48" Question?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by docta, May 14, 2005.

  1. docta

    docta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I'm wondering if a 12.5 horse kawasaki will be enough engine for a 48" walk behind with belt drive. I'll also need it to pull a sulky.(I'm 150 lbs)
  2. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    I think you will be fine. Just don't expect it to cut the tall, thick stuff in a high gear. Should pull a sulky as good as any other belt drive.
  3. docta

    docta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    That's encouraging to hear. Thanks for the reply.
  4. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Messages: 859

    I think you'll have trouble with it. My 15 horse has a hard time in tall and thick grass, even in 2nd or 3rd gear. My 17hp kawasaki does a better job at it. For normal weekly cuts you should be alright.
  5. Green lawns

    Green lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    You should be alright in dry grass! If you get into very wet, thick and tall grass you will have trouble with your blade tip speed. Our 36" hydro has a 14hp Kawasaki and does a good job wet or dry.
  6. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    I can't speak on the smaller engines but my 19hp Kawi does just fine.
  7. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    I got 12.5 on my 32" metro. Its has great power to blade ration. 48" are good with 15hp kawi twins. But 12.5hp for a 48", sounds like an older machine.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    First off, by sulky I assume you mean the sit-down attachment, because I call the stand-up attachment a velke, but really not much difference anyway.

    You see, 2 years ago I blew an engine on an old 1995 52" float-deck toro with a velke and those mowers weigh around 500 pounds and I'm 165. So due to money problems, I replaced the engine with a 13hp Briggs and Stratton (400 dollars at Northern, +100 installation). It's not as powerful as it once was, but it is adequate and since the mower is so old, it's really not that big a deal.

    The Kawasaki has more pep/hp than the briggs, so a new 12.5 is likely as strong as a 14hp briggs, yeah I think you'll be fine.
    Good luck!
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well now that I don't get. I have a '98 48" proline with a 15hp Kohler and yeah if the grass is knee-high it likes to choke the mower but that is expected. Unless you regularly cut arse-high grass, the higher hp just wastes more fuel.

    For a lower-hp motor, run synthetic (or synth-blend) oil and Amoco premium (I always run this stuff anyway) and the thing runs like a champ. Sure it gets a little tricky in the jungle, but man, where are you cutting grass anyhow? :)

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