Homages to Akira's iconic bike slide

Originally published at: Homages to Akira's iconic bike slide | Boing Boing


Obligatory Bartkira GIF:


The original plan for the 2020 Olympic opening ceremony included a homage to Akira.

According to the document, the Opening Ceremony starts with a red motorcycle racing through the Olympic Stadium. It is the red motorcycle from “AKIRA.” Otomo Katsuhiro’s beloved manga became a hot topic again after it was said to have predicted the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Making use of projection mapping, the city of Tokyo emerges. Daichi Miura and Sugawara Koharu appear and add flowers. “NEO TOKYO 2020”, drawn by Otomo (another nod to “AKIRA”) is projected in the stadium.


So no one with an ACTUAL motorcycle, or any vehicle, has accomplished this?

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While possible, it is not really much of a thing. First off, you have to balance three forces at once: gravity pulling you down, momentum moving you along, and friction between your bike’s tires and the road surface – and all three are variables, with the direction of gravity varying based on the bike’s lean, the momentum ever decreasing, and the friction varying depending on the temperature of the rubber, road surface, whether the wheels are in full brake lock or turning and a dozen other factors, and the odds are you’re going to either end up laying the bike down (which is bad) or high siding (which is worse.)

Hit a big grease spot, road marking, or bit of dirt while trying this and the bike slides out from you, putting your PPE to the test against the cheese grater like pavement and probably damaging your bike beyond the point of rideability. Hit a smaller one, though, and the bike will start to slide out from under you, but then regain traction suddenly and throw you off the bike in a more-or-less random direction, almost certainly inflicting blunt force trauma on you and then sliding you along the cheese grater.

That said, while I’m not finding it on a quick search, I’m pretty sure an expert bike rider with a prepared track and bike could pull it off easily, and wouldn’t be surprised to find examples in the many, many videos of motorcycle racing crashes and near misses.


Out of all of these, the horse ones and the one from Clone Wars are probably my favorites. The horses (and Lion too, really) for being non-bike versions, and the Clone Wars one for it being a speeder that has no concept of ground traction to begin with.

It’s always fun to spot one, though. It’s almost as ubiquitous in animation as the Wilhelm scream.

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