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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Looking to Buy :)

    Kohler 7000 Series vs. Kawasaki FR Series

    I'm currently in the market for a zero-turn and it seems like most of the models I'm looking at either have the Kohler 7000 series engine or the Kawasaki FR series engine. For those that are familiar with both, can you help answer some of these questions?

    - Noise level: Is one quieter than the other?

    - Fuel efficiency: Is one more fuel efficient than the other?

    - Maintenance: Is one easier to maintain than the other? (it appears changing oil and filters seems pretty straight forward on both)

    - Reliability: Any concerns that I should be aware of? I've heard both are pretty good.


  2. #2

    1,000 Post Club
    7394's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Toro Z w/Kaw

    Re: Kohler 7000 Series vs. Kawasaki FR Series

    Having a FR651V since new in 2014, & neighbor has a Kohler, I think the Kaw is quieter.

    And seems to be better on gas. Any parts will likely cost a nit more for the Kaw, but I wouldn't trade mine. So my opinion is slightly biased.

    Now I've heard the neighbors Kohler bog down in wet grass, & cutting the same grass my Kaw has never bogged down.
    Buddy.......... My Kawasaki FR to FX Air Box mod

  3. #3

    1,000 Post Club

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Toro/Cub Cadet/Kubota

    Re: Kohler 7000 Series vs. Kawasaki FR Series

    Another vote here for Kawasaki.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Kohler 7000 Series vs. Kawasaki FR Series

    In most cases the muffler is part of the mower , not the engine.
    As such the cheaper engine gets a cheaper ( noisier ) muffler in order to keep the price down.
    Briggs offer several mufflers for most of their engines and the quieter they are the more expensive they are.
    Look at the engine in a power broom used in your local shopping mall, it will most likely be the same Briggs as the one your neighbour 200 yards up the street uses that can wake the dead, but in the sweeper you can barely hear it running.

    The kawasaki will be the more expensive to service because kawasaki parts are much lower volume so much higher prices.
    There is little pressure from the aftermarket parts suppliers to push kawasaki parts prices down.
    Down here Kawasaki sells parts through all 3 aftermarket mower parts wholesalers so they sell me genuine kawasaki parts.
    Kohler only retail through authorised Kohler dealers so their prices are a lot higher than Briggs prices but volume means they are cheaper than Kawasaki parts.
    Cutting 1/2" off the top of your grass every 3 days uses a lot less fuel than lopping off 1" once a week which will again be more fuel efficient done weekly than chewing through 4" once a month

    Fuel economy is meaningless because it depends on how the mower is operated.
    A gallon/ acre vs 1.5 gallons/acre is nothing unless you are doing 200 acres a week

    IMHO all of the vertical shaft engines are junk.
    They are only used in mowers & earth augers and are all built down to a price because the public would not pay for top quality long life engines.
    Once companies like Honda & Onan exited the market, they all became the same.
    Not a single engine has a thrust race on the crankshaft.
    None of them have bearings in the engine.
    None of them have proper ignition timing.

    The only real difference is the supply and availibility of service parts.
    Saving $ 200 on the cost price is meaningless if you have to pay some one to mow your grass for a month because the dealer can not get service parts

    All of them are hard to maintian because while you can see everything, you can not get tool to them.
    Take your oil filter wrench with you to the showroom then look at the position of the rocker covers and imagine getting feeler gauges & 2 wrenches into that space.
    Look at the blower housing, Kohlers generally come off easier than others and the housing should come off at the end of each season to clean the cooling fins.
    Horizontal shaft blower housings have removable cover plates to facilitae seasonal cleaning.

    In short, don't get ulcers trying to decide which engine, there is not much between them.
    I have found kawasaki honours their warranties easier than Kohler does down here but that could just be because they are chasing a bigger market share right now.

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