Bad Boy ZT 50 - Briggs or Kohler

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by pathfinder1810, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. pathfinder1810

    pathfinder1810 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Bad Boy ZT 50" - Briggs Intek ELS26 hp or Kohler Courage 27 hp

    I posted this same exact message at the end of a previous BAD BAY thread, but I'm doing it again here to see if I can get any response without having to go all the way to page 8 on the other one. So chime in!

    After months of research and demos, I was ready to buy my first ZTR and was getting ready to pull the trigger on a Scag FreedomZ 48". I will be mowing 1 acre at my home and I'm tired of buying the throwaway riders every 4 years. Clean & simple, stout, Kawasaki, great seat, ROPS, low profile and great reputation; all were deciding criteria. This was after testing Hustler Fast Track (19 hp Kawasaki), Gravely ZT HD 48(24 hp Kawasaki), Dixie Chopper (Kohler Courage), Kubota (ZG 222) $$$, Toro & Scag. THEN, right before I went to buy the Scag, I decided to go ahead and check out the Bad Boy for good measure. Goodness gracious, what a beast! The other "estate sized" ZTRs that I tested look like toys compared to this machine. Nothing cheap on this "bad boy" - built to last and well thought out. Every single part is beefy and solid. This is definitely the one for me. My question to you: Do I go with the Briggs 26 HP Intek ELS or the Kohler Courage 27 HP? The particular dealer that I visited has the Briggs only (on premise) and he says that he prefers this over the Kohler Courage. He did say that tthe Kohler Command is a great engine and he would recommend this if it was available on the ZT, but he thinks that the Briggs Intek ELS is quieter and more dependable and is plenty strong compared to the Kohler Courage. Do you think that he is just trying to sell his inventory, or should I just wait to order the one with Kohler? He is quoting me $4500.00 on this one with the Briggs. There is another dealer about 80 miles form my home that has the ZTs with the Kohlers, and they are quoting $4995.00 on these. RETRODOG, you sound very knowledgeable on these machines, therefore I respect you're comments. I will also be posting this same message on the Lawnsite forum for other opinions. Hopefully, to gain some insight and constructive criticism, without starting some kind of verbal warfare and bashing. But, I know, "boys will be boys". :usflag:
  2. rwaters

    rwaters LawnSite Senior Member
    from Online
    Messages: 731

    As a dealer I would go with the Kohler I see less problems with them then I do with the briggs intek. Also as someone who has used and sold both the briggs 26 and kohler 27 I have not noticed a noise difference nor more power in the briggs, in fact I thought the kohler had more power. But some of the first kohler courages had a few problems so maybe this is what the dealer is talking about, I have not seen this since the first year though.

    I am guessing your talking to a salesman though as I have NEVER met a mechanic that had much good to say about an intek:laugh:
  3. The Lawn Connection

    The Lawn Connection LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I had a ZT 60" with 27HP Kohler, was a beast. Mowed grass 3' tall no problem. Go with KOHLER.

    Now have Bad Boy Pup 60" with 30HP Kohler, love it so far!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. MONTE

    MONTE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 793

    Any of these mowers listed will work good for a homeowner. A couple that are not listed is the country clipper and big dog. Might take a look at those as well before pulling the trigger.
  5. byrdjay

    byrdjay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I bought a used zt60 with the kohler 27 @ 30 hours for $3700, just a heads up in case you want to save a grand plus tax. I put Mobil 1 synthetic, only 89 octane "good" gas in it. My only real complaint I think is the small rear wheels vs. the front casters make her a little "stubborn." Other than that I really think I lucked out on that price. The engine does really well in heavy, tall grass. I don't expect it to last as long as a kaw or kub (obviously) but entry level for 2.5 acres seems to be just fine.

    I used my friend's Dixie Chopper silver (25+/- Kaw and 60") before I found the BB. Its a very nice machine but I hate to say it.....too fast :) I felt like the Kohler was keeping up with the kawasaki and it feels as strong.

    I like the reliability of kaw's and liquid cooled is always nice but this was the most mower (newer mower at least) I could get for the money. I did my yard in 1hr 10min with the dixie, 1hr 25min with the BB. Not too shabby IMHO. I feel pretty good about the Kohler so far, I hope I can continue to say that for a few more years.

    Fingers crossed, but I'm happy I got a unit with the Kohler, especially looking at the specs on torque versus the B/S.

    Sorry If that was long winded. Take care

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    I can see where you like the way Bad Boys are built. I too have a love affair with them. I looked at the ZT with the Briggs ELS and the Kohler Courage. Then I saw the Pup and Lighting. But I did a lot of research on the ZT. I never saw a complaint about the ZT. Still haven't! I visit the Garden Web Tractor forum a bunch. Have for the last 12 years. If there's a problem with a home owner mower or engine, it's there.

    There's page after page about failures on both. But then there's success about both also. I think it depends on maintenance. Change the oil, the oil filter, and the air filter, the life of the engine will be longer.

    One thing I do know after going to the Bad Boy web site is this.

    724 cc, 33 ft. lbs. @ 2600 RPM

    27 HP KOHLER
    725 cc, 45.5 ft. lbs. @ 2400 RPM

    That's 12.5 ft. lbs. more Torque for the KOHLER.

    To me that's a big difference. Heck! My 30 hp Kohler Command Pro only has 47 ft. lbs. of Torque with the same displacement.

    Think about it a while. I feel you'll make the right decision.

    Oh! I got the Pup with a 30 hp Kohler Command Pro. Yes! I'm very happy!

    Good Luck!

  7. byrdjay

    byrdjay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10


    She's got about 80 hours on her and she did great this year. The Kohler is showing no signs of wear/issues and is running nicely. I thought I would add that in case anyone is wondering about reliability. Kind of sad to see her go for her winter nap in the garage.

    As for cut I am really impressed. I have neighbors with Kub ZD's, JD Commercial units and a neighbor with a nice looking Simplicity and the my ZT is on par if not above the cut quality of those mentioned. My neighbors do scalp their yards but 50 hours on cheap Sten blades and no missed blades of grass.

    Minor maintenance this year. Hydro filters changed and greased the machine. Other than that I saved over $2,000+ in mowing cost. If she makes it to 130 hours next fall I will have made my money back. Not too shabby.

    So far, I would buy a Bad Boy Machine again.
  8. rtharris

    rtharris LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    I Just put a summers worth of cutting on my Mz 48 BB with the 26 Els No problems whatsoever Both motors will do what you want to do
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    I don't think you can go wrong with either, I would like to hear what Retrodog would say, maybe he will chime in and give some input. But for my money, I would probably get the Kohler. I have had two Kohlers, one in my Hustler and another in a lawn tractor that I sold about 6 years ago?.I never had one problem in the three years with my Kohler in the Hustler and I want to say my old lawn tractor is about 6 or 7 years old now and still going with the Kohler 20. I sold it to a neighbor down the street and he is still cutting away with it. I think the only problem that tractor has had is a fuel pump, other than that, still going.

    There is also a mower mechanic that post in some of these forums and he recommends the Kohler engines over most engine choices, even the Kawasaki's. He seems to think that the Kohler is a better engine?
  10. mojo300

    mojo300 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Just out of curiosity and not trying to be a smart ass in any way, this is a $5000 mower why are you making it sound like its a big deal if this mower makes it to 130 hours, I really hope that it makes it way past that

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