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Kawasaki vs Kohler

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#1 New.Canadian.DB.Owner OFFLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2017 - 07:27 PM

Buddy of mine is looking at a new lawn tractor.  He can pick from one with a Kawasaki engine or one with a Kohler.  All things being equal, which would you pick for service life & repair?

#2 Cvans ONLINE  



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Posted June 13, 2017 - 07:30 PM

   I've not used a Kawasaki yet but have enough experience with Kohler to say if it was me I'd give the Kawasaki a try. Kohler's are good engines but I think the Kawasaki might be a better option.

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#3 Kurtee OFFLINE  


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Posted June 13, 2017 - 08:01 PM

I had that choice when I got my Exmark, I chose Kohler and have not regretted it. Since then I have acquired a John Deere with Kawasaki and find that to be a good engine too. I find the Kawasaki to be hard starting in the cold weather. If it needs to start in winter I would lean towards the Kohler.

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#4 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2017 - 09:41 PM

I love my Kohlers, but have had a Kawasaki or two in the past and liked them and would own one again in a heartbeat.
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#5 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted June 13, 2017 - 11:20 PM

Kawa is a harder starting engine.  They don't pop off like a Kohler does especially if they have set for a while.

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#6 Talntedmrgreen ONLINE  


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Posted June 14, 2017 - 03:06 PM

Kawa is a harder starting engine.  They don't pop off like a Kohler does especially if they have set for a while.


In my limited experience, I disagree.  I have a 750D Kawasaki 27 horse and it starts so much easier and runs so much smoother (liquid cooled) than my Kohler Commands.  I've had probably a dozen commands, both vertical and horizontal, and only really ever experienced blown head gaskets.  The Kawasaki I have now is nearing 1000 hours and is flawless in any temperatures, and uses a fraction of the fuel, despite moving a larger machine with broader attachments.  It has completely sold me on their product.


I would never hesitate on a Command for the right price though, either.

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#7 Mark 149 J. ONLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2017 - 04:13 PM

I have a Kohler 17 hp Command on my ZTR Toro 52" deck that I bought used (4 years old??).  I've owned the tractor for 12 years mowing 2 acres of grass every 4 days at 1.2 hrs per mow during the summer.    I've never had to do anything to the motor other than oil, filter, spark plug, and torqued head bolts.  I never expect it to not start!  I don't have any experience with Kawasaki.

Edited by Mark 149 J., June 15, 2017 - 02:26 AM.

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#8 EricR ONLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2017 - 09:53 PM

My father has a 20 horse command in his tractor, and I have a 20 horse Kawasaki in mine and we can't complain about either. I replaced the head  gaskets on his (over 1500 hours) but it is starting to get tired.. The Kawalski has just a little over 800 hours but being liquid it will last a bunch of hours more, BUT both engines are great engines...

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#9 stiemmy OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2017 - 10:42 PM

There are 2 different brand name ZTR's at work, and I have run them both.

One has 5xx hours, and the other has 2xx hours.

Other than routine maintenance, they both run well.

I really like Kohler stuff overall, but would take the Kawie between the 2. Both are V-twins, OHV Ect., but, the edge the Kawie has it's quieter, and it has more power than the Kohler. They are both air cooled, and vertical shaft.

Funny, the mower with the Kohler has more grease fittings, and overall built better, but I'm favoring the Japs on this one.

Sorry, can't give an opinion on fuel usage as the 1 unit has duel tanks, and the other doesn't. These units are used on some pretty serious grades, on flat that power difference probably wouldn't mean squat. Now being 2 different makes, it is possible the transmissions between the 2 maybe different, so it's possible 1 maybe more efficient???? When I'm gettin payed to use em, that's what I do, not explore mower guts;)

Both are good runnin engines. Sorry, not much help, but I would run either in a heartbeat. ;)
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#10 Kurtee OFFLINE  


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Posted July 17, 2017 - 08:02 PM

flip a coin

#11 toppop52 ONLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2017 - 10:34 AM

I've got both, my Kaw is a 20 h.p. Liquid cooled, no complaints on starting or running.
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#12 Trav1s ONLINE  


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Posted July 18, 2017 - 10:58 AM

I would not be afraid of either but reading leads me to believe the Vanguard is more fuel efficient than the Kawasaki.  Also, it is more challenging to get Kaw parts than Vanguard but I cannot confirm that.

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