Looking every bit the classic cruiser, the style of bike that first captured the interest and image for many craving to be a biker.
As you approach the bike, the slightly small stature begins to calm the fears of many new riders. The Eliminator 125 is not intimidating at all. Put a leg over and push the bike off the side stand, and suddenly a bit of confidence will begin to swell up. It isn’t too heavy, the balance is about what many expect it should be, there is nothing scary about this bike.
It is for those reasons that Kawasaki’s entry-level cruiser from 1997-2010 was the bike of choice for many Motorcycle Training Schools, including the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Our Take: Why You Should Buy an Eliminator 125
Not everyone gets into motorcycles with a fearless, devil may care sense of invincibility. Some have long craved the freedom that a motorcycle offers, but have a cautious nature. They already have a healthy respect for just how much power many motorcycles possess. The Eliminator 125 can take you on a ride every bit as enjoyable as larger cruisers, all the while filling you with confidence that you have control of the bike.
The low seat height really feels right for riders under 5’9”. The 12 hp engine is perfect for urban exploring, delivering smooth consistent power delivery across the rev range. The 125cc engine sips fuel, and insurance rates are a bargain on this bike.
Due to the engine size not making this an appropriate bike for long trips, many examples are very low mileage, despite being more than 10 years old now. When new, the MSRP was $2650, you can easily find excellent bikes for half that now.
Bottom line: The Eliminator 125 is a good-looking and affordable bike that is easily found on the used market. Training schools loved the Eliminator 125 for a good reason, it builds confidence quickly, is low and comfortable, and fits a wide range of rider sizes.
Reasons to buy the Eliminator 125:
The small frame is perfect for shorter riders.
The 125cc engine is VERY forgiving.
Front brakes are fantastic on this bike.
Cheap to fuel and insure
Reasons not to buy the Eliminator 125:
Low power output makes it a struggle on the highway
Tall riders will be uncomfortable
Production Run & Notable Model-Year Changes
Production Run & Model Generations
Kawasaki introduced the bike in 1997, and really never change the recipe until it was removed from their lineup going into the 2011 model year. The engine is designed to be more powerful at lower speeds, and its light weight makes it ideal for low-speed maneuvers. There are a few things this bike can’t do.
First Generation (1997-2010)
Classic Cruiser looks, that still looks great today
With a dry weight of 291 lbs and a low seat height of 26.8 inches, the bike feels comfortable for most right from the start.
When new the Eliminator 125 was only $2649, used examples are a bargain today.
Owner Reviews of the Kawasaki eliminator 125
Press & Magazines
Review Of The 2001 Kawasaki Eliminator 125 – Motorcyclecruiser.com
“Being the smallest bike in our entry-level cruiser comparison meant the Eliminator 125 started out with a 50 percent disadvantage when compared to the other contestants. Still, the little single has strengths that help it to stand up to challenge.”
The Looks – It may be an entry-level cruiser but it doesn’t look that way. It has style and chrome.
Riding comfort – The seat is nice and low. Everyone finds it comfortable which helps keep the focus on safe riding.
The price – You can easily find a good condition Eliminator 125 for around $2,000, and at that price, it’s a no-brainer.
Fuel efficiency & range – I consistently get over 75 mpg, with the 3.4-gallon tank than means very few gas station stops.
What Owners Complain About
Performance – It’s fine in the city, but I wish it was able to stay at 70 mph.
Brakes – They stop the bike, but they’re just not as strong as they should be.
The Bottom Line
The Kawasaki Eliminator 125 is a very, very good bike to learn about riding motorcycles. Enough power to keep a smile on your face, but not enough to find trouble much more quickly than new riders are ready for.
It doesn’t scream rookie when you pull up in parking lots. It is a very good-looking cruiser. Nothing is worse than having all the eyes on the new person when you are trying to gain confidence and experience.
Kawasaki built a great bike at a great price. They sold quite a few and this is great news when out searching the bike ads. It is fairly straightforward to find a low mileage, well-cared-for, used bike at a great price.
Kawasaki Eliminator 125 Competitors
If you’re looking at an Eliminator 125, you may also want to check out: