In a world dominated by rebranded Stacyc electric balance bikes, the 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode offers an alternative for youngsters wanting to get started on powered two-wheelers. The 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode is a battery-powered balance bike for kids 37 to 55 inches tall and 3 to 8 years old. Ultimate Motorcycling drafted my son Henry to test Kawasaki’s first electric dirt bike, and test it he did.
- At first sight, four-year-old Henry was enthusiastic yet cautious about riding the 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode. The first thing we did was adjust the ergonomics to fit Henry. Dropping the adjustable height of the bicycle-style saddle to the 16.1-inch minimum takes only a 4mm hex key and is simple. The low center of gravity aluminum frame design gives the smallest riders plenty of confidence to flatfoot the ground to put down the landing gear when stopping.
- The controls are the first items I check on a new bike before Henry rides. The Elektrode has a nice close-reach left-hand brake lever, perfectly sized for Henry’s hands—no issues implementing the mechanical caliper for the rear disc brake. The adjustable handlebar seems large, but allows plenty of room for Henry to move around the cockpit and grow with the bike. Unfortunately, the grip diameter is too large for young hands. Even when Henry’s odometer clicked over to five years old, he couldn’t hold onto the grips as easily as I’d like.
- The moto-style foot pegs fold up out of the way in a fall. This allows easy transitioning from a balance bike to twisting the throttle of the Elektrode. The footpegs fold up in a tip-over, requiring Henry to push them back into position—after letting me know he “broke” them, of course.
- Newcomers to powered two-wheelers are where the three speed-modes—Low, Mid, High—come in handy. Starting off in Low mode was an easy way for Henry to get comfortable with the Elektrode, as its top speed is 4.8 mph. Henry has grown up on balance bikes and has ridden electric bikes along with his pedal bike, so the concept was well ingrained in him from the start of the test. As soon as he twisted the throttle, he was off, and any trepidations quickly disappeared.
- Soon enough, Henry demanded the High mode for the 250-watt motor, which powers the 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode to up to a shirt-flapping 12.6 mph. The handlebar-mounted dash housed the power mode, battery level, and an unlabeled on/off switch. Its mounting position seems vulnerable, but it survived the rigorous testing process. It takes a try or two to learn the mode-changing process, and that’s enough to keep the youngsters from accidentally upping the power before they are ready.
- Being electric-powered, there is no shortage of grunt. The impressive torque output encouraged Henry to tackle momentum-killing hills, blast through tire-swallowing piles of leaves, into the mud, and across wet, sandy playgrounds. Nothing stopped Henry and the Elektrode.
- There is no range anxiety with the 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode. We have never had issues with the 5.1 amp-hour lithium-ion battery. Kawasaki claims 2.5 hours of run time and nine miles of range—that’s a long way on a dirt bike this small. Henry never depleted the battery in a day, even when sharing the Elektrode with big sister Avery, who is just growing out of the Elektrode, even at the 20.5-inch maximum seat height. Out on trails, she rides a Honda CRF-E2.
- Charging is easy—just plug the cable into the port on the frame and plug the other end into a standard 110-volt outlet. The Elektrode comes with a charger for me to add to my growing collection of chargers since the advent of electric bikes. Proprietary connectors are a gripe of mine, as I have to have a separate charger for every bike in the garage.
- The center of gravity is low, with the battery integrated into the frame of the 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode, which makes for good handling. We heard no complaints from Henry, and our observations confirmed the geometry works. The 16-inch wheels make it easier to roll over obstacles, and what kid doesn’t enjoy doing that. Traction from the 2.50-inch-wide Duro tires is good at both ends. Henry rode the Elektrode through everything he threw at it—concrete sidewalks, asphalt driveways, parks, grass, gravel, leaves, mud, and wet sand. There is no suspension, which didn’t bother Henry, and having the Eiwol motor safely ensconced in the rear hub did not compromise handling.
- Being nearly silent, you can ride the Elektrode in plenty of places where an ICE-powered motorcycle would not be welcome. The Elektrode is so non-threatening that even the local ducks weren’t concerned when Henry flew by them at a local river-side park.
- The iconic KX-style Lime Green paint and plastic on the Elektrode is the first thing I and Henry noticed. Green is his favorite color, and it is one of mine. He also noticed the number plate and planned to add his favorite number, 100, to make it his own. A Kawasaki-Elektrode-branded stand makes for a professional dirt bike rider presentation—there is no kickstand.
- Henry and I both enjoy the 2024 Kawasaki Elektrode very much. We give it the thumbs up, and it’s a legitimate alternative to the Stacyc. It’s a blast watching Henry’s skills develop. His spark for two-wheel fun is burning hard. I love we can share this passion together, and the Elektrode is a fantastic way to start the process of becoming a full-fledged lifelong motorcyclist.
Photography by Don Williams
2024 Kawasaki Elektrode Specs
- Type: Brushless; rear hub
- Maximum power: 250 watts / 0.33 horsepower
- Top speeds: Low, 4.8 mph; Mid, 7.2 mph; High, 12.6 mph
- Cooling: Air
- Transmission: Clutchless single-speed
- Final drive: Rear-hub motor
- Type: Lithium-ion
- Maximum capacity: 5.1 Ah
- AC charge time: 2.5 hours
- Range: 9 miles (2.5 hours)
- Suspension: None
- Wheels: Cast aluminum
- Tires: Duro
- Front and rear tire: 2.15 x 16
- Front brake: None
- Rear brake: 160mm disc w/ mechanical caliper
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 32.8 inches
- Seat height: 16.1 to 21.5 inches
- Maximum rider weight: 99 pounds
- Rider height range: 37 to 55 inches
- Curb weight: 32 pounds
- Color: Lime Green
2024 Kawasaki Elektrode Price: $1099 MSRP
2024 Kawasaki Elektrode Review