2024 Kawasaki Ninja 500 and Z500 – First Look
Eliminator’s larger engine makes its way to the entry-level Z and Ninja
From the moment we learned the Eliminator would be equipped with a 451cc Twin, we started anticipating when Kawasaki would put the engine on its entry-level Ninja and Z models. To no surprise, the answer is “right away,” with the announcement of the new 2024 Ninja 500 and Z500.
The larger engine was derived from the existing 399cc engine, so it didn’t take much effort to fit it into the Ninja and Z chassis. The extra 52cc increases the power and torque output across the rev range, but to keep it within the A2 licensing realm, European models claim a peak output of 44.7 hp at 9,000 rpm, with torque reaching a claimed 31.4 lb-ft. at 6,000 rpm. Kawasaki hasn’t confirmed either 500 model for the U.S yet, and without a tiered licensing system, the performance figures may differ here.
Along with the displacement bump comes a few smaller updates, including styling tweaks for both models. The seat height remains the same 30.9 inches as the 400 models, but the Ninja and Z500’s seat has a new, flatter shape. Beyond that, the 500 models are fairly similar mechanically to their 400 predecessors.
2024 Kawasaki Ninja 500
The Ninja 500 receives a new compact headlight with LED low beams and reflector-type high beams and position lights. The bodywork is new, with larger openings on the side for better heat dissipation.
For Europe, Kawasaki will offer two versions. The regular Ninja 500 comes in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Flat Raw Graystone, while the Ninja 500 SE comes in either Lime Green/Ebony or Metallic Matte Dark Gray/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Moondust Gray. The SE Model adds a TFT display, a USB-C outlet and a keyless ignition system.
2024 Kawasaki Z500
The Z500 gets a new LED headlight that it shares with the Z 7 Hybrid. The unit puts the two low beam lights on top with the single high beam positioned underneath. Kawasaki says this design helps keeps the focus on the low beams.
The bodywork on the Z500 is sharper than on the Z400, and the front fender is a new, shorter design, though oddly, Kawasaki opted to keep the old fender on the Ninja 500.
Like the Ninja 500, the Z500 will be offered in regular or SE variants. The Z500 SE comes in either Candy Persimmon Red/Metallic Flat Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray or Candy Lime Green/Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray, and adds a TFT display, and a USB-C charging port, plus a two-piece lower fairing. The regular Z500 will only come in Metallic Spark Black/Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray.
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