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View Full Version : eXmark metro kohler or kaw?


qwikv6
06-17-2003, 05:25 PM
I am going to buy a new belt drive 15 HP/ 48 cut Metro. I can't decide whether I should get the Kaw or the Kohler. I am going to demo the machine tomorrow. Also, if I get ECS I have to get the Kaw.

Is the ECS worth the extra $250?

I can get the pistol grip for $2450 and the ECS for $2699.

This is going to be my main machine so I need it to be "the one." Will the 15 HP be enough to pull the machine and me on a sulkie? (I'm 225 LB).

Any help you experts who have run this machine can provide is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Marc

ffemt1271
06-17-2003, 05:28 PM
i have the metro hp 48" with ecs and 17 kawasaki . i love it. nice machine. i have a sulkie on mine. i weigh 185 lbs and it does fine

Doogiegh
06-17-2003, 10:51 PM
I don't have the machine, so I can't comment from experience, but the guy who did reply said he had a 48/17. Remember that between the 15 and 17 is more than a 10% difference in horsepower....

Might want to actually talk to somewho who has the 15 and/or 17 and maybe skip the ecs, but get the 17 HP engine instead?

Gary

cajuncutter
06-17-2003, 10:56 PM
I have the 15 Kohlerand it does just fine. However I am having a personal problem with Kholer. Had I known what I know now on getting a Kholer replacement engine for my shortcut I would have never gotten the Kholer. Just my $.02 I will never get another product with a Kholer mounted on it again. Again this is just personal. Next will be Kaw. They seem to have a replacement available for just about anything.

Oh and the ECS is nice. Takes a lot of tension off your back and your hands arms and wrist are not aching at the end of the day

ffemt1271
06-17-2003, 10:57 PM
i was mistaken i actually have the 15 horse kawasaki v-twin

Rhett
06-17-2003, 10:59 PM
The ECS is worth every penny. Don't have much expierence with kolher but I love my 17 and 12.5 Kaws.

C & T
06-17-2003, 11:25 PM
I have a 48" Metro 15 Kaw engine with the ECS controls and I am very pleased. A friend of mine has the same mower but with the kohler engine and he had to replace it in the begining of the season. The engine was 2 1/2 years old. I would have gotten the 17hp if I really had put thought into it. My 2 cents.

brucec32
06-17-2003, 11:28 PM
I've used Kohlers exclusively for years until this year. With only 88 hours my Kawi 21hp twin has started losing power and is in the shop. So no engine is perfect. My mechanic says he has an easier time getting Kohler parts, if that matters.

My Kohler single cylinders were always very reliable and I never wore one out. I think there's not enough difference to matter much in the brands, overall, on the smaller engines.

ImprovementsGuy
06-17-2003, 11:44 PM
i'm new in the business have not even started completly but i have a good friend that is a service manager for an exmark dealer and he has told me to only buy a Kaw. mower that is only his feelings in the matter but 2 cents to add to the total
hope you do well

Doug

lawn perfection
06-19-2003, 11:48 AM
I HAVE A 14 KAWI ON 48 BELT DRIVE WITH SULKIE, I'M AROUND 190LBS NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS. MOWED THIS SET UP FOR 5 YEARS.

brucec32
06-25-2003, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by ImprovementsGuy
i'm new in the business have not even started completly but i have a good friend that is a service manager for an exmark dealer and he has told me to only buy a Kaw. mower that is only his feelings in the matter but 2 cents to add to the total
hope you do well

Doug

Interesting, because the shop manager/mechanic I use for my Toros says he would only buy a Kohler, Kawi parts are slow to arrive he says. So much for that.

And keep in mind that a guy who uses the mowers can probably tell you more about them than a guy who fixes them, ironically. They may just hate mowers that are harder to work on and that influences their opinion.

dobehap
06-25-2003, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by brucec32
Interesting, because the shop manager/mechanic I use for my Toros says he would only buy a Kohler, Kawi parts are slow to arrive he says. So much for that.


I seccond that.

ImprovementsGuy
06-25-2003, 10:50 AM
your probably right on the guy that runs the equuipment knowing more then the mech. some of what he has told me is that he sees more frustrated customers with them. and tends to work on more of them ( more down time) Also he has stated to me that Kaw has been easier to work with on Warranty work. not sure what that means in regards to your dealer not being able to get parts fast

Tvov
06-25-2003, 12:11 PM
We have an older Exmark Metro belt-drive with a sit-down sulky and a 14hp Kohler. It has more than enough power both for mowing and pulling the sulky, and that's with me a couple years ago at 260lbs. I think it is getting ridiculous these days how much horsepower is being mounted on mowers... Anyway....

I would not buy a pull-start Kohler again. They claim it has compression release, but if you are not careful when pulling it, it will pull you back over the mower or pull your arm out of its' socket.

Otherwise, I don't like the way the Kohler runs after you get it started. It is loud, vibrates, I've had trouble with the choke, and sometimes when I don't talk to it nice, it just won't start for a long time (and MANY pulls). Maybe if I had gotten the electric start option, my opinion of the engine would be better.

The Kohler does run. Maybe I have just been spoiled by my Kawasaki engines (easier to start, smooth running, quieter, excellent engine governor, very dependable).

MTR
06-25-2003, 12:45 PM
I run 12.5 Kaw on 36" belt Metro with Jungle wheels, the kawi is the best engine to me, this thing cut down literally everything in front of it. With 48" and 15 Kawi V-twin Metro you should make a ton of money before the Metro give up! (get a trailing- type sulky for your Metro cause castered/fixed sulky, will drag and drain your machine power, besides shortening your belt system, is bulit for hydro WB).

ECS is great with Hydro unit like TTHP, but I love pistol grip on gear models, to me ECS on gear model is funky and too hard to do lock and neutral , etc, try it and you will see the diff. Just make sure space between sulky and handle and your arm reach is comfy enough so you won't have wrist or arm sore problem.

FrankenScagMachines
06-25-2003, 01:08 PM
You NEED the 17hp. I run a 14hp hydro 52" w/b with a sulky and it does fine as long as:
the grass is dry
the grass is not overgrown
you know your limits and dont' go too fast in the given conditions.

In the spring when there is alot of heavy wet growth it's waaay underpowered especially running doubles which is a must for me (and my lawns are not real thick either). If I was going to upgrade my machine I'd fly right by the 17 and go for a 19hp, so I suggest you go for 17 and you'd probably be fine with that since you have a belt drive and alittle less deck. As you said, it will be your main machine so it needs to be able to handle mowing at full speed if you get a larger account that you can use that speed on. Mine mows fine at 5.5/6mph if it's dry normal growth but on weeks that it's wet I have to cut my speed back to 3.5 or 4mph, same if it's overgrown. The ideal machine would have enough power to spin doubles through very heavy and wet spring growth at full speed and leave a beautiful cut with no stringers from slow blade speed (lack of power).

SO GET THE 17HP!!!

LAWNGODFATHER
06-25-2003, 04:58 PM
I agree with the now 16 year old above about get the most HP you can, but also keep in mind he only has experiance on worn out machines nobody wanted anymore.

I had 14hp Kawi 48" Lesco and 44" Toro's and they did just fine.

Kawi doesn't make the single 14 anymore but there are 1000's in wharehouses, so they are available.

I would go Kohler if you couldn't get it.

ULTIMATE LAWN
06-25-2003, 05:25 PM
15hp twin Kaw is a much better engine than the 15hp Kohler. Only thing I like better about the 15hp Kohler's is you can get an Enginaire precleaner for them.

Clewsew
06-25-2003, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
I agree with the now 16 year old above about get the most HP you can, but also keep in mind he only has experiance on worn out machines nobody wanted anymore.


LGF...why do you need to go there. I have seen some of the pictures of FSM's work with the machines that you refer to, and they look good. He is only 16 and has aquired the equipment that he has. I suspect he has paid cash to. I wonder how many of the "grown-ups" have done that! I think that we need to tear down those who are trying to make a living the best way that they can.

FSM...Maybe LGF would be happier if he didn't know the year of your mower, because you know that makes a big diffenece in the ability to cut grass! Seems like a properly maintained machine is the key here not age!

Not really on the supject but my opion.

I have a Toro 32 with a Kohler 12.5, and it is a little hard to start, but I am really happy other then that.

Clewsew!

FrankenScagMachines
06-25-2003, 07:11 PM
Clewsew, thank you my friend. Yes everything-truck, mowers, trimmers, edger, blower, etc. all paid for in cash- no loans or debts. The trailer is my parents'. No need to get my own because this is the perfect size and there's no more room in the driveway for another anyway. The mower works great, I don't see why age should affect any peice of properly maintained equipment. It LOOKS no older than LGF's Turf Tracer with the Flex Deck on it. I've seen one year old mowers look worse than mine. Maybe LGF is upset because the only memories he has of himself at my age was doin' drugs and gettin' trashed all the time :rolleyes:

LAWNGODFATHER
06-25-2003, 09:04 PM
That's not the point, he will recommend to buy from what he has knowledge of, the machine is 11 years old and he still would recommend it, yet he still complains about it.

If you want I can find all the post about it.

No comment to BHB's post.

Just read his post about his machine being underpowered to begin with, "I' running doubles which is a must for me."

He thinks that everything he learns on here is a must for him.

He aint living in the real world.

If he was replying to a post about what machine should I buy used, more power to him, otherwise stay in your own experiences.

You want to take recommendations from a just turned 16 year old that hasn't got a lick of the real world yet, more power to ya.

Want me to keep going, I can, I have a whole lot more to add.

DLCS
06-25-2003, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by FrankenScagMachines
Maybe LGF is upset because the only memories he has of himself at my age was doin' drugs and gettin' trashed all the time :rolleyes:


Like I'm sure you know this for a fact. I think that comment was uncalled for.




:rolleyes:

Clewsew
06-25-2003, 11:21 PM
LGF,

I agree, it is best to stay in your own experiences, but I thought that the point of this WWW... to help share our experiences so that others can learn from our goods and not have to go through our bads.

FSM,

I agree with DLCS that the comment was probably not called for as it just continues with the flaming of members. LGF has a lot to offer as he is a heavy player in this industry, I just think that sometimes people forget what it is like when you are just getting started, and that is OK if you take what anyone says and evaluate it for yourself and get what you can from it. You are young, and you have ambition, just keep focused on the right path and always remember this if nothing else:

"You can never take back what you say, you can apologize, but you can never take it back" - This applies to everything, not just here.

That's what makes this WWW. a great thing, "Freedom of Speech" "God Bless The USA"

Clewsew

LAWNGODFATHER
06-26-2003, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Clewsew
LGF,

I agree, it is best to stay in your own experiences, but I thought that the point of this WWW... to help share our experiences so that others can learn from our goods and not have to go through our bads.
I don't mind that, that's the whole point, but many don't read as many posts as I have, I've seen many mimic what they have read, and how many of those that have mimicked recommended stuff they have never seen in person.

Also running of an 11 year old second hand machine recommendation is like saying my Ford Festiva couldn't pull a 40' goose neck trailer but my F550 can.

15 hp on this guys mower is fine, he's not consistantly pushing it's limits, the engines now are better than 5 years ago. They may have almost the same exact designs, but they have been improved on.

It's bad enough this person said it aint got it with an engine with a hole in the muffler.

Yes more horse power, I always say more HP.

Fact is the mans got 2 choices on engine 15 Kohler or 15 Kawi, will he step up to a Turf Tracer hp for the 17hp engine.

He is buying on price, he is not going to spend the $2000 more for that mower. He's contimplating $250.

Scag48
06-26-2003, 01:39 AM
Anyway, to put in my .02 on the question at hand, ECS IS worth the $250. Now, I've never run pistol grips, but they look quite uncomfortable to me. Now I do have an '02 TTHP with ECS that is awesome. The hand positioning is great and very comfortable to use. Plus I've heard you won't get carpal tunnel as easily with ECS.

ffemt1271
06-26-2003, 12:30 PM
well i thought fsm's post was good. at least you know there is a good chance in 11 years that a scag 14hp will still be running.

blairbuc
06-26-2003, 03:02 PM
I have an 15 year old Kohler single 12 banger on a Ferris 48, a single banger Kaw. 5.5 and a Kohler 25 on a Hustler.

The single bang 12 Kohler has never hick uped, does not get used much but sitting around is not good for an engine and this guy is trouble free.

My little Kaw. is on its second carb. other than weak in the carb. dept. and $88 when it needs one its been good to me, I have to get the part for the closet dist. which is in another state and that replacement new carb. came bad. Big delay and I can't find a Tec guy at Kaw head quaters to help me. I have names and guys to talk to at Kohler all day if I want and they call back in ten minutes with any stupid detail I need.

When I ordered my Hustler, the dealer said any engine you want Kaw or Kohler. He said 18 out of 20 guy will tell you to go Kaw. but he and his son said they would get Kohler now that they solved the lifter problem that plagued them back in 2000. 'They said the Kohlers started better in the cold when they put them away at night but Kohlers could be grumpy if you don't shut them down right. You shut a Kohler down at 3/4 throttle on the 25, at least , and start them with full choke. Also, Kaw had in the service book a 300 hour head pull to scrape off carbon, Kohler not needed. Now nobody pull their head on a 23hp Kaw, put manual want you to do it. I think both engines are equal, its just I use Amsoil and clean all filters and guys who don't run into trouble no matter what they do. In the end I went Kohler 25 because there is someone one the other end of the phone I can talk to. It does rumble a little on start up and its a little on the Harley side of un even firing at the low rpm's so its no Mercedes but keep in clean and you should get 2000 hrs on it. 5 years form now everyone will have EFI Kohler and Kaw. so when it comes time for a new carb. I want a factory Rep. I can talk to inorder to get a carb. Fed. EXed to me. My feeling is Kohler can do that. At Kaw. I got some girl who told me to call a local dist. and that was 140 miles from me. So even if Kaw is a better engine, I don't care, If I have a warped head and need to confirm which head goes with what serial number, Kohler can do that easier. I also want it coming in tomarrow, as I'm taking the old one off. Its a tough call, but I went Kohler for no other reason.

DieselDeere
06-27-2003, 12:11 AM
I had a 48" Metro HP 15HP Kaw, the ECS was very comfortable but I have never used the pistol grips. The Kaw had no problems, when I used it for cutting thick 1st time cuts the grass was about 6-8 inches tall, if I went in 1st gear it would not leave any un-cut strips or loose power, any faster and it would stall. But for normal cutting it was great!