Think back to November 2023, and what you were doing toward the start of the month. If you, like most of the rest of the motorcycle world, were glued to the edge of your seat as EICMA 2023 introductions rolled on, you're not alone. In among its other offerings, that event is where Kawasaki staged the global debut of its new Ninja 500 and Z 500 middleweight sport and naked bikes.
Both use the same 451cc parallel twin that's also found in the Kawasaki Eliminator (or Eliminator 500 in markets where it was preceded by the Eliminator 400, for the purpose of differentiation).
Upon its introduction at EICMA 2023, it wasn't yet clear what Kawasaki's plans were in terms of rolling these models out in global markets.
While it seemed like a safe bet that they'd find a home in European markets, their potential future on American shores was less clear. Sometimes, like the Eliminator, they come here; but sometimes, they don't. (This particular emotional rollercoaster is all part of being a motorcycle fan in the US; trust us.)
Anyway, all that officially changed on January 23, 2024. That's when Kawasaki US officially announced that a full range of 2024 Ninja 500 and Z 500 bikes would be headed here. For fans of the gorgeous Ninja 40th Anniversary graphics that Kawasaki has (rightly) been so proud to show off, we are apparently even getting that beautiful 40th Anniversary Ninja livery in our mixed bag of bikes, as well. Pinch us; we must be dreaming.
Here's a full list of all the variants of 2024 Kawasaki Ninja 500 and Z 500 that should already be available in American Kawasaki dealerships as we write this. Yes, you read that correctly; all these bikes should, Kawasaki says, be available as of January 23, 2024.
Which color scheme is your favorite, and why is the only correct answer the 40th Anniversary Edition Ninja 500? Let us know in the comments.