Rather than relying on Stacyc and proprietary stickers, Kawasaki enters the electric-powered balance bike world with an all-new bicycle engineered and constructed by Kawasaki. The design is intended to fit a wide range of rider sizes and skill levels, so let’s look at the 2023 Kawasaki Elektrode and what it brings to the table.
The 2023 Kawasaki Elektrode fits children from 37 to 55 inches tall. This is accomplished via a seat 16.1 inches above the ground in the low position and 21.5 high at the highest setting. The handlebar height is also adjustable, or a different bar can be fitted. Maximum weight is 99 pounds, and Kawasaki says the result is a bicycle intended for riders aged 3 to 8.
The 32-pound Elektrode has an aluminum frame. It’s a suspension-free design, with the battery integrated into the frame. The fork is steel for improved durability.
The Elektrode’s 5.1 Ah lithium-ion battery has an estimated runtime of 2.5 hours, and an identical recharging time. Keep in mind that the runtime depends on the rider’s weight and how aggressively the bicycle is ridden. The estimated range is nine miles in normal use. Charging is via a standard home 110-volt outlet. The battery cannot be swapped out.
Three power modes allow parents to select the performance for their children. Low mode keeps the speed down to 4.8 mph, ramping up to 7.2 mph in the Mid mode, and High mode delivers a 12.6 mph top speed. The modes are switched on the Elektrode via an LCD screen. The bike can also be ridden with the power off. If you forget to turn the power off, the system power itself down after 10 minutes of non-use.
Parents retain control of the Kawasaki Elektrode. The mode buttons are passcode-protected, and modes can only be changed with the Elektrode stopped.
Utility is enhanced by the 16-inch, pneumatic Duro-shod cast-aluminum wheels. The large wheels allow the Elektrode to roll over obstacles more effectively, and make it possible to provide a higher seat height to older riders. The Duro knobbies make the Elektrode off-road ready.
The rear wheel houses the motor, and has a disc brake attached. The rear 160mm disc exclusively handles braking duties via a mechanically actuated caliper.
As much as our young test riders love the Stacyc bikes, it’s great to see Kawasaki develop its own electric-powered balance bicycle. The list price of the 2023 Kawasaki Elektrode is $1099. We don’t know when it will hit showroom floors.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!