22hp Kaw vs 27hp Kohler

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by fourlevel, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. fourlevel

    fourlevel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    In the market for a 52" Scag Tiger Cat. The two engine options are
    Kawasaki 691fx (22 hp)
    Kohler Command Pro 27hp

    I have owned 2 models with the kohler and have been pleased, but did replace one engine at 1450hrs.

    Anyone think that the 22hp Kawasaki will be too small, not have enough behind it? After much research it seems that the Kawasaki is the preferred brand over Kohler, but I'm worried about the 5hp difference.

    Thanks for any advice.

    So here we go, Kawasaki vs. Kohler.

    Let er rip:usflag:
  2. cphilip

    cphilip LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    ... probably too late to answer this but... just in case it comes up in a search...

    Kawasaki is using the new standard to rate its engines. I do not think Kholer has yet to start using them. This will result in them being almost the same rating. Typically Kawaski's dropped 3-4 HP when they started using the newer more accurate in real world methodology. But kudo's to them for doing so. But apples to apples your probably closer than you think.
  3. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    Stay with the 27 Kohler it will provide more usable power, and you've already said you were happy with your past Kohler engines.
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    There is only about a 2 hp difference in those two engines when rated under the same system. I'll take a Kawi over a Kohler any day if they are both carbed.
  5. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    Just remember how as of 2014 the rating system was changed..."In the past the standard permits the advertised rated value (the label on the engine) to be 85% of the test values.” For example, on an engine labeled 19 hp, the actual horsepower of the engine could be anywhere from 16 to 19 hp. Under the new revision to SAE J1940 the actual horsepower listed on the motor will be at least 95% of the actual, tested horsepower. In other words, an engine labeled as 19 hp will actually produce 18-19 hp at a certain rpm."

    Even under the "old" J1940 rating standard, yes they were allowed 15% which in reality could bring the stamped Kohler 27 down into the 23 hp range legally, but that by no means proves it is only 23 hp. The 27 hp Kohler could in actuality be a 24, 25, or 26 hp engine, just because it states an allowable 15%; this does not mean that percentage is actually met.

    Besides that, I've operated both carburetored engines on the same mower and the the 27 hp Kohler would out perform the Kawasaki by a considerable amount.
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    Kohler is still over rating their engines. all anyone needs to do is check their site and read the specs sheets for each engine. The J1995 rating is always way down at the bottom, and is still at least 1-1.5 hp less than what they are rating them as as of now.

    I also know they could be rated to 15% below what they were selling them as. I have kept up with this as much as anyone. I know on top of that, that they were normally at the 15% below level from several sources including JD themselves. JD was making them use the correct rating on the engines they bought from Kohler well before Kohler finally started doing it. Previously rated 23's were now at just about 20, the engine labeled 25 HP Command like I owned only a couple years back was rated 21.9 on the engine label in all following models from 2012 onward etc etc.
  7. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    With that mower, you have a Kohler EFI option, with the 52" deck and that's what I'd go with. With the 61", I'd definitely take more HP. I wouldn't want any less than what my Kohler EFI puts out, on a ~60" deck.
  8. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    That is a complete no brainer, and you are absolutely correct, he should go with the Kohler 26 EFI...once he does there will be many times he will smile while running the EFI and wonder why carburetored engines are still being used on mowers.

    Once you own and operate a mower with a Kohler EFI system, it's as if someone flipped a switch and you move from dark into the light.

    I take it this is your first closed-loop fuel injected mower, and if that is correct you still can't understand how fuel injection can make such an unbelievable difference. Have you noticed how the faster response to load time actually makes the mower feel as if it has more than the stamped 26 hp?

    Actually you could use a little more hp on a 60" deck, but this engine would be perfect on a 52.
  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    The OP is talking about a 52" Scag Tiger Cat here.

    According to Scag's site, they offer a 25 and a 26 Kohler EFI on the 52". That must be a misprint. Kohler doesn't offer a 26, but they do offer a 26.5 (which is 25.5 under the J1995 rating). The 25 is 24.2 under J1995, so obviously the the larger engine would be the way to go in EFI.

    In checking with the Kohler site just now, I see the 27's they currently offer in a vertical carbed engine are rated at 26 and 25.9 (the latter of which is brand new) respectively, so they would be stronger than the 22 Kawi. Seeing as how some manu's are still using engines that were originally labeled under the old system though, it is very hard to compare apples to apples, and seeing that kohler is still fudging the HP numbers by at least one, even under their new system, it makes it even harder.

    I still wouldn't buy a Kohler unless it was EFI. I have had just that much bad luck with my last two.
  10. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    Absolutely, agree!

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