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Old March 17th, 2023, 10:52 AM   #1
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[cycleworld.com] - Kawasaki Eliminator Returns

Kawasaki is bringing back the Eliminator name with a pair of 400cc, mid-mount foot control cruisers based on the parallel-twin Ninja and Z400.

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Kawasaki is bringing back the Eliminator name on a pair of 400cc parallel-twin-powered cruisers. (Kawasaki/)Kawasaki first introduced the Eliminator name back in 1985 on the ZL900 A1, creating an unusual template of fitting a sportbike engine to a cruiser chassis. In the 21st century, the title has been sidelined, but it’s back for 2023 on the new Eliminator 400 and Eliminator 400 SE.

Revealed at the Osaka Motorcycle Show in Japan, the revived Eliminator has been rumored for some time, with two versions displayed at the show. However, talk that the bikes would be 250cc and 400cc fours based on the ZX-25R and ZX-4RR engines proved wide of the mark, as the real Eliminator uses the 398cc parallel twin from the Ninja 400 and Z400, with the second version being a higher-spec “SE” derivative.


The Eliminator 400 is the standard model of the two and forgoes the windscreen and some features and is listed at a lower price in Japan. (Kawasaki/)While a 48 hp twin might be a far cry from the 900cc and 1,000cc four-cylinder Eliminators that brought the name to the forefront in the 1980s, the new bike still promises to be a strong contender in a growing market for entry-level cruiser models. Honda’s Rebel has been a long-running hit in both 500cc and 300cc forms, and while the new Kawasaki splits the two on engine capacity, it matches the Rebel 500 in terms of power.


A steel-tube frame is the core of each bike on which 18-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels are used. (Kawasaki/)Like the Rebels, the Eliminator uses a steel-tube frame with a twin-shock rear end, but the use of an 18-inch front wheel allied to a 16-inch rear gives it a more traditional stance. In keeping with Kawasaki’s other trellis-framed bikes, it’s a lightweight machine—the standard version is a mere 388 pounds, while the SE model, with a nose cowl and fork gaiters, plus additional tech, comes in at 392 pounds. A small, 3.2-gallon fuel tank helps keep the bike compact, while the standard seat is a low 28.9 inches, with 28.1-inch and 30.1-inch versions available as options.


The SE version gets the nose cowl, fork gaiters, and some additional electronics like GPS, a USB-C socket, and front- and rear-facing cameras, the latter a first on a Japanese motorcycle as standard. (Kawasaki/)One surprise is the tech that’s fitted to the SE version. It gets GPS and a USB-C socket as standard—nothing too surprising there—but also gains front and rear cameras, tied into a ride-recording system. Some Chinese-market bikes including the Benelli 1200GT and Zongshen Cyclone RX6 also have front and rear cameras, but the Eliminator SE is the first Japanese model to get such a system. The idea is that the cameras can be used to record trips, which can then be uploaded and shared online. Other tech includes traction control and smartphone connectivity for the LCD instruments.


There will be a few seat options ranging from 28.1 to 30.1 inches. (Kawasaki/)Despite its cruiser looks the Eliminator doesn’t have forward foot controls, instead using standard mid-mounted pegs. The clear focus, like the Honda Rebel models, is to make this a bike that’s accessible to as many people as possible.


The standard model won’t come with the nose cowl. (Kawasaki/)Initially the Eliminator, which is scheduled as a 2024 model, will be sold in Japan only. Its prices, 759,000 yen ($5,733) for the base version and 858,000 yen ($6,481) for the SE, sandwich the Rebel 500 in that market, where the Honda costs 836,000 yen ($6,315). At the moment, there’s no word when the bikes will actually be available, even in Japan, and we’ll have to wait to see whether the Eliminator gets a global release. The use of the Ninja 400 engine means it will have no trouble meeting emissions requirements in any major market, including the US, so if Kawasaki sees enough demand over here, there’s no barrier to bringing the Eliminator to American shores.


The Eliminator’s tailsection. (Kawasaki/)
Standard Eliminator 400. (Kawasaki/)
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