How to quickly & cheaply build a LEGO version of the Akira bike

Kaneda’s bike from Akira is one of the most famous vehicles in all of fiction, and if you want one in LEGO we have the simplest and cheapest way for you to get it.

Over the may years since the original release of Akira countless LEGO hobbyists have already had their hand at recreating the bike and a lot of them have been successful. Some of them have even created instructions to make your own at home, but that’s the expensive and time consuming route as you will need to source your own pieces.

Instead the options we will be looking at today are alternative builds. Popularised by the site Rebrickable, alternate builds are new creations made by the community that use only the pieces that come in one set.

For example here’s the new Robert Pattinson Batmobile created using only the pieces from a Dodge Charger, a pickup truck / bakkie turned into the famous Lamborghini Miura and the Star Wars Imperial Shuttle which was originally the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery.

The creativity and skill of the community is matched by high quality instructions which rival LEGO’s own booklets which come in every set. Sometimes these builds are free but other times you will need to pay, though we think that the prices asked are usually fair.

With all of that in mind let’s look at two versions of Kaneda’s bike available now, both of which are alternative builds.

The smaller red version by Mechabricks

  • Set used– 40517: Vespa
  • Price of set used – €9.99 | £8.99 | $9.99
  • Price of instructions – Free [Available here]

User Mechabricks has created a fantastic incarnation of the bike using a rather small red Vespa set. All the familiar shapes are there and a LEGO minifigure wouldn’t look out of place sitting in it, or waling up to it like in the iconic Akira poster.

User Mechabricks has kindly made the instructions completely free for everyone. For those who have not used Rebrickable before simply go to the page of this creation and click on the download icon on the right hand side.

To reiterate: this clever little build uses only the pieces from set 40517: Vespa and nothing else. All you need to make your own bike is this set and the free instructions.

The bigger, bluer version by geraldcacas Akira 

  • Set used– 10298: Vespa 125
  • Price of set used – €99.99 | £89.99 | $99.99
  • Price of instructions – $8 [Available here]

For those who want something much larger – and in a different colour – there’s this absolute beauty from user geraldcacas.

We paid full price for the instructions here and we’re happy we did. Again for those unfamiliar with Rebrickable, the pricing is unfortunately set in one currency only so you will be paying the equivalent of $8 no matter where you live.

For these instructions only PayPal is available as a payment option which is another hurdle. Announced just recently Rebrickable is offering more ways to pay so PayPal won’t be the only option going into the future.

As for this blue version it also uses a Vespa as the donor LEGO set, but this one is in a very pleasing baby blue colour. It’s not red like in the movie, but we’re suckers for alternate colour options anyway so that doesn’t bother us.

What may bother many is the much higher price you will need to pay for set 10298: Vespa 125 but in return you obviously get a lot more pieces and the finished alternate build is sizable. By our measurements the bike is around 32 X 8.5 X 12.5 centimetres (length X width X height).

That size doesn’t count the nice little stand which is included here. This stand provides a solid base to build on during construction and more display options once you’re done. The bike can be displayed without the base because, while the wheels do rotate, the entire build will naturally rest onto its low chassis and won’t roll off of a shelf.

Another display option is to leave some of the panelling off to reveal internal details like the engine and steering.

Seasoned LEGO fans will get a real kick out of a lot of the ingenious building techniques here but newcomers may struggle with one or two areas that are on the advanced side. Those who run into problems may want to simply go back a few pages in the instructions to double check their work.

User geraldcacas is also continually improving the instructions so read over the details page and comments for the build before beginning yourself, to see if there has been any updates.

The finished product is a real looker and will hold a special place on our shelf going into the future. While the dramatic red of the original is timeless, this blue variant has really won us over, and it’s no question that this is still the bike Akira made famous.

Once finished you will also have a decent amount of pieces from the original Vespa left over. LEGO collectors will be happy to put a lot of those remaining bright light blue pieces into their collection, while the remainder can also be used – on suggestion from geraldcacas – to further modify the engine, or to add details to the exterior. It may not be accurate to Akira, but you can make it your own.


About Author


Related News