View Full Version : Engine Poll: Vanguard vs. Kawasaki

10-06-2010, 10:23 AM
The implementation date for EPA Phase 3 (Class 2 Engines) is rapidly approaching. This mandate has equipment manufacturers carefully considering which engines to offer.

Since your's is the only opinion that really matters, I'd like to hear what all of you think regarding Briggs Vanguard and Kawasaki (which in our opinion are both great commercial engines).

First- here are some of the positives and negatives for each side.

Sizes Available: Both Briggs (Vanguard) and Kawasaki are elininating all (mid-sized vertical-shaft) commercial-class engines under 16HP (14 Vanguard is on the way out). A 16HP appears to be emerging as the only Pro-class engine choice for commercial walk-behinds.


Vanguard is built in Japan, but owned by an American company. Profits stay in the U.S.

Kawasaki is built in America, but owned by a Japanese company. Profits go to Japan.

Service Network:

Briggs has ~18,000 dealers in the U.S. Kawasaki has ~4,500


Briggs Vanguard- 3 years, Unlimited Hours Commercial-Use
Kawasaki- 2 years, Unlimited Hours Commercial-Use


Briggs repair parts are generally less expensive than Kawasaki.


Kawasaki and Vanguard engines are generally the same price (no effect on the final product price).


Kawasaki engines are a totally new design from the crankshaft-out. Technically sophisticated with an outstanding list of features, but unproven in the field.

Vanguard is an established design with a proven track-record.

So please tell us- When it comes to a commercial walk-behind, what is your choice? 16HP Briggs Vanguard or a 16HP Kawasaki FX?

10-06-2010, 10:50 AM
What is the displacement on each motor?

10-06-2010, 11:05 AM
KOHLER! I have 2000 hours on my 25HP Kohler Command...never an issue. I've had three mowers with 23HP Kawasaki engines...every 200 hours...minor to major issues.

10-06-2010, 11:31 AM
What is the displacement on each motor?

16 HP Vanguard= 479cc (better fuel economy)
16 HP Kawasaki= 603cc (more torque)

KOHLER! I have 2000 hours on my 25HP Kohler Command...never an issue.

Kohler makes a very good "big" engine, but their mid-sized Command engines (13-15HP) are heavy, noisy, vibrating (single cylinder) and kinda obsolete. Nobody seems to want the "Courage" engines.

10-06-2010, 11:53 AM
I would take the Kawi for sure then.

Kennedy Landscaping
10-06-2010, 11:59 AM
I have Kholers and Kawis. I love them both but I still prefer the Kawi for sure. I have a Honda too that is good, but the Kawisaki really has alot of power.

10-06-2010, 03:32 PM
are they both twin cylinders ?

10-07-2010, 07:21 AM
Bump for opinions.

10-07-2010, 10:12 AM
After using a number of different engines on different machines, I have found that the kawi's tend to run smoother and a little quieter. The briggs vanguard has a great reputation and I think is briggs best line of engine.

You will see better fuel economy with the vanguard, which will be very important if/when fuel prices rise to the $4/gal again.

I am a fan of Kawi engines, that's what I'd buy if I had the choice.

10-07-2010, 12:29 PM
I'm very happy with the 32 hp Briggs on my Z. I would have to go with the Briggs. I think is more quiet and smoother than my Kawi. Just my .02

10-07-2010, 12:37 PM
I didn't vote in this pole since both have been great engines. I have ran all three engines Kaw, Briggs and Kohler and they have all been great with no problems at all. I don't run engines past 1500 hrs so don't know about anything over that.