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2024 Kawasaki Eliminator: Road Test Review

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Ajinkya Lad

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Introduction

Kawasaki Eliminator Left Front Three Quarter

The Kawasaki Eliminator has made a comeback in India. And, unlike the made-in-India, single-cylinder cruiser of yesteryear, this one is imported into the country as a CBU and is powered by a Ninja 500-sourced, 451cc, parallel-twin motor. Although it doesn’t have any direct rival, its closest competition is the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 when you consider its power figures.

At Rs. 5.62 lakh (ex-showroom), it is an expensive proposition. But, does its overall package justify its high asking price? We tried to find answers via this road test.

Styling and Quality

Kawasaki Eliminator Right Front Three Quarter

The styling is typical of a Japanese cruiser - low-slung with a flat handlebar and a raked-out front. I quite like the stance of the motorcycle, and it garners quite a few eyeballs on the road. That said, the Eliminator can do with a little more road presence. Maybe a muscular fuel tank can do the trick. Moreover, the fact that the cruiser is only available in a single colour in India doesn’t help its case. Perhaps, Kawasaki should've offered the entire colour palette from its international range, especially the orange and black paint scheme.

Kawasaki Eliminator Left Side Multifunction Switchgear

Meanwhile, the build quality is a mixed bag in my books. Although it is decent for the most part, we did notice some loose ends. More on that later. Meanwhile, the paint quality is top notch and the fitment of the panels is quite sturdy. However, the switchgear is too basic for the segment and we did face issues with the loose keyhole assembly and the license plate holder vibrations.

Ergonomics and Comfort

Kawasaki Eliminator Left Side View

With a low seat height of 735mm, it’s extremely easy to swing a leg over on the Eliminator. Even folks with a height of 5’7” or shorter will find it easier to get both their feet on the ground. Once astride the motorcycle, I felt the riding posture was a bit indifferent. In typical Japanese cruiser fashion, you sit quite low from the ground with a slight crouch to reach the handlebars. But, once you spend some time on the saddle, you get used to this riding posture.

Kawasaki Eliminator Split Seat

That said, the narrow handlebar robs you of some leverage, especially in tight spaces and traffic. Meanwhile, the soft cushioning on the rider seat is just about average, and you will get a sore bottom if you spend anywhere over two hours on the saddle. As for the pillion seat, the lesser spoken, the better. For one, the seat is quite narrow and doesn't offer much support or space to move around. And two, the cushioning is extremely stiff and digs into your under thighs after about 15-20 minutes on the saddle.

Performance and Handling

Powering the Eliminator is a 451cc, parallel-twin engine that gets a 180-degree firing order. The motor produces 44.7bhp and 42.6Nm of peak torque and is paired with a six-speed gearbox.

Kawasaki Eliminator Engine From Right

The engine is unlike anything you’ll find on a cruiser. It is fast, free-revving, and offers oodles of performance right from the get-go. While the low-end power delivery is decent, the motor provides dollops of torque in the mid-range. The engine is tractable enough to do 50kmph in sixth gear in the city or cruise all day long between 100-120kmph on highways without breaking into a sweat.

Kawasaki Eliminator Left Front Three Quarter

That said, minor vibrations creep in at such speeds and can be felt on the footpegs, seat, and handlebar. However, they don’t spoil the experience in any way. What’s also impressive is the light clutch action and the smooth gearbox, which takes away the fatigue in stop-go traffic. Another thing that warrants a mention is that despite being a high-revving engine, the heat management is commendable.

Kawasaki Eliminator Right Front Three Quarter

While the Eliminator is a cruiser, its ride quality is still quite impressive. Although it is set on the firmer side, the suspension flattens out surface undulations and expansion joints without disturbing the motorcycle’s composure. That said, the rear tends to kick back every time it goes over rumblers or sharp-edged potholes due to the limited travel of the rear springs.

Kawasaki Eliminator Right Side View

Just like its ride quality, the motorcycle’s handling, too, is quite admirable. Regardless of what the 18/16-inch wheel combination would have you believe, the Eliminator feels quite light and playful, and flicking it from side to side doesn’t require much effort. However, you’ll have to be cautious while tipping it into corners as the bike turns in sharply, and you’d need to get used to this feeling. Once you are familiar with its mannerisms, the Eliminator is one of the liveliest cruisers in its segment.

Kawasaki Eliminator Front Disc Brake

The braking performance of the Eliminator is right on point. The front disc offers excellent bite and progression and the motorcycle stops predictably. On the other hand, the rear brake offers gradual stopping power, while the ABS is well-calibrated and isn’t intrusive at all.

Features and Technology

Kawasaki Eliminator TFT / Instrument Cluster

Features-wise, the Kawasaki Eliminator is pretty ordinary, especially considering its price. You only get features such as a fully digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity, LED lighting, dual-channel ABS, and an assist and slipper clutch. That’s about it. Features including a traction control system, ride modes, and turn-by-turn navigation have been given a miss.

Fuel Efficiency

Kawasaki Eliminator Right Front Three Quarter

In BikeWale’s fuel efficiency test, which includes riding the motorcycle in moderate to heavy city traffic, the Eliminator returned a mileage of 31.45kmpl. With a fuel tank capacity of 13 litres, the cruiser can easily manage a range of over 400km on a full tank. That’s quite impressive for a 45bhp-producing, 450cc motorcycle.

Should You Buy It?

Kawasaki Eliminator Left Side View

Standalone, the Kawasaki Eliminator is quite likeable for a cruiser. The parallel-twin motor offers a mix of engaging performance and versatility. It is potent, yet fuel efficient. Then, it strikes a good balance between comfort and sportiness, despite being a cruiser. That said, it could do with better equipment and more visual appeal.

Kawasaki Eliminator Right Front Three Quarter

Also, once you factor in its exorbitantly steep price tag, the Eliminator fails to make a strong case for itself. At Rs. 7.10 lakh (on road, Mumbai), it is pricier than the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650. The latter not only offers more features and a larger displacement but is also an authentic old-school cruiser. That said, you should buy the Eliminator if you want to stand out from the crowd, as it offers exclusivity and more bragging rights.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Kawasaki Eliminator Split Seat
Kawasaki Eliminator Right Front Three Quarter
Kawasaki Eliminator Front Disc Brake
Kawasaki Eliminator Engine From Right
Kawasaki Eliminator Left Rear Three Quarter
Kawasaki Eliminator Right Front Three Quarter
Kawasaki Eliminator Left Front Three Quarter
Kawasaki Eliminator Left Side View
Kawasaki Eliminator Left Front Three Quarter
Kawasaki Eliminator Left Side View

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