Kawasaki's 400cc parallel-twin platform has proven to be quite a capable machine for both beginner and veteran riders. It was essentially the evolution of the Ninja 250, and is the latest iteration of Team Green's parallel-twin engine design following the Ninja 300 platform released previously. As was the case in prior models, the Ninja 400 was followed shortly after by the Z400 naked bike.
Unlike what Honda did with its 500cc platform, however, it seemed that Kawasaki had no plans of expanding the 400cc model lineup. Personally, I was hoping for a successor to the Versys X300 in form of a Versys 400, but it seems that isn't happening anytime soon. What is happening, though, is Kawasaki's entry into the entry-level cruiser segment with the revival of the Eliminator nameplate. As of now, the new bike is available only in Japan, and yes, it's built around the 400cc platform.
Kawasaki has launched the Eliminator 400 in the Japanese market in two versions. Like many other Green machines, the Eliminator 400 is offered in a standard trim level, as well as an upmarket SE version that's decked out in fancy technology such as a GPS-ready display and even front and rear-facing cameras. The engine and underpinnings are nothing new, as the cruiser is rocking a 399cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine with an output of 45 horsepower and 26 pound-feet of torque. It subsequently sends power to the rear wheel via a six-speed manual transmission.
Kawasaki is no stranger to producing parallel-twin-powered cruisers, as the Vulcan S has been around for nearly a decade now. While the new Eliminator 400 does share a few similarities with this bigger cruiser, it does have a style of its own, leaning towards a more retro aesthetic. That said, it does resemble the Honda Rebel 500 quite a bit, especially in its Spark Black Metallic colorway, and might be easily mistaken for Big Red's beginner-friendly cruiser.
The Kawasaki Eliminator 400 has some really friendly proportions, with a low seat height of just 735 millimeters. The seat can be adjusted with a tall 765-millimeter, or even shorter 715-milimmeter setup. The bike also gets a digital instrument cluster, with the SE variant flaunting fancy features such as GPS compatibility and front and rear-mounted cameras. Indeed, when it hits the market, it's clear that the Rebel 500 is its main competitor, as well as a slew of other cruisers, predominantly from Chinese manufacturers.
Currently available only in Japan, the Eliminator 400 is foreseen to make its way to the global market in 2023. For reference, it retails for 759,000 Yen, around $5,732 USD, in standard trim. The more premium SE version will require you to fork out 858,000 Yen, or approximately $6,480 USD.