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View Full Version : I have a Honda HRB215HXA, is it worth getting a new HRX217HXA or HRC216HXA?


vettespeed
05-08-2011, 03:58 PM
I have a Honda HRB215HXA mower that was the top of the line residential unit with Hydrostatic and blade clutch when I purchased it 13 years ago. It still works fine but I have always wanted more power. I have a large lawn much of which is on a hill or in difficult areas. Also living in the Pacific NW means that the grass is never dry, even in the summer most of the time. Between the moisture and often waiting too long to mow I have always wished this mower had more horsepower. I was looking at the new HRX217HXA mowers and notice they are rated at 6.5 HP, as mine is/was rated at 5.0 HP. The thing that baffles me is that mine has a GXV140 engine which from everything Iíve read appears to be a commercial grade engine. The new mower now has a GCV190 engine, which I believe is more of a residential grade engine. Would this mower be much of an advantage over the mower I currently have when it comes to blasting through tall wet grass? What are the differences between the engine I have being a commercial unit and the new mower engine being a residential unit? Is this a lesser quality engine regardless of overall power that will not last as long? That being said I was also eyeballing the HRC216 commercial mower, strangely enough if I recall correctly it is only rated at 5.5 HP. Is this a deceiving rating? Why would the commercial mower at $1249 have less HP than the $699 residential mower. What are the differences and advantages to the commercial mower and related engine in comparison to the residential mower/engine? Thanks, Mike.

skipster01
05-10-2011, 08:54 AM
I personally have a Honda HRS216SDA Even though its reallyl basic self propelled. It has a side discharge that doesn't match anything I have ever owned before, and a lot of power to boot. If you remember the double blade setup that honda has on some of it's mowers. I use the bottom blade alone, It has a very high lift on it and shoots all the grass out at a high velocity. Power, and no clogging. Once you have this mower, you will keep buying them.

vettespeed
05-29-2011, 01:14 PM
Is there anybody out there?

Maco Services
05-29-2011, 03:01 PM
I have a ton of those old honda masters mowers, hrx215s I believe, they work great, but nothing like my 216hrc. It is built to withstand abuse of employees, steel deck wont shatter if you hit a rock like the aluminum decks can do, and the transmission is a bit faster, or at least I've been able to get some more speed out of it and still maintain cutting rpm when I mow.

I think it's worth it, but I am currently considering trying out the HRX217 for potential commercial use. I have one at the house that I've been using a lot, and it cuts well. The nexite deck is supposed to withstand anything given to it, but it is the smaller engine, and doesnt have the power variability that I have on the hrc. We typically only run them full speed,full power, so all I really need is choke and fast.

I think right now we have 7-8 hondas of various years and grades, all BBC, some commercial, some residential, some new, some old. Good units, mostly rebuildible with readily found parts, and the engines put up with a lot of abuse.

In a year with brand new HRC, I've replaced minimal parts, likely bolts coming out, or a spring that was broken, loose muffler guard. I was replacing wheels, bearings, recoils, springs, cables, adjusters on all the used ones I bought, not counting labor, most of the used mowers have 500 in them, not counting my own labor, the HRC I think I picked up for 1200. When I'm too busy to fix them, having a new reliable mower makes all the difference.

joed
06-04-2011, 01:48 PM
I personally have a Honda HRS216SDA Even though its reallyl basic self propelled. It has a side discharge that doesn't match anything I have ever owned before, and a lot of power to boot. If you remember the double blade setup that honda has on some of it's mowers. I use the bottom blade alone, It has a very high lift on it and shoots all the grass out at a high velocity. Power, and no clogging. Once you have this mower, you will keep buying them.

Skipster,

Is the honda mower you have?
http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2LM&category=hrs

Do have the double blade set up on it?

How does it do for side-discharging and mulching? Any clogging or clumps, especially in wet grass?

h2oskier
06-04-2011, 02:24 PM
To the original poster, I have owned both the mowers that you are asking about and also the commercial. With that stated i prefer the 217HXA just my opinion all great machines. The advantage to the 217HXA is the motor as you asked does have a bit more power, the only difference of it being a commercial rated engine to a residential, is the air cleaner.

As far as why they don't put this on the commercial unit as of yet, is the commercial unit was designed a couple years before the 217HXA, and the GCV190 engine is slightly larger, this making the bolt patteren different.

Hope this answers your question.

Also with the wet grass, the 217HXA give you the ability to strictly mulch or run in percentages of how much you bag and mulch together.

Roger
06-04-2011, 08:40 PM
I have an HRX217 and use it heavily every day. I bought it two years ago, with the intention of getting one season of wear. I estimate that the previous hand mower was run about 700 service hours, April 1 to Dec 1. The HRX217 was a replacement for a LawnBoy Duraforce, staggered wheeled model.

Not only did the 217 last one year, it has lasted two season, plus. It is now on its third season.

The engine has plenty of power. It has been without any fault. It starts now as well as when new, runs the same, same power, etc. I change oil every week (Rotella 10W-30), after about 25-30 hours of weekly work. In the Fall, it gets used less per week.

A comment above speaks about "the same, except air filter." The GCV is the same as the GSV, excepting the air filter, AND the "S" has a cast iron sleeve. The "C" and "S" are of a different design than the "X." The "X" is overhead valve, the "C" and "S" are overhead cam.

The Versa-Mow has been a huge time saver. The machine bags very well, including wet conditions. It also mulches well, much better than any other hand mower I've used. Having the shutter to open and close means "mulching where I can, bagging where I must." I've paid for the machine is dumping fees.

The notches in the Versa-Mow are non-functional. The shutter is either run fully open (bag), or fully closed (mulch). Operating with a partial open setting is not a way of minimizing bagging. With just a small opening (in good conditions), all the clippings will go to the bag. Or, with a small opening in heavier conditions, the small opening will quickly clog, and the machine is a mulching mower. I know what the adverts say, but the reality is something different.

Failures: (1) Ground drive speed selector cable - I've posted a thread in the Repair section, (2) Handles; there is a weakness at the pivot point of the attachment bracket. The left rear wheel is now in need of being rebuilt -- the washers apparently are worn out.

It is running on the second set of drive wheels. These will probably last for the rest of this season, but it will be a stretch. The front ones are the original, and look hardly worn.

The Nexite deck has also been without fault. I was dubious before buying -- "who wants a plastic deck?" All those fears have been set aside. Yes, the inside has scratches from sticks and debris, but none of the finer elements (e.g. height adjustment notches) have shown any sign of breakage, or even wear.

The hydro transmission has been sound, and provides great productivity -- always move as fast as possible, infinite setting.

The fuel tank is small. It will run non-stop about 1:30-1:40 on one tank. I thought this would be a problem. But, I have a good gas can, easy reach, and know when to refill on the daily schedule. Some days, it burns through five tanks of fuel, others not quite as much. This is a non-issue for me. probably because I've become so accustomed to know when to refill, the task is just assumed.

After about 700 + 700 + 200 (this season), it was a wise investment for me. At this point, I'm hoping to get another 500 hours out of it for this season.

Hope that helps ...

vettespeed
06-11-2011, 03:33 PM
Let me make sure I'm reading this correctly? The new 217 HXA mower has more power in comparison to the new HRC216 unit making it more capable of plowing through grass when mowing during less than desirable conditions? Plain and simple, I WANT THE MOST POWER. I want to be able to cut my lawn after it's been too long between cuttings, occasionally wet, etc. And I don't need lessons on the fact that I should cut more often, cut in multiple lengths, take smaller step overs, blah, blah, blah. I want to buy a product that works for what I want to do and if it's out there I'll pay the price. Thanks, Mike.

vettespeed
06-17-2011, 11:17 PM
Come on guys, which one can I simply mow tall grass FASTER with? Thanks.

Merkava_4
06-18-2011, 05:46 AM
Is there anybody out there?

Isn't that a line from a Pink Floyd song? :D

coopmaster
06-18-2011, 08:46 AM
Come on guys, which one can I simply mow tall grass FASTER with? Thanks.

For really tall / wet grass I think a mower with side discharge works best. Love my Honda but I wish they offered models with a standard side discharge. No the optional rear/side discharge that they sell does'nt work well. It should be called a rear clogger.

JABBERS
06-25-2011, 01:38 PM
Thanks for the info. How about ditches? How about that rear discharge? My old lawn boy always clogged up I just kept mowing. Does the mower mulch good?

h2oskier
06-25-2011, 05:12 PM
Come on guys, which one can I simply mow tall grass FASTER with? Thanks.

Maybe schooling would help with your ability to read the responces.

Blazerfb
06-25-2011, 09:46 PM
I don't like the HRX for commercial use on hills. Any hilly properties ripped our wheels to shreds. Good power but my 216 powers through high grass much better IMO. The 216 is a tank, indestructible but heavy as lead. The HRX worked great for us in light mowing situations and the clippings selector is a great time saver. Overall, comfort aside, I prefer the reliability of the 216 over the lighter HRX. Don't know about which one technically has more power, but the 216 cuts through thicker, wetter nastier stuff without bogging down. One other thing I liked about the HRX is the shape of the deck. The squared-ness of it allows grass to consumed into the cutting chamber more easily than the classic round deck of the 216. I've found I have to overlap less with the HRX.

Again though, comfort aside, I prefer the HRC due to it's extreme reliability and indestructible design.
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Blazerfb
06-25-2011, 09:47 PM
To answer the question better though, IMO, the HRC is faster overall I the conditions mentioned.
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Blazerfb
06-25-2011, 09:50 PM
For really tall / wet grass I think a mower with side discharge works best. Love my Honda but I wish they offered models with a standard side discharge. No the optional rear/side discharge that they sell does'nt work well. It should be called a rear clogger.

I retro-fitted a John Deere side discharge chut from an old JA-62 to work with m masters and hrc. Big chute, U shaped with opening towards the ground and the right, almost never clogs. Sometimes fabricating your own accessories are a must.
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Roger
06-25-2011, 09:54 PM
I don't like the HRX for commercial use on hills. Any hilly properties ripped our wheels to shreds. ...

Please elaborate on "ripped our wheels ...."

Blazerfb
06-25-2011, 10:36 PM
Rubber coming off the rim, rim spinning and rubber not.
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kirk595x
10-13-2011, 01:00 AM
My Hrx217 wheels were slipping as well and I just drove a few nails through the tire and into the rim,it's worked for two years untilled I ran out of tread. I have three Hrx217 one of them being the Smart Drive. I have about 300 hours on the Smart Drive and about 200 on each of the other two. I have to say that I have no intention in buying an Hrc216, I honestly don't see a good reason to spend nearly double when the Hex is more than capable of commercial work and longevity. I'm not knocking the HRc at all...I just think the HRX really should be classified as commercial but then it would cost $1200 LOL. As far as tall grass I really don't think it curse tall grass that well but at least not in one pass.If you mow it once on a high setting and again on a lower it works fine...even better if your mulching. Just my opinion...I'm not an expert but I do use these mowers for my business on a daily basis.
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