Which is better Kohler Command or Kawasaki V-Twin

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by figtree, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. figtree

    figtree LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Hello Everyone,

    I'm looking at the following two mowers a Laser Z 60" with a 25HP KOHLER COMMAND and Lazer Z 52" with a Kawasaki 23hp V-Twin. My question is which of the two has the better engine and why and what are the hour average life on these as well?

    Thank you in advance for the info.
  2. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,247

    I've worked on both and both should provide adequate service with proper maintenance.

    Hopefully, someone in the lawn care business who keeps good records will show up and give you some actual facts as far a hours on the job, repair records and costs, etc.

    Every one will have their own opinions and with their own reasons for those opinions although you will not likely reach a consensus but I could be wrong.

    I don't run them, I repair them and prefer to work on Kaw's. Just personal preference.

  3. DT Lawn Care

    DT Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850

    For lesser horsepower engines, I prefer the Kohlers. I would rather have a 15 hp Command than a Kawasaki 15 hp V-Twin.

    Seems like the Kohlers are constantly making it to 2500+ hours and some Kawasakis are having premature engine failure. But the only Kawasakis in that horsepower area are my dad's 25 hp and my brother's 23 hp and we haven't run them long enough to know if they're going to last or not.

    Me, I'm going to stick with Kohler whenever possible.
    BrianMelka likes this.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I'll take a Kohler out of sheer brand loyalty myself.
    BrianMelka likes this.
  5. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    I like a Kohler Engine myself. I find them strong and reliable.

    ps: Note the thread here about the Kawi. upper bushing & seal, in a 23 HP.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
    BrianMelka likes this.
  6. VegetiveSteam

    VegetiveSteam LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Both are good engines but I believe Kohler has a stronger service network and stand behind their engines better. What I mean by that is if you have a legitimate failure outside the warranty period you're more likely to get help from Kohler than you will Kawasaki.
    BrianMelka likes this.
  7. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,327

    If you ever get a chance to see the inside of a kohler command , you ll see the difference.Kohler engines are overbuilt .the pistons are thick alum ,they use automotive style rings ,the engine block and heads are heavy alum , which makes them dissipate heat better than kawasaki ,briggs , and honda. Kawasaki gets their horsepower from lightweight pistons, and paper thin rings. (less friction=more horsepower) To save money, they use the minimum amount of alum in the block and cooling fins. While kaw engines do hold up,when they have an internal failure,its usually time for a new engine. Kawasaki doesnt see shortblocks.When a rod breaks it usually cranks the block. On the other hand, on the day a kohler has an internal breakage, more often than not , they can be repaired or rebuilt. Kohler engines are not without their problems ,however if you have a problem , it usually shows up in the first 50 hrs and is warranteed. Remember,the warranty is only as good as the man behind the wrench. I have seen an engine go in for a defective head gasket , and leave needing a shortblock. Too many mower mechanics use angle grinders to remove graphite gasket material from alum blocks,dishing the block so the new gasket never seals. Always deal with someone you can trust,your wallet may depend on it.
    BrianMelka likes this.
  8. GreenmanCT

    GreenmanCT LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 557

    from just buying a lazer 60inch w/ the 25 kohler, i would say im really happy with its performance. I cant testify to the maintenance yet, but as far as power, 25hp cut right through the thick stuff really nicely. I would recommend the going with the 60 /25
    BrianMelka likes this.
  9. dennis36

    dennis36 LawnSite Member
    from 62221
    Messages: 8

    I have 10 years expert mechanical experience on both. They are both great engines. Kawasaki is superior. You can get a lot more time out of the kawi if maintained well. But still both good engines.
  10. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,327

    I'll have to admit I'm a little biased... I build alot more engines than i sell. When a kaw engine fails, between the busted blocks and the top bushing that wears out ,more often than not, I'm putting on a clinic on how to waste time and money. The only Kaw engines we rebuild are the FB and FC engines. They dont build them like that anymore. If kaw would sell us the the top bushings for the FH series, I would like them a little more.....Its a ford and chevy thing...

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