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Kawasaki Announces Electric Model for Youngters – the Elektrode

Do you remember the brand of motorcycle you rode as a kid? Kawasaki understands how to build brand loyalty, and offering a low-cost (MSRP is $1,099) electric motorcycle for youngsters might just be a brilliant move. After all, young kids may be riding electric motorcycles their entire lives.

That’s right, Kawasaki just announced an all-electric model aimed at 3-8 year olds (includes some adjustable ergonomics). No suspension, but surprisingly big 16″ wheels. Adjustable power modes (password protected to keep your youngster from intervening) and a rear disc brake compliment a 250W electric motor.

Here are the details from Kawasaki in a press release, followed by a video:

 A child’s first experience on two wheels is such a memorable time, not only for the child but for the parents as well. While standard bicycles are a common first step for a child learning to ride, few products exist to help bridge the gap to a small displacement motorcycle.

From the brand behind the KX™ motocross powerhouse comes the all-new Elektrode™ electric balance bike. Little rippers can now start their journey on two wheels as early as three years old. Meaning, the path to the podium now starts earlier than ever. It’s an official welcome to world-class, high-performance, iconic Kawasaki vehicles when young riders get started on the Elektrode.

Since engine noise and exhaust can often be intimidating to young children learning to ride, the Elektrode can help encourage those who might otherwise be nervous to see how much fun riding can be. Plus, with Lime Green paint, a number plate, and motocross-inspired graphics, riders will feel like their favorite Kawasaki Team Green™ race team idol.

The Elektrode is compact in size to allow for easy transportation in the back seat or trunk of a car, so riders can bring their favorite two-wheeler on camping trips, weekend getaways, or off-road excursions. Since it is designed and built in-house with young riders in mind, the Elektrode has the build quality and reliability that Kawasaki is known for and is ready to withstand years of fun. With the help of Kawasaki’s flagship electric balance bike, now the whole family can get in on the fun and help kick-start the process of getting little rippers on their first bike.

ALL-NEW 2023 KAWASAKI ELEKTRODE™ HIGHLIGHTS:

  • NEW Designed and built by Kawasaki
  • NEW Powerful 250W in-wheel brushless electric motor
  • NEW Three selectable speed modes (low/mid/high) with passcode parental lock
  • NEW Premium disc brake
  • NEW Adjustable seat height, handlebar position and brake level
  • NEW Lightweight aluminium frame with low center of gravity
  • NEW Durable 16″ cast aluminum wheels and pneumatic tires
  • NEW Long-lasting frame-integrated battery with up to 2.5 hours of running time*
  • NEW KX-inspired styling and motocross style handlebar with twist throttle
  • NEW Foldable steel footpegs with rubber grip

ELECTRIC MOTOR

The 2023 Elektrode electric balance bike is the first of its kind for Kawasaki, leading the way with an air-cooled, brushless, in-wheel electric motor producing 250 watts of acceleration at the rear wheel. Power is delivered in a smooth, linear fashion and gets the Elektrode moving in a predictable way, gradually building the rider’s comfort with power and control. Since the electric motor is virtually silent, kids will feel less intimidated by the noise normally produced by the engines and exhaust of traditional motorcycles. Strategically located within the rear wheel, the motor contributes to the Elektrode’s low center of gravity for an ideal balance point that makes for a light steering feel and easy turning and leaning. The brushless electric motor has no moving external parts, making it easy to use and giving parents some peace of mind.

BATTERY

The Kawasaki Elektrode is the perfect electric bike for long periods of fun thanks to a long-lasting in-frame lithium-ion battery. On a single charge, the Elektrode can run for 2.5 hours* (or approximately nine miles) and only takes 2.5 hours to fully recharge, allowing ample time for kids to play. Since the battery is built into the aluminum frame, it is better protected from dirt, debris and any potential impact damage that could occur during hard use, increasing durability. As a bonus, the Elektrode comes equipped with an auto-sleep feature that shuts off the power after ten minutes of inactivity, preserving the usable battery time and eliminating the worry if someone forgets to turn the unit off.

Charging the Elektrode’s battery is easy and convenient. The provided charging cable can be plugged into the front of the bike and connected to any home outlet, making the Elektrode easy to charge anywhere. When not at home, the battery can also easily be charged from a car, camper or side-by-side vehicle, meaning the fun can continue even while on the go.

* Running time varies based on battery age, charge and the number of charge cycles it has had, rider weight, speed, and riding conditions.

SPEED MODES

Parent-controlled multiple speed modes allow riders to grow and adapt as their abilities increase. Three speed modes can be selected using the LCD screen located on the handlebars, making it quick and simple to switch between modes. Each mode caps the electric bike at a specific speed: low at 5mph, mid at 7.5mph, and high at 13mph. The power can also be turned off, transforming the Elektrode into a balance bike that is suited for any child at the beginning of their two-wheeled journey. In order to change modes, the bike must be completely stopped, creating an extra layer of safety for both the rider and parent. A special parental lock that requires a unique passcode deters unauthorized changing of power levels.

CHASSIS + ERGONOMICS

The Elektrode electric balance bike was made with the same renowned build quality that Kawasaki is known for and ensures that the Elektrode can stand up to the hard use a child will put it through. A lightweight aluminum frame provides the durability parents expect while remaining light for kids to handle, and its compact 32.8-inch wheelbase adds to its easy handling nature. A highly rigid steel front fork adorns the front of the bike which grants riders a solid feel for steering, and a 160mm rear-mounted mechanical disc brake provides ample stopping power at the pull of a lever, giving riders a stable, easy-to-use brake that promotes learning about stopping and regulating their speed.

To keep the Elektrode light and sturdy, Kawasaki designed special 16” cast-aluminum wheels which, when paired with a low seat height, provides a more planted feel for smaller riders and eliminates the need to upgrade to a larger wheel size as children grow. 16×2.125 HE-type tires and tubes with Schrader valves make servicing easy for parents, and the knobby tires allow the Elektrode to be ridden on several different types of terrain.

The Elekrode is designed to accommodate riders from ages 3 to 8 and having highly adjustable components makes it the perfect electric bike for growing riders. With over 4” of adjustability in the seat, the Elektrode can comfortably fit children 37” to 55” tall. Folding steel footpegs with rubber pads provide rigidity and versatility on the Elektrode, allowing for the bike to easily be converted to a balance bike with a simple fold. Kids can learn to use the Elektrode as a self-pushing balance bike with no motor friction/resistance first, then graduate to using the footpegs and electric motor/throttle.The handlebar design promotes an upright riding position without compromising knee space, providing the extra room as kids grow, and with a common-sized handlebar and seat, parents will have the ability to change and customize their child’s bike as they see fit.

STYLING

Inspired by the KX™ motocross motorcycles that kids see at the races or on TV, the Kawasaki Elektrode is designed to look like a full-fledged off-road machine. A KX-inspired front number plate adorns the front of the Elektrode, and with the iconic Kawasaki Lime-Green coloring and racing graphics that match the popular off-road motorcycles, kids will feel just like one of their motocross idols. The smooth, clean lines contribute to the bike’s simple, sporty looks, and the dirt-inspired tires bring the Elektrode’s sleek style together.

COLORS AND MSRP

The 2023 Elektrode electric balance bike will be available in Lime Green with an MSRP of $1,099.

36 Comments

  1. MNMark says:

    3 letters for you… BMX. Must we take all physical effort away from children these days? Mick, are you with me?

    • paul246 says:

      Absolutely. Physical effort replaced with yet another battery pack. BMX is quiet, too, even more so than electric motors.

    • Jeremy says:

      Completely different experiences. No reason a kid can’t enjoy both. I did!

      • richard says:

        well said..kids are in an electric age..woder if they will ever drive a gas powered car or bike ?

  2. John A Kuzmenko says:

    I, too, was expecting a bona-fide mini-motocross bike along the lines of a KX65 with an electric motor.
    When I saw a Kawasaki green Stay Sick, I thought, “What a POS… for $1099?”
    Once I got over the disappointment, I could agree the bike would be good for young kids, but the prices on these things are up there.

    • Richard says:

      the KTM or Gasgas is the real deal at 8K..do parents want to spend that if they are not into racing

  3. DR007 says:

    Total disappointment. A low cost eBike. At least it’s not $9K that Specialized charges for their eBike. Kawasaki you could have made a real electric dirt bike for kids that would have created brand loyalty. You are out of touch and WHY?

  4. Tommy D says:

    Sadly this is how out of touch the big motorcycle manufacturers are. They aren’t designing anything, but simply taking a TOY grade, knock off ebike and sticking bold new graphics on it.

  5. Mick says:

    Nine or ten years ago when I was riding observed trials in The Netherlands there were a bunch of kids whose folks bought then the little electric Oset. They are $700 more expensive. But they have full suspension and brakes and are fairly capable little trials bikes in the hands of a talented tot. They have been around for quite a while. So they have probably benefited from some development over the the years.

    The aftermarket makes a seat for them. But I never saw one in use. The Oset 12.5 Racing is made for the same age group as the Kawasaki above. They also make a trail bike for a slightly older set of kids that is a bit more expensive.

  6. TimC says:

    At least it’s not the “Penetrode”

  7. Uffe Kristiansen says:

    High speed 13 mph. Glad I bought my son a PW50.

  8. Rich Gereg says:

    That’s only 50 bucks more than I paid for my new ’77 RD400D. Times change!

    • joe b says:

      I was a kid and just learning my numbers, and I noticed a big sign that said “23”. I look back and realise, gas was $0.23 a gallon back then. Almost $6.50 now. and I am not a kid anymore.

      • TimC says:

        This isn’t your father’s America.

      • Mick says:

        Years ago a guy at work had a price list for a 1970 Chevelle. If you were to circle the whole option page and go all in on an SS 454 you were going to have to pony up the princely sum of $4100.

        Out here in the northeast, where everything is insane, you would be lucky to get a roached out shell of the same car for the same price.

  9. todd says:

    Forget trail riding on this thing; no front brake. Seems like a very short-sighted oversight.

  10. Dave says:

    Getting after the stacyc thing. Agree with others, electric kid’s mini toys have been around a while bu it’s nice to see some expertise getting applied. As well thought out this and stacyc’s products are, they’re made of “regular stuff”. Stacyc’s batteries even look like those of basic power tools. Easy to use, easy for mom&dad to live with.

    This could be the thing that revives dirt biking, especially of larger electric bikes are created for them to grow into. Gas bikes are going to continue to be a big land access obstacle.

    • Jeremy says:

      Electric bikes might prove to remain a land access obstacle. Electric mountain bikes aren’t allowed to use trails where regular mountain bikes are in most places. There are many user groups that vie for control over land access, and they often don’t agree with other groups ideas on how to enjoy that land.

      The noise pollution complaint can’t be weaponized anymore when it comes to e-motos, but I bet resistance will remain just as high as ever.

      • Dave says:

        “Electric mountain bikes aren’t allowed to use trails where regular mountain bikes are in most places.”

        I haven’t found that to be true. Sure, there are some holdout places but new permissions open all of the time as they see so far as trail use and wear, e-bikes are no different than regular ones. I see e-mtb’s in use almost everywhere I ride.

        I realize that e-moto will be different as there’s no un-powered equivalent. Like you said, without the noise/pollution angle, anywhere that’s used those as a reason will need to reposition their resistance.

        • Dave says:

          As an aside, I’m a little disappointed that this is all they’re releasing. An actual electric motorcycle was what I was hoping for.

          I hope that stark varg does well enough to put a fire under these guys’ butts.

        • todd says:

          “There’s no unpowered equivalent” they are called bicycles.

        • Jeremy says:

          I live in Colorado, and e-mtbs aren’t getting any love. That’s a shame considering the amount of trails we have. They are restricted by local legislation, often at the municipal level, or at the national level when it comes to the USFS. Other than a few exceptions, ebikes are mostly restricted to motorized trails here. That said, I see them on MTB trails all the time, which doesn’t bother me in the least.

          • TimC says:

            On the primarily paved trails I ride (Clear Creek/S Platte) e-bikes are common. Usually ridden by someone who’d be better off without the assistance….

          • Dave says:

            Colorado sounds quite permissive to e-mtb and e-bikes in general:

            https://www.diymountainbike.com/e-bikes-allowed-colorado/

          • Jeremy says:

            The only thing you need to take away from that article is, “However, specific local, state, and federal regulations still apply.”

            Again, I actually live here and am an avid mountain biker. There are virtually no trails open to e-mtbs here save for OHV trails.

      • JohnB says:

        Some British Columbia municipalities and regional districts are restricting electric mountain bikes. Whistler is one such example, but someone maybe can provide more specifics.

      • John A Kuzmenko says:

        Where I go to my local State Forest, there have already been signs put up saying electric bicycles are in the same boat as gasoline-powered motorcycles, and they are not allowed on the same trails your typical dirt bike is not allowed.
        In other words, they’re treated like a dirt bike in that regard.
        The signs say NO MOTOR VEHICLES – NO DIRT BIKES, NO ATVS, NO ELECTRIC BICYCLES.
        Electric vehicles have an electric MOTOR, correct?
        I don’t see how anybody could ever expect it to go any other way.
        If you believe a Stark Varg or any other manufacturer’s electric dirt bike will be greeted with smiles from non-dirt bike enthusiasts on the trails across the country, you’re dreaming.

      • Mick says:

        The problem e-bike will have is power. Few people would object to bikes that helped people who are allergic to hills make it to the top. What they don’t want are bikes that make everyone at least world class fast as a baseline and/or bike that wear the trail faster than normal bikes do.

        One look at the motorcycle market gives you the idea. In its infancy they were little more than powered bicycles. Now 100hp is about average and what used to be called open class bikes are called mid-displacement. 500GP is now 1000GP and they stopped giving it a number because they know that it will probably increase. Isn’t the 250 class 768 now?

        When I lived in NL the e-bike were regulated and stopped assisting at a given speed. They were popular with older folks who used them to increase their range. Nobody batted an eye.

        There was one guy who would pass my on the five miles that I rode home from mountain biking. It was a good workout to catch him and pass him after already riding twenty miles or so. It seemed to surprise him every time. Even more so when I rode my fat bike, which were exceedingly rare in NL at the time (nine or ten years ago).

        • todd says:

          But these are only 250W, easy enough to pedal past for a while but they will catch back up when you’re out of breath and they still have some battery left.

          • Mick says:

            I think the Dutch have about the right idea. The e-bike there allow their rides to maintain a brisk pace and no more. They let the eighty somethings ride around like twenty somethings or help the pizza get hot pizza around the ‘hood. Anyone who doesn’t have a big box on the back and rides as much as the Dutch do doesn’t bother with an e-bike because they can ride at least as fast without one.

            If you’re wondering. YES! Dutch women have nice butts. They just do. All those bike paths (absolutely everywhere) have given the Dutch that national treasure, Good for them.

        • Dave says:

          E-bikes in the US are speed regulated in most states. They’re a little faster than the EU regs (32km/h instead of 25km/h). There are faster bikes that go 45km/h but mtb’s almost universally top out at 32km/h assist in the us.

          Other than uphill they don’t go appreciably faster than regular bike because they both face the same obstacles- turns, trees, rocks, limited traction. A detailed soil study was conducted, commissioned by IMBA. It found there was no appreciable difference in soil wear/damage between e-bikes and regular mtb’s. Most e-mtb riders choose it either for shuttling or just longer range then they could manage without the assist.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Now, that is great, and for a bout the price of a clapped out TTR50. Adjustable seat height, light, and easy to ride… If kids don’t want one of these, there’s no hope for the world.

  12. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    For a kid this has got to be like whizzing down hill forever on a bicycle. Now scale it up for a senior motorcyclist and wha hoo chi momma ! Grab the cane and eat my dirt.

  13. ABQ says:

    Electric bikes for kids are the best idea since the Big Wheel. They have been around awhile, and they are often being improved. I wish my Schwinn stingray with its banana seat and ape hangers was this much fun.

  14. mickey says:

    Lol very cool. Would be a great Christmas present for little ones. Good move Kawasaki