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lawn_novice


Joined: May 21, 2007
Points: 22

Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Original Message   May 21, 2007 5:16 am
Hi guys and gals, newbie here. 

I have been reading this forum a bit (esp. this thread ) and wanted to try and get some advice. 

I have been in the market for a smaller, less expensive lawn tractor for a modest yard and have purchased a Husqvarna YTH2242T, which comes with a 22 HP Intek V-Twin Briggs and Stratton motor, from a local, family owned dealer.  Having very little knowledge of lawn tractors, I had done some research online and initially come to the conclusion that the YTH1542XP was what I wanted.  The problem is that when I went to the dealer, I discovered  this machine was $2199 retail and I was thinking more like 1900-2000.  The sales associate mentioned they had just received a 2242T, and this seemed like a nice compromise at "only" $1699.   After looking them over, I could see that they were basically identical except for the motor, gas tank capacity (4 gallons vs. 2.5) and 2007 vs. 2006 design (largely cosmetic). 

Now, I know that most people who don't have to work on small engines for a living (lol) absolutely LOVE the Kawasaki.  Even my neighbor, who bought a "Husky" not too long ago after owning a couple Craftsman machines asked "Did you get the Kawasaki?" before anything else.  The main reasoning I hear and read is that they are quiet and start up easy, but aren't all mowers noisy with the blades engaged??  I have to wonder, is a 15 HP Kawasaki really worth $500 more than a 22 HP B&S??

The main reason I wanted a riding mower was to save time.  I have been pushing a 6 HP Poulan Pro with a B&S engine for seven years and it can take upwards of  3+ hours if the grass is long as I always bag.  So I ordered a 3 bin mesh bagger to make sure I can get through my job with around two to three unloads of clippings.  As luck would have it, the mower was due to be shipped this past Saturday, but there was a snafu with the bagger I ordered.  It seems the 2242T is not compatible with the 3 bag system (see chart).  However, the dealer I bought from says they think it will fit.  The bagger is due to arrive on Tuesday and they are going to try and make it fit.  Meanwhile, I am thinking of just biting the bullet and spending the extra money to get the 1542XP.  Or, I was also considering sticking with the 2242T and opting for the cheaper two bagger, but that would really defeat my purpose for getting this in the first place.

So my question is what should I do? 

Was this mix up with compatibility a blessing?

Is the Kawasaki really worth the extra money? 

Is the difference in HP between the two engines negligible?

 I plan to own this tractor for a long time and the dealer is a small family owned business with an impeccable reputation and known for great service. 

Any and all advice is both welcomed and appreciated!

Thanks,

- Doug
This message was modified May 22, 2007 by lawn_novice
Replies: 1 - 10 of 10View as Outline
lawn_novice


Joined: May 21, 2007
Points: 22

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #1   May 22, 2007 1:47 am
Well, the moment of truth arrived quicker than I had anticipated and I decided to go with the YTH1542XP over the YTH2242T.



YTH1542XP

I would still be interested to hear if anyone can make me feel better about spending $500 more on a 15HP Kawasaki over a 22HP Briggs&Stratton though... 
This message was modified May 22, 2007 by lawn_novice
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 743

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #2   May 22, 2007 10:35 am
I can't answer the B&S versus Kawasaki question but following good maintenance and usage procedures will help your new machine last a long time. I'd like to hear what your impressions of it are once you've used it a few times. You could even post in the review section.
lawn_novice


Joined: May 21, 2007
Points: 22

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #3   May 22, 2007 8:32 pm
nibbler wrote:
I can't answer the B&S versus Kawasaki question but following good maintenance and usage procedures will help your new machine last a long time. I'd like to hear what your impressions of it are once you've used it a few times. You could even post in the review section.

Will do nibbler and thanks for the tip on maintenance. 

The XP hasn't arrived just yet but should any day.  I'm hoping it comes soon because my lawn is really long and hasn't been cut at all this year (my Poulan Pro was out of commission since last year)! 

As for writing a review, I could do that but I don't have much experience with lawn tractors so I wouldn't have much to compare it too other than my Dad's old Craftsman machines and a Snapper rear engine model.

Thanks
This message was modified May 23, 2007 by lawn_novice
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 743

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #4   May 24, 2007 11:41 am
Don't worry about not being able to compare it to something else. Just give your impressions, good or bad. things that you think they did right or things they did wrong.

As far as the maintenance stuff is concerned I like reading the comments and stuff here but I also find the manuals are always the basis of what I do. If I do something different from the manual then its only after a lot of reading and thinking about it. Its also a good idea to get the procedure out when you are doing it, sometimes a little detail can cause a problem. As an example, my wife got a new sewing machine which she really likes. After using it a while she found that it would periodically have a brief problem with thread tension. Turns out most machines have you wrap the thread around the friction disks twice, this machine requires three times. Its in the setup instructions but she had fallen back into the habit from her previous machine. Thats why going through a checklist, even if you have been there and done that before, is a good idea.
This message was modified May 24, 2007 by nibbler
lawn_novice


Joined: May 21, 2007
Points: 22

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #5   May 30, 2007 9:08 am
nibbler wrote:
Don't worry about not being able to compare it to something else. Just give your impressions, good or bad. things that you think they did right or things they did wrong.

As far as the maintenance stuff is concerned I like reading the comments and stuff here but I also find the manuals are always the basis of what I do. If I do something different from the manual then its only after a lot of reading and thinking about it. Its also a good idea to get the procedure out when you are doing it, sometimes a little detail can cause a problem. As an example, my wife got a new sewing machine which she really likes. After using it a while she found that it would periodically have a brief problem with thread tension. Turns out most machines have you wrap the thread around the friction disks twice, this machine requires three times. Its in the setup instructions but she had fallen back into the habit from her previous machine. Thats why going through a checklist, even if you have been there and done that before, is a good idea.

Thanks again for the advice.  I am particular about certain things, like cars, for instance, so I will approach this tractor the same way (esp. since I paid more for it than two of the cars I owned in college!  lol). 

I did skim through the manual online but will take a closer look when the tractor actually arrives (bagger is on backorder).  And I'll be sure to write out a review once I've had it a while.   Thanks again nib. 
lawn_novice


Joined: May 21, 2007
Points: 22

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #6   Jun 25, 2007 5:31 pm
Okay, I took your advice again and am posting a review of this tractor.  For anyone interested in reading it, you can find it here.
This message was modified Jun 25, 2007 by lawn_novice
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 743

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #7   Jun 25, 2007 8:03 pm
Good job on the review.

My experience with going up slopes is that its typically not a matter of power, its a matter of traction. Once you start slipping it doesn't matter how fast the engine can go.

The 15º slope recommendation might have more to do with stability than traction/power. If you go up a hill that is too steep you can flip over backwards, particularly if there is something heavy pushing down on the rear hitch. If the slope is steep and you have a high centre of gravity then it is easier for the tractor to lift its own nose up simply due to the torque being applied to the rear wheels.

I haven't used a lawn tractor but I nearly flipped an International Harvester farm tractor when I revved it up and tried to go over a tree trunk too fast. The front wheels bounced the front end up and the torque was starting to lift  the nose even higher. I cut the throttle and then waited for my hands to stop shaking. Going at the same log and getting the front wheels to slowly climb up and over worked with no problem.
lawn_novice


Joined: May 21, 2007
Points: 22

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #8   Jun 26, 2007 3:07 am
That makes sense, and the manual did mention the flipping hazard.  It also suggests you always go directly north and south as opposed to east-west.   I suppose one could topple over sideways too.  I was just surprised at the power this things has I guess.

Your story brought back a memory of mine.  I used to have a Suzuki RM125 racing dirt bike when I was in high school.  After riding, I'd typically rev the engine while in the garage before turning it off for the evening.  Well, one day I was doing this and forgot to put the bike in neutral.  So naturally, when I let the clutch go, after revving the engine, the bike took off and hit the back wall, climbing up and flipping over.  I was lucky to squirm out of the way just in time and not have the bike land on me.  I had seen first hand how dangerous this can be when a neighbor suffered a compound fracture of the leg by having a bike land on him.

Needless to say, that was the last time I performed the little revving ritual.  ;)
This message was modified Jun 26, 2007 by lawn_novice
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 743

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #9   Jun 28, 2007 8:37 pm
I'm assuming that by north/south you mean up and down the slope. It makes sense since the wheel base front to rear is longer than the from side to side.
joshmech90


everything needs more power and nothing is powerful enough

Joined: Jul 5, 2007
Points: 50

Re: Is Kawasaki really that much better than Briggs & Stratton??
Reply #10   Jul 5, 2007 5:52 pm
i dont really have any expericence with kawasaki buti have quite a bit with briggs motors and id say you made a bad choice. spending $500 more for less power is never really a good idea unless you are dealing with two extremes as far as quality is concerned. briggs motors last quite a while as i know of some of them from the 1960's that arte still running strong today( and they have not all had a good maintanence record from thier owners). i would have gone with the briggs because its more power, less money and from what i gather equal quality.

down with flatheads so we can finally get out of last century and welcome in the new age of OHV/OHC motors who are supirior in al ways!
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