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bus708


Location: Maryland
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Points: 314

In search of a top gun lawnmower
Original Message   Mar 26, 2013 6:16 pm
I am in search of a good lawnmower. I want a mower that will bag as well as mulch, prefer electric start, and rear wheel drive. I cant decide on a Honda, Huskavarna AWD, troy built , or toro. I have a hill that is about 30 degrees. I need it to mulch as well as bag well to suck up and multch leaves. Any suggestions. The husky has a Honda engine I'm leaning that way but Honda has the best warranty.
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Paul7


Joined: Mar 12, 2007
Points: 427

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #5   Mar 31, 2013 11:24 pm
The HRC is way too heavy for homeowner use


I couldn't agree more. Weight should be an important consideration. I bought an Ariens Pro 21" commercial grade mower a few years ago. The machine is very well built but it's just too heavy for me. I got so caught up in wanting "heavy-duty" that I didn't take weight into consideration since its self-propelled. Going in a straight line is fine but I have to work hard pulling it back and manuevering it into in the many nooks of my landscaping.
bus708


Location: Maryland
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Points: 314

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #6   Apr 1, 2013 3:41 pm
Does anyone have any experiences withe the Smart drive on a Honda lawnmower? I here hydrostadic was good but when it fails you will do better just buying another lawnmower, cost to replace is to high. I do not know if ther commercial units share the same hydrostadic drive or not.
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 618

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #7   Apr 1, 2013 7:40 pm
Just get the one without the hydrostatic transmission model (HRX217KVA) if hydro reliability is a question. 
robertcoats


Joined: Dec 12, 2011
Points: 36

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #8   Apr 4, 2013 4:19 pm
bus708 wrote:
Does anyone have any experiences withe the Smart drive on a Honda lawnmower? I here hydrostadic was good but when it fails you will do better just buying another lawnmower, cost to replace is to high. I do not know if ther commercial units share the same hydrostadic drive or not.

Smart Drive was introduced by Honda a few years ago. Early versions used an internal cone-style clutch, current versions use a slipping belt-style clutch. Smart Drive has a single rotary control that can adjusted like a tilt-wheel on a car. The control was created with a considerable ergonomic design process. Smart Drive is available on both the steel-deck HRR series mowers and some HRX (polymer/NeXite-deck) mowers. A replacement Smart Drive transmission has a retail price of $98.97. When installed on an HRR model, it has a 4-year consumer warranty, but if on an HRX model, the warranty is 6-years.

Hydrostatic drive
(a.k.a. Cruise Control) has been used on many Honda mowers for 20+ years. It's a proven and reliable design, albeit more complex and costly to replace. It does offer two controls, one to set the maximum speed, then other to control the speed from 0 - maximum set point. Cruise Control is only available on Honda HRX and commercial HRC models. On the HRX, the hydrostatic drive is driven by a constant-tension belt. On the HRC, a driveshaft is used. A replacement hydrostatic transmission (HRX models) retails for $134.79, and has a 6-year consumer warranty on HRX models, 2-years commercial warranty on HRC models.

 -Robert@Honda
Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #9   Apr 4, 2013 9:58 pm
MN_Runner wrote:
Just get the one without the hydrostatic transmission model (HRX217KVA) if hydro reliability is a question. 


+1 There's no need for a hydro on a lawnmower. Get something you can fix rather than just replace very expensive parts.
A quick google on the HRX217HYA showed the transmission was available only as a unit (no individual parts) and was $200 and two weeks to ship at one place, out of stock at two others.

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2394

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #10   Apr 4, 2013 10:53 pm
One of the local repair shops mentioned about the high costs of replacing cables on Honda lawnmower.  The cables seems to be a frequent problem for these mowers, not sure why.  Does anybody know if this is true?  Robert Coats provided some costs for transmission parts, but make sure you take into account of the labor costs for the repairs too.

As Robert Coats mentioned about the Honda Smart Drive being a slipping belt clutch, this seems to be the same as Toro Personal Pace drive.  It is very simple and effective.  The only difference between the Honda Smart Drive and Personal Pace is the user interface.  If the drive system goes bad, just swap out the belt and make some adjustments.  I have the Toro Super Recycler and it's been working fine, very simple and intuitive to use. 

I don't think the hydrostatic trans on a walkbehind mower is really needed or an advantage.  Honda touts this as a cruise control, which doesn't really match my mowing style.  I am never in a cruise control mode, I am constantly varying my speed as there are lot of trimming near edges, making lots of turns.  For me, having to constantly fiddle with the speed lever on the hydro trans will become quite annoying.  I have hydro trans on my Honda snowblower which I like a lot, but I do not want it on a walkbehind lawnmower.

One more thing, you will have to choose whether you want the mower to excel at bagging or mulching.  A lot of mowers advertised as being able to both mulch or bag, or a combination of (Honda clip director).  One mower deck and blade cannot excel at both bagging and mulching.  My Toro Super Recycler is very good at mulching, but very pathetic at bagging performance.  This is even after changing to a high lift cutting blade.  The deck design is too shallow and the internal baffles doesn't create much of a vacuum. 
MN_Runner


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 618

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #11   Apr 5, 2013 9:51 pm
aa335 wrote:
One of the local repair shops mentioned about the high costs of replacing cables on Honda lawnmower.  The cables seems to be a frequent problem for these mowers, not sure why.  Does anybody know if this is true?  Robert Coats provided some costs for transmission parts, but make sure you take into account of the labor costs for the repairs too.


It is costly because you have to take a bit of parts off to get to the cable.  It is not the cost of the cable but rather the labor to replace it.  I seen a few youtube videos and the job was a bit tricky and time consuming.  I agree that belt drive is more than good enough and hydro is too much.   30CC increase on HRX217 is noticeably better than 160CC on HRR216 models.
bus708


Location: Maryland
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Points: 314

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #12   Apr 7, 2013 4:52 pm
Thanks for the input guys I ended up with a HRX217.
snowmachine


http://tinyurl.com/ycpofhk

Location: Washington State
Joined: Nov 12, 2008
Points: 265

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #13   Apr 7, 2013 5:15 pm
bus708 wrote:
Thanks for the input guys I ended up with a HRX217.

Great mower!  I really like mine.

aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2394

Re: In search of a top gun lawnmower
Reply #14   Apr 16, 2013 4:05 pm
bus708 wrote:
Thanks for the input guys I ended up with a HRX217.

Are you going through OPE acquisition syndrome?  I know exactly how you feel. 
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