Kaw Vs. Kohler - Let er Rip

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

  1. fourlevel

    fourlevel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Okay, In the market for my 3rd ZTR. First two have been Scag 52" Tiger Cats with 27hp Kohler (SS Models). They are very zippy and I've been thoroughly pleased.

    Time for a new mower and all the local dealers only have on hand the model with the Kawasaki 691FX (22hp). It will cost around 750.00 more to order a 27hp Kohler model.

    Should I Go with the Kawasaki, or pay more for the 27hp Kohler?

    All advice welcome,

  2. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,392

    Engine maker or toilet maker?

    J/k. I have had both and not had issues with either. I wouldn't pay more money to get a kohler over a Kawi if they were the same horse. But with that deck id to ahead and get the 27 hp.

    Drinks a little more gas but not much. I went for the big block Kaw
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  3. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    Own both, both have issues it seems. My kawis like to smoke at startup, and my kohlers don't like to start when it's too cold out and sip a little oil. Both have been very good to me. All have well over 1000 hours and are going strong
  4. Monroe74

    Monroe74 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I've had nothing but issues with Kawi engines period. Weather it's a 7 hp or a 22 hp even the 29hp efi.
  5. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,392

    ^take poor care of it?
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  6. Monroe74

    Monroe74 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    No mainly all fuel related. 7hp once a season floods the cylinder with gas, the 22hp vapor locks, and the 29hp turns over but won't fire but when you check components everything is in working order so they say and this is the second engine in the mower
  7. 35DollarLawns

    35DollarLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Would take the kohler 3 to 1 . I do not get why dealers are pushing smaller horse power Kwai on us and claiming they make more torque either. It's a lie to make the dealer more $$ I would bet Kwai offers cheaper parts or something simple.

    Both are good engines dealers should sell both engines. The extra money to the kohler has a little to do with with size difference and more to do with deal not wanting to order it .... Every Kwai I have ever seen cost more then kohler .
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  8. ddixon7

    ddixon7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Neither are perfect by any means but I am going to be honest -- I am starting to hate Kawasaki. They leak, backfire, and don't last more than 1,400 hours. I take GREAT care of my machines and have had it with Kawasaki. Kohler engines are not perfect but I can count on at least getting 3,000 hours out of them, and have even got around 6,500 hours out of one. Everything I buy from now on is going to be KOHLER. Kawasaki just seems to be getting cheaper and cheaper. $750 is a lot of money and I would not pay that difference if they were two equally powerful engines, but the 27 hp might be more desirable on a ZTR. That decision is up to you.
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    I have both currently and I am going with kawa engines. Never had an issue. Kohlers we use oil, choke to start, and I think they are louder. I have had two kohlers at 1800 and 2000 hours blow engine. Kawa at 3000 hours and nothing. Right now though I am pricing 4 new exmark 52 deck with 27 EFI kohlers. I cant get a kawa engine but I here great things about them so that is what I am getting this go around.
  10. Chamber143

    Chamber143 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    We have never liked kawasaki engines. We have purchased 5 G3 toros in the last 18 months and everyone has had major engine issues. Head gaskets going out at 200 hours, coils going on us and leak oil like crazy. Every time we take our grips to Kawi they say "we haven't had any issues, you are the first" crap. We spent more on the repairs on 1 yr old mowers last year than we have spent on the 500 series toros with the kohlers that the g3 replaced. I know the hustler dealer really well and he has told me they aren't seeing the issues on their mowers with the same engine so it could be a TORO thing...but I say get the kohlers..I hate Kawi

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