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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Mower
    Toro

    Re: Smart Drive Hand Controls - "paddle" style

    Big Red,

    Does that model allow you to release the hand clutch to slow down the forward movement of the mower? I have seen pictures of the hand clutch and wonder if when one comes to the end of one's lawn, you can release the clutch to stop the forward movement. Also, if you are going around a tight area how do you best control the speed? Thanks in advance for the info.

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  3. #22

    1,000 Post Club
    robert@honda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,035
    Location
    Georgia
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Smart Drive Hand Controls - "paddle" style

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    On a side note, have there been any issues with the timing belts on these motors? Is there a service interval on them?
    I've been with Honda since the GC/GCV series engines have been introduced, and have never seen a timing belt fail.

    There is no regular service required for the timing belt; it is designed to last for the life of the engine. Should the engine ever start to really wear out, burn oil, etc. it would be reasonable to replace the belt if doing a complete rebuild. That said, the parts and labor cost to rebuild an GC/GCV engine can often exceed the cost of a new engine. If you keep it long enough to require a rebuild, you may elect to DIY just for the heck of it.

    -Robert@Honda

    Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.

  4. #23

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    robert@honda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,035
    Location
    Georgia
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Smart Drive Hand Controls - "paddle" style

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott1 View Post
    Big Red,

    Does that model allow you to release the hand clutch to slow down the forward movement of the mower? I have seen pictures of the hand clutch and wonder if when one comes to the end of one's lawn, you can release the clutch to stop the forward movement. Also, if you are going around a tight area how do you best control the speed? Thanks in advance for the info.
    The SmartDrive control is spring-loaded and when released, the mower comes to a full stop. The more you press down on the control, the faster it drives forward. Lift up a bit, and it slows down a bit. Let it snap from a fully-pressed position and it will rotate back to the fully-released position. Any downward pressure on the SmartDrive control will cause the drive to engage. Actual forward speed will vary depending on turf conditions, mower height settings, and incline of the ground.

    -Robert@Honda

    Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.

  5. #24

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    6
    Location
    Louisiana
    Mower
    IH, Honda, Craftsman, Tanaka, Poulan...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott1
    Big Red,

    Does that model allow you to release the hand clutch to slow down the forward movement of the mower? I have seen pictures of the hand clutch and wonder if when one comes to the end of one's lawn, you can release the clutch to stop the forward movement. Also, if you are going around a tight area how do you best control the speed? Thanks in advance for the info.
    Yes, you can slacken your grip on the hand clutch to slow the pace of the mower, or bump the cruise speed down to accommodate. If you release the hand clutch, the mower will stop moving in it's own, but is very easy to maneuver without being driven. I typically slacken my grip to slow down for tight spots, but will also just push the mower myself if it is too tight.

  6. #25

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7
    Location
    Indiana
    Mower
    HRX217VKA

    Re: Smart Drive Hand Controls - "paddle" style

    The hand / thumb controls are not naturally easy to use nor intutitive. You have to slowly release the paddle and the mower will slow down... but its a bit awkward.

    A more natural position would be to use the fingers when you grip the kill bar; so in essence you are gripping the kill bar and pushing down the paddle / hand control for the propelling of the mower with your palm or thumb - 2 opposite directions.

    That is the problem with the Smart Control Setup- its not intuitive.

    What I do is let up the speed using one of my thumbs / palms and use my free hand (left or right) to push the mower around the bush / tree. It depends on which direction i have to move the mower.

    The old selp propelled lawnboy setup was easiest to use - too bad its gone.

    Pro- this mower does mulch well. That i will give it due.

    Martin

  7. #26

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1
    Location
    Virginia
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Smart Drive Hand Controls - "paddle" style

    I agree with you about the paddles being a real pain to use. I bought an HRR216VYA last month and do not like the paddle arrangement. My wrists and thumbs hurt after using the mower for more than an hour. I did try to flip the handle bar over so that the paddle was on the top and and rotated forward, but that didn't feel any better. I also don't like the way the handle bar is mounted to the mower. The mount is too high on the mower chassis and any little pressure downward on the mower handle lifts the front wheels off the ground too easily.

    I'm taking the Honda back to HD tomorrow and will get a Toro with the cast aluminum deck and the self pace speed control (model 20382) at a local lawn equipment store (HD doesn't sell that model) . I've uses Toro mowers for many years. After using the Honda for a month, the Toro is much more easy to maneuver and control.

  8. #27

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    110
    Location
    Georgia
    Mower
    Honda

    Re: Smart Drive Hand Controls - "paddle" style

    Quote Originally Posted by Blado View Post
    I agree with you about the paddles being a real pain to use. I bought an HRR216VYA last month and do not like the paddle arrangement. My wrists and thumbs hurt after using the mower for more than an hour. I did try to flip the handle bar over so that the paddle was on the top and and rotated forward, but that didn't feel any better. I also don't like the way the handle bar is mounted to the mower. The mount is too high on the mower chassis and any little pressure downward on the mower handle lifts the front wheels off the ground too easily.

    I'm taking the Honda back to HD tomorrow and will get a Toro with the cast aluminum deck and the self pace speed control (model 20382) at a local lawn equipment store (HD doesn't sell that model) . I've uses Toro mowers for many years. After using the Honda for a month, the Toro is much more easy to maneuver and control.

    I have had great luck with the Lawn Boy sense a speed (Personal Pace). My mower is basically a green Toro super bagger. Many complain about backing up and wheels locking up but I have never had an issue. I do wish I had the Honda motor vs the Briggs. The briggs seems to be alittle over worked worked with my thick grass. I dont cut more than 1/3 and also always dry grass. The Lawn Boy leaves a small pile of clippings at the front of the mower when I reach the point were I turn around that and wish I had the Honda motor are my biggest complaints.

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