Did you know that Bulma’s number 19 motorcycle was based on a real bike? This bike has been recreated and now you can buy it!
Dragon Ball fans know that Bulma rides several motorcycles over the course of the series. She isn’t pure of heart like Goku, so she can’t ride the Flying Nimbus.
What many fans don’t know is that Dragon Ball author Akira Toriyama was inspired by a real bike for the design of Bulma’s motorcycle on the title page of Chapter 73.
The inspiration for Bulma’s bike came from the 1955 Moto Guzzi V8 racer “Otto Chillindri”.
The V8 racer was designed by Giulio Cesare Carcano, the lead designer for Moto Guzzi, an Italian motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1921. The V8 was designed for Moto Guzzi’s Grand Prix racing team from 1955–1957.
The V8 had a top speed of 172 mph (280 km/h), which was unmatched by a motorcycle in Grand Prix racing for 20 years. Discovery Channel put it in their Top 10 Greatest Motorcycles of All Time, ranking it 9th.
Akira Toriyama’s father was a mechanic, and he grew up surrounded by motorcycles and cars. He illustrates dozens of sports cars and bikes in Dragon Ball and his other famous work, Dr. Slump (1980). It’s easy to see why he admired the Moto Guzzi V8 racer, with its sleek curves and top speed.
Toriyama took the real Moto Guzzi and added a pair of machine guns on the nose and a small number 19 racing roundel on the side, which is also the presumed capsule number that Bulma assigns to this bike. He then added the Capsule Corporation branding on the gas tank.
Bulma’s bike has been a popular figure among Dragon Ball fans, but it always remained in the realm of imagination.
Now this bike is getting a modern day revival, a tribute to Moto Guzzi’s and Toriyama’s creation.
Bulma’s Dragon Ball Motorcycle Replica
A Japanese custom bike company called DOPE is making this living tribute to Dragon Ball.
DOPE is using the Honda Monkey 125, a small Japanese motorcycle, as the base. Their designer, Note, then modifies it to match Toriyama’s design, and make it road safe.
Every detail of Bulma’s bike has been recreated in real life, including the deep green color, the number 19 racing roundel, ‘machine guns’ (non-working!) in the nose, and Capsule Corporation branding. In addition, the side door with the roundel opens for easier access to the engine and seat.
The bike is part of their new Ganesha Custom brand, and has been dubbed the Racer Replica Ganesha.
You can buy the bike for 1,595,000 Yen including tax and shipping (~$11,631 USD). A normal Monkey 125 goes for just over $4,000. It is unconfirmed how many will be made, but it will almost certainly be limited.
Would you pay this much to ride Bulma’s bike?
How does this bike fit into the realm of rare Dragon Ball figures?