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Exmark 48" w/21HP Kaw or 52" w/20HP Kohler

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jkr1, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. jkr1

    jkr1 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 47

    If I can get the 52" w/20HP Kohler for just a couple hundred more, is it worth it for the following reasons:

    1) resale value (if ever need to sell)
    2) faster speed (9.5 vs. 8.1 for 48" 21HP Kawa)
    3) easier maintenance - the 52" unit has the quick-drain oil chg system spout. the 48" just has a plug that looks tough to get to and would make a mess.

    I really don't need the 52" deck since this is just for my own home, but I would get a faster unit that is easier to change the oil. Plus, I assume resale would be better/easier.

    Just not sure if the 20HP Kohler is enough HP for this size deck. I thought I read the Kohlers don't have enough torque like the Kawasaki's do. Any recommendations?
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Go for the 52" if the $$$ isn't a big issue. 20hp is fine for that size deck (plenty of hp). I've even seen old Scags with a 20hp Kohler on a 72" WB if you can believe it.
  3. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    If you are just using this for your home make sure that you know exactly what you want because this will most likely be the last mower you will need to buy. I have the 52HP with the 23kaw and I love it. How much more would that option be for you?
  4. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    I agree with rodfather--20hp is fine, kohler makes a good engine, 52in is sellable if you chose to do so, ease of maintenance is a priority even for homeowner use. Good luck with whatever you choose.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I just bought a 48" 21 Kawi unit but haven't had any grass growing to mow with it yet!

    As for your questions...

    1. Resale? Well, the word was that the full size units resale better. But I just sold my 18hp 48" lazer hp on ebay and got $3500. It had 1053 hours and was in great shape. But the original price I paid for it was only $6250 w/ tax 4 1/2 years ago. That's pretty good resale. I wouldn't worry about the hp reselling. The kawi might be preferred by many buyers, too.

    2. The 21 Kawi HP/deck and HP/weight ratios are better on the Kawi. But get this, the Kawi has 39.4 lb ft of torque! The Kohler a mere 32.6 That's a 21% difference. I bet real world, the HP mows faster in heavy grass than the 52" because of the torque advantage pushing smaller blades. I rarely mowed at top speed anyway, unless grass was thin and ground was flat. Even 8.1 mph or so is a pretty wild ride.

    3. Nope, just unscrew and put a pan under it, it should barely clear the engine deck. But how often is a homeowner changing his oil anyway? Don't buy a mower for something you do once a year. Buy it for how it performs the 30 times a year you're using it.

    4. I believe the 48" has slightly more deck overhang on the trim side, vs. the 52", which could be a plus, also.

    The full size Lazer should be more than adequate for home use, but if the hp is cheaper and does a slightly better job, why not get it? I can attest that the 48" cut quality is amazing for a deck this size.
  6. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    The 48 inch deck does not have more deck over hang than the 52 " deck. If we are talking about the tri-vantage deck the 52 has 3.5" of over hang on the trim side.. FYI
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    The 52" HP has a good bit more overhang. By the way, the 52"HP has more overhang than the full size 52".
  8. CO.d 502nd

    CO.d 502nd Banned
    Posts: 288

    Ive used a 48 and it has little or no overhang on the trim side.More overhang and more ground speed id go with the 52 kohler
  9. Mark P

    Mark P LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Id go with the 52-Kohler20hp, I run a 17kaw on a 52 walkbehind but it runs around 7.5mph when im cutting, not all the time but if its flat its wide open.....Kohler makes a good motor.....Marks Mowing Service
  10. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I was referring to the 52" ultracut deck on the full size lazer. I'm not sure, I had just heard comments to that effect here. But I've always considered the amount of overhang to be not that important to me on ztrs anyway, as long as there is enough. I can trim just about anywhere I need to with my mower, though more overhang certainly is easier.

    And once again, for those who never have to cut warm season turf like Bermuda....you may not realize that more overhang is a double edged sword. It will not handle undulations, especially concave surfaces, as well as mower decks with little or no overhang. It's simple geometry. The flex deck design helps avoid this problem. Your overhanging deck, unfortunately, doesn't hinge at the edge.

    My dealer salesman confirmed that yesterday when we were talking. He says guys buy 60" units and come back complaining that they butcher some Bermuda lawns. Antiscalp rollers help, but the deck still drops some and the cut still suffers.

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