[UPDATE, January 12, 2024: Carles Bel was kind enough to answer some questions about the Kaneda's Bike project for RideApart. Read what he had to tell us about the bike here.]

Original piece follows.

Great art is a conversation. It's not just "here's this thing I painted, take a look at it and go home." It moves you. It sticks in your mind, and perhaps influences you in ways both seen and not. Those who are in other creative professions may find that it informs their work in some way, and may even reference it from time to time in the backs of their minds.

Some artists keep their influences quiet, while others prefer to shout them from the rooftops. Bel y Bel is a creative studio driven by its two founders, Carles Bel and Jesús Bel (no relation). Like many design creatives in the current era, along the way, they discovered their shared appreciation for the works of globally-renowned manga and anime master Katsuhiro Otomo

Since founding Bel y Bel in 2005, the pair have mostly focused on upcycling scooter and classic car parts into new, functional designs. Many are office furniture, like the Vespa office chair or the Sofa 600, which is built from the front and additional pieces from a Seat 600 Model D. The upholstery itself was taken from the seat of another Seat, the Seat 124.

That's one primary purpose that drives Bel y Bel, but it's far from the only one. In 2020, the firm decided to bring the Akira Toriyama-penned Bulma's Capsule No. 9 motorcycle and Lunch's monowheel to life as full-size creations. Here you can see a video shot at the 25th anniversary edition of the Manga Barcelona convention held in 2019:

Kaneda's Bike from Akira

In 2023 and into 2024, Bel y Bel has been working on a prototype of what's arguably one of the most famous fictional motorcycles of all time, Kaneda's bike from Akira. The first version was a hybrid design using a 250cc Yamaha combustion engine paired with an electric motor.

However, the current version is all electric, and the team is working to incorporate reverse capability into the build this time around. (Having spent a lot of time riding a Zero with reverse, I can confirm that it's an incredibly useful feature to have on an electric bike.)

After prototyping, Bel y Bel have been in the process of building two Kaneda bikes to order. However, the plan after that is to make a limited series available for people to purchase sometime in 2024, according to Mundo Deportivo. It'll cost €20,000 (about $21,863 at the time of writing), but you could arguably spend a lot more on something that won't make you smile as much as this does.

 

We've included a link to Bel y Bel's website in our Sources, or you can check out the company's Instagram to chat about maybe building you the Kaneda bike of your dreams.

Gallery: Kaneda's Bike by Bel y Bel

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