Kawasaki’s been on a roll lately, not just in Japan, but also in the Thai market, putting out models like the Ninja ZX-4R/RR and an update to the Versys 650. Still, the Osaka Motor Show 2023 held a little surprise in the form of a Ninja 400/Z400-powered cruiser of a motorcycle, the Eliminator. The model also made its debut at the Bangkok Motor Show, serving as the brand’s third announcement for the weekend.
The announcement marks the availability of the model in the Thai market. Kawasaki has a production facility in Thailand, so it makes sense that the Thais get first dibs on the new small-capacity cruiser.
First unveiled last week in Japan, the small-capacity cruiser is new for the lineup, but not totally new. The Eliminator is a returning name but is now modernized and powered by a new engine. The Eliminator inherits the Ninja 400 and Z400’s powerplant, coming in at 398ccs in displacement. The cruiser also gets a bore and stroke of 70 x 51.8 mm, making the same amount of horsepower, coming in at 48 hp at 10,000 RPM. On top of that, the Eliminator also receives a six-speed manual gearbox along with an assisted slipper clutch.
Kawasaki built the frame, especially for the Eliminator. Made from steel tube trellis, Team Green’s engineers tout that the chassis is built for rigidity and stability, as well as shaving a few pounds off the model’s total weight. The rear suspension is a double-shock and in front, Kawasaki outfitted this model with right-side-up 41mm forks. Braking duties are handled by a single disc in the front and a single disc in the rear, clamped by two-piston calipers on both ends, and supervised by a dual-channel ABS system.
Gallery: 2023 Kawasaki Eliminator 400
The seat height of the Eliminator is pinned at 28.94 inches (735 millimeters) for easy accessibility for any rider. Kawasaki also plans to field a raised saddle accessory which bumps the seat height up to 30.12 inches (765 millimeters) and a further lowered saddle that brings the height down to 28.15 inches (715 millimeters).
As for the other amenities, the Eliminator comes with LED lights, a digital display, and also an LED taillight in a signature Kawasaki style.
There is also a higher trim level that Kawasaki will offer with this model, an SE version. The upper-level trim comes equipped with a USB Type-C port for chagrin, leather upholstery on the saddle with two-tone stitching, and the first Mitsuba Sankowa GPS-compatible driving recorder from Kawasaki which puts two cameras on the bike, one in the front and one in the rear.
Pricing was also announced for the Japanese market, coming in at ¥759,000 JPY or about $5,800 USD, with the Premium SE version going for ¥858,000 JPY, or about $4,495 USD. Given the price and the specifications of the model, it’s likely that Kawasaki is targeting the Honda Rebel 500. Now that’ll be an interesting comparison to make.