Bad Boy Outlaw or Lightning Z? 26 hp liquid Kaw or 31 hp air Kaw?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wheebil, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. wheebil

    wheebil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Alright you Bad Boy owners, little help needed in narrowing my choice of a new ZTR.....the 54" 31 hp air cooled, Kawasaki OUTLAW OR the 52" 26 hp liquid cooled Kawasaki LIGHTNING Z? Would greatly appreciate your professional input. thanks!
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well even though in theory a water cooled engine should last longer you have to keep that radiator clean and there's a bit more maintenance. Most people are getting 2,500+ out of air cooled engines. Does the Bad Boy have an audible alarm if it overheats with the 26? There have been a lot of w/c engines that were ruined by not knowing they were getting hot (or so I've been told). I don't know much about those models.
  3. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

  4. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    I am in the same dilema. But I decided on the Outlaw because of the hills I do. While they are not scary like Tacoma has, mine all have water at the bottom of them it seems. So I went with a mower that climbs like a billy goat, uphill, sidehill, and downhill. I got tired of sliding down hills or losing traction when you need to turn around. I will tell you if I made the right decision in a few weeks. I'm currently running Exmarks which stink going downhill, but have a decnt cut. I also like the L/C Kawi but not enough to buy the Lightning. I compared the Lightning to the Lazer Z, it has the same traction issues as Gravely too. But I would buy the Lightning over a new Exmark after 10 yrs of running Exmarks I'm just ready for a change.
  5. wheebil

    wheebil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    thanks for your input....just curious though, why change from exmark to bad boy? disappointed with exmark? I have narrowed my choice to a Lazer Z ASX and the bad boys - lightning/outlaw. was riding a SCAG 48 tiger cub, but wore it out.
  6. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    I have a Lazer Z AS and it's a good dependable mower but you sit high, have a rough ride even with the suspension seat. The traction is rotten if your pointed downhill. The hydros are jerky not that smooth . I've been on ztr's for 20 yrs and I like what Bad Boy is doing. They still have a ways to go but for the price it's just as good as the big name mowers. Not knocking any brand just like how Bad Boy listens to us better than most of the other manufactures. I've made 2 mistakes buying mowers over the last 20 yrs. I bought a Hustler Super Z with the XR7 deck, and a Toro in 99 that was a replica of the Walker. Both mowers were a joke compared to what I had, but I feel comfortable buying a BadBoy Outlaw, the Lightening too if I needed one.
  7. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Are you going to demo those mowers? I would if I were you, because that might help decide which one you like the best.
  8. wheebil

    wheebil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    funny how you observed Exmark controls are jerky....demo'd an AS two weeeks ago and found the ride incredibly bouncy (too much so for my 48 yr old body) andthe controls were like you described, "jerky" I found the cut to be decent, not great. I still think my Scag TC made a nicer cut.

    Demo'd Bad Boy yesterday. the Lightning Z with the rubvber suspension was much more forgiving and costs $1200 less than the Exmark ASX. I'm sold!
  9. wheebil

    wheebil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Absolutely. Demo'd Gravely pro-turn 148 friday, Exmark AS last week and the Lightning Z yesterday.

    Gravely? forget it...this aint your granfather's Gravely folks. mushy, sloppy controls that arent reactive enough..cut height increments by the HALF inch..are you kidding me? $6900

    Exmark AS? nicer than Gravely, WAY to bouncy for my 48 yr old bones. held slopes well but was more unstable going UP slopes (front lift) than my Scag.Gas tank under the seaqt aided the traction on slopes. HOWEVER it was a pain in the arse come fill up time. due to a lack of air flow, gasoline kept bubbling up the filler neck as if it were full. played this cat and mouse game until it was indeed full. .$6900

    Lightning Z...nicer ride with the rubber mounted suspension, decent cut. NICE deck lift system which can actually be raised or lowered to 1/8" increments if you're good with the toggle switch. LOVE the frame strength AND 14 gallon fuel tanks.$7500

    final choice? going with the Bad Boy Lightning Z
  10. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    You will love it. For engine choice either one will work fine. I have the LC 26 and have had no issues with power at all. If you are cutting a lot of hills or lots of thick high grass you may want to step up to the 31 for added power. Remember, the 31 is quite thirsty where the 26 is more efficient. You'll love it!

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