Kawasaki is entering the small displacement cruiser market with the 2024 Eliminator. In the past, the Eliminator name was used by large-displacement drag bikes, but the new model features a lightweight frame and small parallel-twin engine to provide riders with an easy-to-manage cruiser for any endeavor.
The heart of the 2024 Eliminator is a 451cc engine sourced from the Ninja 400. The block is the same, but it has been stroked out by 6.8 mm to provide a much broader powerband than the entry-level Ninja. This makes the engine better-suited to cruiser duty than the peaky motor found in the Ninja 400.
Kawasaki has paired this engine with an all-new trellis frame to keep the weight of the Eliminator down. This frame has been designed to maintain maximum rigidity without added bulk, making it ideal for street riding. The frame is also long and low to provide an extremely accessible seat height for riders of any size, making for a fun and flickable cruiser that is perfect for urban environments.
An Approachable Retro Cruiser
The ergonomics of the Eliminator are your standard cruiser fare. The foot pegs are right in front of you to provide you with a natural seating position with swept-back easy-to-reach bars to keep you upright in the seat. All of which is ideal for a road bike.
The styling of the Eliminator looks very much like its older sibling, the Vulcan S. It is very retrofuturist with classic looks melded with modern technology. The LCD dash is even shaped like a classic pod gauge in order to maintain the classic looks while still providing a tach, speedometer, fuel gauge, and gear indicator all in one neat little package. Even the front LED headlight is cleverly disguised as a classic halogen housing. None of this is new to the cruiser market, but it’s certainly a look that I feel fits the Eliminator perfectly.
In classic Kawasaki fashion, the 2024 Eliminator is very well-specced for its displacement. The bike has available ABS and comes standard with a slipper and assist clutch to keep shifts smooth and prevent wheel lock-up. The pod-shaped LCD display offers Bluetooth connectivity via the Rideology app and provides phone alerts on the LCD dash. The Rideology app also displays fuel levels and mileage on your smartphone.
For more features, the Eliminator is offered in the upscale SE trim. This adds a signature two-tone color scheme and provides cafe racer-inspired looks. The package includes retro-style fork boots, a small headlight cowl, and a two-pattern seat. You will also find a decidedly non-retro USB-C outlet for any accessories you might want to power on your adventures.
Putting Honda on Its Toes
All in all, the 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator is bringing some serious competition to the small displacement cruiser market that should put Honda on its toes. A lightweight, comfortable motorcycle with ample power for any normal road use and plenty of features should be an absolute hit in most markets. The Eliminator is also competitively priced at $6,649, putting it just $200 above the starting price of the Honda Rebel 500, but with many more bells and whistles to offer (not to mention sleeker looks). If you want to opt for the more upscale trims, the ABS model is $6,949, and the SE model is $7,249. All in all, the 2024 Eliminator would make the perfect bike for the beginner looking for something a little more classic than the Z400 or Ninja 400.