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Lawn-N-Garden Guy
02-29-2004, 12:11 AM
I was out getting a price today on a couple Hondas,It was the 5.5 hp Hydro w/bladebreak,Bags,Mulches and side discharges Model HRC216K1HXA,Price quoted was $1000.00 each,Could I get some input on these mowers

Olylawnboy
02-29-2004, 01:49 AM
We have 4 216's from 6 to 10 years old. Rear baggers and mulching kits (don't mulch much though), no side discharge. I like them lots. Very little break downs. The 10 year old still starts on the first pull. The only negative things are I don't like the way they mulch, leaves way to many clumps, well not really clumps but just too messy. Double cutting eliminates this but heck you have to mow twice. You get a good looking checkerboard or diamond cut so that's not always a bad thing.
And when you are dealing with leaves, forget it, that's when they really leave clumps. I think they do cut and bag great though. Another thing I can think of, and of coarse this is if you keep them for years, is the metal where the recoil bolts down to the cover breaks down over time and you have to replace the cover or do some minor fabrication to fix this. All and all, great machines, I love them.

ElephantNest
02-29-2004, 09:49 AM
Work horses, but they don't side discharge particularly well.

4734
02-29-2004, 10:21 AM
I have a 216, the mower is built very well, starts very easly and the hydro transmission works great.
I mulch with it 80% of the time, at first I used the stock single blade then I got the mulch kit (second blade and deck plug) and now that mower really mulches.

I had reservations about paying that much for a 21" mow but now I am very happy that I did.

Yes, I would buy another when I need to.

Four Seasons Lawn Care

lawnMaster5000
02-29-2004, 10:48 AM
My only complaint about the mower is in the drive system for the wheels. I do not particularly care for how the system is either engaged or disengaged - there is no smooth transition. It is like removing the clutch from your car and jamming it into gear when you want to go and ripping it out when you want to stop. Other mowers, particularly the toro, have a smooth system just as you would have in a car with a nice clutch.
This is important to me especially when making turns and when mowing around tight obstacles. With the toro i am able to do it with easy, but with the Honda the wheels are spinning and the mower is jerking go, stop, go, stop, go, stop - just to try and make a tight turn.

This is even true with the hydrostatic transmission despite when you may think. The squeeze bar for ground control is not directly linked to the hydro transmission but rather a gear box that links or isolates the hydro from the engine.

naturescape
02-29-2004, 10:51 AM
Take a look at the Snapper 21"s, I think you'll be glad you did. Much cheaper also.

sildoc
02-29-2004, 11:51 AM
I don't think you can go wrong with the honda Hrc216hxa with the 5.5hp.
Very nicely built, with the mulch kit on you can bag so much more, packs it in there tight. Use the high lift blades and it will suck a gopher out of its hole.
I wouldn't take our word for it, I would go and try the toro, lawn boy, exmark, snapper and honda and see for youself.

ZaK18
02-29-2004, 01:58 PM
I have a 216. Very good mower only complaint the weight ( steel deck). Just bought a proline with the 6.5 kawasaki engine. its more powerful bags and mulches better then the honda. hope this helps!

dkeisala
02-29-2004, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by ZaK18
I have a 216. Very good mower only complaint the weight ( steel deck). Just bought a proline with the 6.5 kawasaki engine. its more powerful bags and mulches better then the honda. hope this helps! My very first mower was the 21" Honda hydro. Built like a tank and weighs as much. Only thing I ever had to do to it was replace the drive spindle and rear drive wheels. It was a simple and relatively inexpensive repair. Sold the mower after about 4 seasons but I think the kid that bought it from me uses it to this day.

It is a great mower and still consider buying one again accept for the weight factor. Turning it is laborious and using it on wet/soggy lawns can be a problem as the weight contributes to rutting. Also, as described in another post, the lack of a smooth transition between the drive being either engaged or disengaged can cause the tires to spin, tearing the turf.

jajwrigh
02-29-2004, 02:17 PM
Those prices sound like murder for a 21"! Check out some other brands and compare prices!!

flyboy
02-29-2004, 05:27 PM
Buy a Snapper 21" commercial mower. I like the Robins Subaru motor but they also make them with a 5.5 honda engine. The drive system is easy to maintain and replace as necessary and they bag like no other mower, plus there are a lot of Snapper dealers around.

Let it Grow
02-29-2004, 05:39 PM
Buy the Honda. I bought mine last spring and have not had one problem with them. I pull the machine off the trailer, give it one pull and it starts...EVERY time. I also bought the Honda 4 stroke commercial trimmer, same thing with it, starts easy everytime.
If I were you I'd buy the Honda.

specialtylc
02-29-2004, 05:40 PM
All i use is the HRC216 hydros. A have 4 of them . Yes they are $1000. But so is the Toro and John Deere commercial unit. I like the steel deck. At least they are repairable. Not like the J.D. alum. deck.WE tried the Jd and Toro for 2 years and didnt hold up as well. The wheel adjusters are far superior on the hondas. The hydro machines will act just like a W. B. or Z rider. These are full hydro machines and act just like the big boys. The Honda gear drives are like you say, squeese the handle and they jump forward. The only trouble i have with our hondas is we wear out 1 drive shaft per season on each mower.
We run a bag on the push mowers 100% of the time. So I dont know about mulching with them.

ZaK18
02-29-2004, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by specialtylc
All i use is the HRC216 hydros. A have 4 of them . Yes they are $1000. But so is the Toro and John Deere commercial unit. I like the steel deck. At least they are repairable. Not like the J.D. alum. deck.WE tried the Jd and Toro for 2 years and didnt hold up as well. The wheel adjusters are far superior on the hondas. The hydro machines will act just like a W. B. or Z rider. These are full hydro machines and act just like the big boys. The Honda gear drives are like you say, squeese the handle and they jump forward. The only trouble i have with our hondas is we wear out 1 drive shaft per season on each mower.
We run a bag on the push mowers 100% of the time. So I dont know about mulching with them.



I didnt know John Deere made a commercial 21"

joed
02-29-2004, 07:33 PM
Zak 18 wrote
Just bought a proline with the 6.5 kawasaki engine. its more powerful bags and mulches better then the honda. hope this helps!

Zak,

Can you tell me more about this model and engine?

Is it the new kawasaki engine that will be on the 04 models?

Does the engine have an oil filter?

Is the gear shifter on the bottom or top?

Thanks

specialtylc
02-29-2004, 09:22 PM
JX85 is the model # for John Deere commercial. Its got a really good 6hp kaw motor,tires are good,I liked the drive control handle,its easy to run with one hand. I bought mine in 1999 and still have it as back up unit. Problems we had were. 2 clutches, many cables, engagement levers, finicky carb. and front axel shaft wore out the alum. deck, and i cant count how many wheel adjuster assys.. We had it in service for less than 2 years. And it cost $970 in 1999.
It had lots of power and cut damn good , but I couldnt count on it to run the whole day.

dkeisala
03-01-2004, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by specialtylc
JX85 is the model # for John Deere commercial. Its got a really good 6hp kaw motor,tires are good,I liked the drive control handle,its easy to run with one hand. I bought mine in 1999 and still have it as back up unit. Problems we had were. 2 clutches, many cables, engagement levers, finicky carb. and front axel shaft wore out the alum. deck, and i cant count how many wheel adjuster assys.. We had it in service for less than 2 years. And it cost $970 in 1999.
It had lots of power and cut damn good , but I couldnt count on it to run the whole day. JX85 is no longer made but you can upgrade the JX75 and it becomes virtually the same mower.

I love my JD JX 85 but it is very problematic. After three years, just got through replacing the transmission and rear tires. Neutral springs constantly break. Can't tell you how many cables I've replace. Yes, the carb is touchy.

Thing is, it bags better than ANY other 21" I've used (JD, Toro, Honda HRC216). It's also the lights and most maneuverable of all three. Toro's handle bars are too short for us tall guys and that dinky little chute is prone to clogging. Honda's HRC216 bags OK but they weigh a ton. I almost feel like I should stick with JD. Sure they have problems but at this point, I'm a pro at fixing them!

specialtylc
03-01-2004, 01:14 AM
Yeah I got to be a pro at fixing those JDs. But I dont have the time to stop and go fix a mower for the employee's every day . Need something you can kind of count on. All the brands of push mowers have some weak points when you run them 35 hrs a week or more, you just gotta find the brand that holds up the best.

JimLewis
03-01-2004, 01:30 AM
I have 6 of those Honda HRC216HXA mowers. They are the best, IMO. Been using them for years. We buy one or two new ones every year or two and sell the old ones.

One thing I like about these machines is they carry a complete warranty - parts and labor - for 1 whole year. We use that like crazy. They don't break much. But mowing 100 lawns per week is some serious abuse. And with as much as we use them, something always ends up breaking sooner or later.

Northwest
03-01-2004, 02:20 AM
I don't know what these guys are talking about that say the honda hydro has a abrupt start. The engagement is like a gas peddle on a car with a automatic. You can start out as slow as you want. If you are burning rubber on these you are just slamming the drive bar down. The only drawback on these is the weight, everything else is great. I have three that are four and five years old. I only replaced the rubber on a couple of wheels and a couple of cables other than plugs and air filters. I don't even do oil changes like I should and they still start on the first pull.

dishboy
03-01-2004, 10:08 AM
Honda has two models, the hydro is smooth, as silk, the two speed jumps.

P&C Lawn Care
03-01-2004, 12:51 PM
Honda Hydro is the Cadillac of mowers. I am on my third in 16 years, not because the other one wore out or broke, I replaced them due to theft and a Tornado. The Hydro will give you whatever walking speed you want. It cuts very well and bags great. I have a mulching kit and it does fine.

MTR
03-01-2004, 01:07 PM
You all up north like to use 21er like Honda, it's mindboggling...
down here in FL, with the heat and St. Augustine lawn, 21er have no place. 21" Honda can't cut at 4 " and above with that 5.5 hp. Only 36, 48, 52 here, and for a grand, you can find a nice used 36 WB and ride on sulky too. Well, different regions with different tools, nuff said.
regards,

P&C Lawn Care
03-01-2004, 01:40 PM
Well, in OKlahoma with OUR heat and Burmuda grass you can't let it get to be 4" and above, but if we did Honda would cut it. So with the original question "Could I get some input on these mowers" My input is that that is a great mower.

Critical Care
03-01-2004, 03:29 PM
The Hondas have been the best mowers for me. At one time I was considering the five speed JX85 because it topped out quite a bit faster than the Honda hydrostatic. It seems as if every now and then you have to tweek the settings or linkage on the Honda to keep it up to speed, and yes they are heavy. Lifting one up by yourself into the back of a truck is painful, but thats the price you pay for a solid machine. And... a well maintained Honda generally will start on the first pull, cold or hot.

joed
03-01-2004, 08:47 PM
I agree with everyone's comments on the John Deere JX85. I have owned one since 1998. It leaves the best cut out of any unit I have used and I have used the lawnboy and toro commercial units but little things always seem to go wrong on it like levers breaking, transmissions going bad etc. It is great bagger and o.k. at mulching but no way near as good at mulching as the toro proline is.


As for the honda, I have never used it but can you adjust the hydro to go at any speed you want? Also, is the honda considerably slower than a toro proline, which I find to be the fastest of any 21" unit I have used?

lonnie
03-01-2004, 10:37 PM
About your question on the toro's. The 2004's have a 6.5 kawasaki with spin on oil filter and 1 gallon gas tank. I have used snapper comm, honda comm, and toro comm. The snappers have a great robin engine and bag well. The Hondas are great baggers and solidly built. The toros are by far the best mulchers out there in my opinion and great engines (honda, kawasaki, or suzuki). Just my 2 cents.

specialtylc
03-01-2004, 11:08 PM
According to Manufacturer spec. sheets the honda hrc216 hydro max speed is 3.7 mph. Toro max is 3.8 mph. And yes you can adjust honda speed from a crawl to 3.7 mph.

tacraven
03-02-2004, 12:13 AM
I have a HRC216LX. I is over 12 years old. Great small commercial mower. If you buy a Honda for a lawnn business you have to get the best model. Either the hydro unit or the two speed unit. Mine is the two speed. Starts on the first pull.

specialtylc
03-02-2004, 12:29 AM
I bought another Honda HRC216HXA today. on sale for $949.