• The Kawasaki Eliminator returns after 15-odd year in 400cc guise

In keeping with tradition, the new Eliminator is powered by a detuned Kawasaki Ninja engine!

Kawasaki has taken the wraps off a surprising new motorcycle at the Osaka motorcycle show, the all-new Kawasaki Eliminator 400. Those familiar with this nameplate, will know that it actually makes a comeback after going away in 2007, as cruisers and particularly, muscle cruisers like the Eliminator dipped in popularity. The OG Eliminator that came out in 1985 had the inline-four cylinder motor from a Kawasaki Ninja 900 (GPZ900R) from the same year, slightly detuned. In the same vein, the Kawasaki Eliminator 400 has received the 400cc parallel-twin engine from Kawasaki Ninja 400, which develops 45PS and 37Nm.

The styling of the motorcycle is decidedly similar to that of the Honda CMX500 Rebel, which is expected to be the main competitor of the Eliminator 400. Just like the Rebel, the Eliminator has conventional forks at the front and twin shocks at the rear. The wheels are an 18-incher at the front and a 16-inch one at the rear. We expect dual-channel ABS to come as standard. Unlike traditional cruisers though, Eliminators always had the footpegs mounted like a UJM and this one does the same, which means the riding geometry should be unlike most cruisers available on the market. The elegantly simple console has a monochrome LCD display, which we feel suits the motorcycle perfectly.

The motorcycle will have two versions, the regular and the SE version, easily differentiated by the distinctive headlamp cowl, and this is just like the Rebel, which is offered in an SE version which gets a headlamp cowl. That being said, the Eliminator SE version gets something unique - a front and rear camera system, which makes it the first-ever Japanese motorcycle to feature this tech. Apart from a few Chinese-market motorcycles such as the  Benelli 1200GT and the Zongshen Cyclone RX6, this is still a pretty rare tech to find on motorcycles. But this also means you won’t be able to blame it on the other guy for your next wipeout!

While the Eliminators of yore were basically road legal drag racing bikes with shaft drives, the new Eliminator runs on a chain drive like its Ninja counterpart. That being said, small-capacity retro and neo-retro motorcycles are highly popular right now, and Kawasaki couldn’t have chosen a better time to resurrect the Eliminator nameplate.

People with a bit of mileage under their belts will remember that we also had the Eliminator in India a long time ago, albeit the 175cc version, but despite being shown in 1998 Auto Expo and launched in 2001, it had a 175cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine pumping out 15.2PS and 13.7Nm, which is significantly higher than the air-cooled single-cylinder motor developing 13PS and 13.2Nm found in the Kawasaki W175. But overall, we think it will make sense for Kawasaki India to consider bringing it over here, as currently its retro lineup is rather pricey, and a middleweight retro muscle cruiser might be the USP they need.

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