Kohler and Kawasaki are two top brand name motors in commercial lawn mowers. I will compare two motors, the Kohler 7000 vs Kawasaki FR, and give my best insights and opinions on each according to the features and specs. This review will help you decide which works best for you and your mower.
Table of Contents
What Is Kohler 7000?
Kohler engines have been around since 1920 and have been tested several times in different environments. Each engine is a series built for new eras or generations. We have reached the 7000 edition of Kohler, two times stronger and engineered for cutting through tall and thick grass. These motors are built in the USA, and the 7000 series is considered a “beast.” They are made with the homeowner in mind. Some of the most popular name brands like John Deere, Cub Cadet, Ariens, Gravely's, and Craftsman have Kohler.
Features and Benefits
There are six lineups in the 7000 series of Kohler. All run off of gasoline and are vertical shafts and twin cylinders. The horsepower ranges from 22 to 26 HP. They all also operate off of air cooling. These engines are easy to maintain and work on if something breaks.
What is the Kawasaki FR?
Kawasaki had a different start than Kohler, but they share the fame and fortune of the name brand. Kawasaki has been around since 1878 but in the shipping industry. Kawasaki also originated in Japan. The Kawasaki FR has four types of motors under them.
Kawasaki motors are found on Hustlers; both engines Kohler and Kawasaki are found on Hustlers. Like the Kohlers, the engines are made for some John Deere, Husqvarna, Ariens, and Cub Cadet have the Kawasaki FR series engines.
Kawasaki is the most popular engine brand on commercial mowers. The FR series engine is the residential model that is found on many mowers between the $4,000 – $6,000 range.
Features and Benefits
The FR series is a four-cycle engine for lawn tractors and zero-turn lawnmowers and has 18 to 24 horsepower motors with cast-iron liners and a 90-degree V-twin overhead valve. It has a high-energy spark ignition and pressurized lubrication system. On the top of the engine is a rotating metal grass chopper screen.
Kohler 7000 Versus Kawasaki FR, How Do They Compare / Contrast?
There is no doubt that both engines are powerful and can cut through the toughest of yards. However, after using both motors on Gravely, Hustler, John Deere, and Cub Cadet, I concluded that the Kawasaki FR is the more robust and durable engine over Kohler 7000. It feels like the Kawasaki can move quicker, but when put to the test, Kawasaki engines outlasted the Kohler when things got tough. It is a very subtle difference in strength and one that a simple person would hardly notice.
After building these mowers, putting them out on the showroom floor, and repairing them over time in the shop, I also find the most reliable of the two is the Kawasaki FR series engines. Once again, this is a subtle notation, but it does exist.
Since Kohler is American-made, the parts are easier to get when the engine breaks. Remember that both are machines, and both can go forever, or they can break tomorrow. Kawasaki is easy to get when it is in stock. If not, most of the supplies come from out of town or in the country.
Starting the Engine
Once again, here is where Kohler has the upper hand. Kohler has the patented Smart-Choke, which allows the person with the most patience to start the engine in the cold days ahead. As they say, 80 percent is getting started to get a job done. I have witnessed this myself.
I remained unbiased throughout the review and looked at mechanical, torque, parts, quality, longevity, starting, and much more. I can only say that these are the two best motors out there. Since the engines are so close together, the name brand preference would be one's power and the other's downfall when voting.
In the end, preference is the only thing that can persuade a person from one decision to another. Both companies are excellent and care for their customers when they have questions or require assistance. In some cases, many still follow what their friends and family use, which is perfectly okay.
Kohler 7000 VS Kawasaki FR Comparison
Below is a chart comparing two alike engines from Kohler 7000 to Kawasaki FR. As you can see, the specs are fairly similar, but the Kohler 7000 seems to come out on top at first glance. The real advantage of the Kawasaki FR is reliability. It has a better reputation for lasting a long time.
|Horsepower||18 hp||20 hp||24 hp||26 hp|
|Displacement||603 cc||725 cc||726 cc||747 cc|
|Bore x Stroke||2.9 x 2.8in||3.3 in x 2.6 in||3.1 in x 3 in||3.3 in x 2.9 in|
|Maximum Torque||32.3 ft-lbs||40.3 ft-lbs||39.8 ft-lbs||42.4 ft-lbs|
|Oil Capacity||1.8 quarts||1.9 quarts||2.1 quarts||2 quarts|
|Dry Weight||80.9 lbs||85 lbs||88.2 lbs||85 lbs|
Where are Kawasaki FR engines made?
Kawasaki FR engines, along with the rest of Kawasaki's mower engines are made in Maryville, Missouri. These engines have been at this plant since June 1989.
Where is the Kohler 7000 Series engine made?
It is made in the USA. Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the location of the plant where most of their mower engines are manufactured. People who shop for Made in the USA brands love Kohler for this reason.
Which one should you choose between Kawasaki FR and FS engines?
Both engines are great engines and very popular. The FS series has better reputation for holding up over time. The FR is a heavy-duty residential motor that can power most mid-size lawn mowers.
The Kawasaki FS engine is a step up from the FR engine. The FS is considered a commercial engine, while the FR is considered a high-end residential. They are very similar except the FS has a dual-element air filtration system while the FR has a single-stage air filter. Outside of that, the FR is basically a cheapened version of the FS.
All that to say, if your budget allows, I would definitely recommend going with the Kawasaki FS engine over the FR.
This Kohler 7000 vs Kawasaki FR review was complex because it is so close to calling when comparing the top to engines out there. Which motor does best is the one that gets the job done without the breakdowns and extra expenses of being powerful. The time and energy invested in the motors as they work to push the mowers through the yard only have their reasons for being built. It is to cut grass, whether for homeowners or business owners.
In the end, I choose Kawasaki because of its performance and durability. That is all from experience, and I hope it helps you make the decision you need for your next motor.
What Do You Think?
Which one are you choosing? Let us know in the comments below!
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