV or movies. An entire generation started riding because of Easy Rider. Many of today's adventure riders got their start after seeing Long Way Round. Me, I saw way too many car chases on CHiPs where Ponch and Jon weaved through traffic to catch bad guys and save the day.
Akira isn't so much a motorcycle movie as it is a movie that features motorcycles. A rivalry between biker gangs in Neo Tokyo features prominently, of course, but motorcycles aren't the point of the movie. That didn't stop Mike from being genuinely captivated by these scenes to the point where they inspired him to ride motorcycles for himself.
Among the reasons why Mike is such a big Ducati fan is how good they look in red—the same color as Kaneda's bike in Akira. As he intersperses scenes from the movie with scenes of himself riding at night through Times Square, you can definitely see the resemblance, minus the high-speed biker gang fights.
Akira inspired more than just Mike's love for motorcycles, though. It gave him a great appreciation for this style of art and inspired him to pursue the arts himself as a career. He believes the artists for the movie knew and understood motorcycles themselves, because they captured how they look, sound, and feel perfectly. It takes a great deal of skill and talent to accurately convey that in pictures, and is something Mike has aspired to himself.