Ranging from small engines in push mowers to heavy-duty 4 stroke air-cooled gasoline engines, Kawasaki powers various commercial lawn mowers like Wright Standers, Ferris, Hustler, and more. These robust powerful engines are arguably the force behind successful commercial mowers in the market.
True, some other factors like hydro systems also greatly contribute to the productivity of commercial mowers but, Kawasaki engines still resound when the phrase “commercial mowers” is mentioned. What do you know about Kawasaki mower engines? why do they stand out when it comes to powering lawn care equipment? what can you do to get the most out of your Kawasaki mower engine?
To answer those questions, many factors come into play however, the secret lies in the engines’ horsepower, cost of maintenance, size, and durability. Let us see how Kawasaki engines fit that description but first, here is a quick history of Kawasaki Engines.
History of Kawasaki Mower Engines
The history of Kawasaki as a company dates back to 1878 when its founder Shozo Kawasaki established Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard in Tokyo which was incorporated 18 years later as Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. The business evolved along the years while exploring various fields like locomotives, airplanes to engines and more.
Kawasaki’s history in the US dates back to 1966 when it was established as Kawasaki Motorcycle Corp with their headquarters in Chicago. Their first distribution was Omega bikes which had a small two-stroke engine and later, Samurai and Avenger bikes were released. These later releases had a rotary valve engine instead of a two-stroke engine.
To cut the cost of shipping and labor, Kawasaki established a manufacturing plant in the US in 1974 with their facility in Lincoln and a later extension in Maryville. This idea of manufacturing in the US worked for them and led other vehicle manufacturing firms to follow suit.
Today Kawasaki as a corporation consists of various companies specializing in different divisions and Kawasaki Engines is one of those divisions. It specializes in the distribution of gasoline engines and parts for industrial, residential and commercial landscaping equipment with its headquarters in Grand Rapids MI. They have over 7,000 dealers across the US, Canada, and South America.
Among the engines distributed currently are smaller engines for residential lawn mowers and 4 stroke heavy-duty engines for commercial lawn mowers. Let us now take a closer look at the specs of FX, FS, and FR series of Kawasaki engines and how they fit the characteristics of a good engine.
These are heavy-duty engines that use a forced air cooling mechanism to cool themselves and a V-twin 4-cycle vertical OHV shaft that powers any equipment attached to it. They consist of two cylinders with a displacement of 603cc (38.6 cu.in). Their compression ratio and oil capacity are 8:1:1 and 2.1 Quarts oil (2 liters) respectively. The weights of FX Kawasaki engine series range from 89.7lbs to 101.4lbs (40.7Kg to 46.0Kg) depending on the model.
Their power output is tested and certified by SAE with the least horsepower being 15.5 hp and the highest 35.0 hp depending on the model. This makes them ideal engines for commercial stand-on lawn mowers and for heavy-duty industrial and construction equipment.
According to their 2018 Engines Catalog, the FX Kawasaki engines that are now in the market are FX481V/ 15.5hp, FX541V/ 16.5 hp, FX600V/ 19.0 hp, FX651V/ 20.5 hp, FX691V/ 22.0 hp, FX730V/ 23.5 hp, FX730V-EFI/ 25.5 hp, FX751V/ 24.5 hp, FX801V/ 25.5 hp, FX850V/ 27.0 hp, FX850V-EFI/ 29.5 hp, FX921V/31.0hp, and FX1000V/35.0hp.
How do they fit the characteristics we mentioned earlier?
There are quite a number of things that make the FX series fit the description of a good engine. Here are some that are worth noting;
- The forced air cooling mechanism and a large fan on the flywheel allow them to perform tough jobs without necessarily getting too hot.
- Their size and weight are relatively small which enables them to be fixed in small areas.
- Their horsepower is SEA certified meaning that you get accurate power output when they are in their good working condition.
- With 7,000+ Dealers across the US, Canada, and South America, one can not fail to get quick replacements.
- The way the FX model is designed can enable you to perform some maintenance procedures without necessarily overhauling the entire engine.
- Its duo air filter system allows it to work in extremely dusty areas without having any problem.
The FS Series
Like its counterpart, this series also exploits an air cooling mechanism to cool itself. It is a bit similar to the FX series when it comes to the number of cylinders, displacement, compression ratio, and oil capacity but a bit lighter and different when it comes to its air filtration process and the overall horsepower output.
Its also SAE certified with the least horsepower of 14.5 hp and the highest being 24.0 hp. The FS series is ideal for zero-turn mowers, residential lawn tractors, and walk-behind mowers. The available models in the market are FS481V/14.0HP, FS541V/15.0 hp, FS651V/22.0 hp, FS691V/23.0 hp, and FS730V/24.0 hp.
Does the FS series also measure up?
When we consider its specs and output, the FS series can also absolutely measure up to the qualities of a good engine for commercial mowers. Consider this;
- They are SEA certified meaning their horsepower output is accurate.
- Its weight and build can allow it to be fixed in small areas.
- Its enhanced air flow filtration mechanism reduces debris ingestion.
- Like the FX, its build enables you to make some maintenance procedures without opening the entire engine.
- Its dual filtration mechanism is more enhanced and fully covered meaning it makes it easier to clean since the filters have an additional covering.
Like its contemporaries, It also has two cylinders and employs a forced air cooling mechanism to cool the engine. The displacement and compression ratio of two FR models are like for the FX and FS series but the remaining models have a slightly different displacement and compression ratio. The weight of FR series is almost the same as that of the FS series.
Their power delivery is also SAE certified with their least horsepower being 15.0 hp and 24.0 hp as the maximum. The models available in the market are FR541V/ 15.0 hp, FR691V/ 23.0 hp, FR730V/ 24.0 hp, FR691V/ 23.0 hp, and FR730V/ 24.0 hp. They are suitable for zero-turns, lawn and garden tractors.
How do they measure up to the qualities of a good engine?
The advantage of these over the other series is that their operation is smooth and quiet which makes them ideal for working on your lawn without inconveniencing your neighbors with too much noise. The following specs also make them ideal for lawnmowers;
- Compact coverage that helps to keep the debris out.
- Much of it is exposed enabling you to perform less professional maintenance tasks.
- SAE certified horsepower output, meaning the horsepower is accurate when in good condition.
From the foregoing Kawasaki engines has a wide range from which lawn care operators can choose From. When it comes to operation, they can give you a great push without having major maintenance Issues
Getting the Most Out of a Kawasaki Engine
There is a lot to be said when it comes to getting the best out of your Kawasaki engine. This is because professional skills differ from one person to the other. However, the ultimate way to get the best out of your engine rests with you the owner. The way you do things also matters. Here is a quick pick of some valuable tips that can be gathered from the maintenance manuals and why these tips work;
Maintain Your Engine Regularly
Performing regular maintenance tasks like checking engine oil levels before use, cleaning your exposed parts from time to time, and changing the engine oil itself and its filters don’t only keep your engine in good working condition It also helps in keeping its parts from premature wear and tear.
Take advantage of the maintenance chart in your owner’s manual. Those recommendations are made after several experimentations and they are made by experienced professionals. So if they suggest that you clean your air filters every day, do it. It will cost you a few extra minutes but it will save your engine from potential damage.
Be Alert to Unusual Sounds
When your mower’s engine is in good condition, there is a normal sound it produces and you as the owner or operator, you are used to that sound. If you start hearing awkward knocking or pinging sounds inside your engine, that is a sign that something isn’t right.
Don’t simply assume, try to find out what might be the cause or if you aren’t familiar with engines call a professional. It could be that some internal moving parts aren’t functioning the way they are supposed to. Being alert will help you alleviate the problem before it worsens.
Use the Right Fuel
Engines might use the same type of fuel but not all fuels have the same octane ratings. Octane rating determines how much air is allowed in the engine’s combustion chamber. If you use a fuel whose octane rating is not recommended for your engine, it will result in a premature combustion which can be detrimental to your engine if left unchecked.
Be sure to use fuel that has the recommended octane rating. This way you will be allowing your engine to work under the right conditions. This will enable it to give you the horsepower you expect.
Kawasaki engines continue to power most of the commercial mowers in the market. Their design, availability, and affordability will continue to be the reason behind their popularity. If you have one on your mower, just follow the maintenance chart, be alert to unusual sounds, and use the recommended fuel. This will help you get the most out of your Kawasaki engine.
If you have any question or need any help with your Kawasaki engine, feel free to leave a comment down below and we will be more than ready to help you out.