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Thread: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU ???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU ???

    When my last new Hru216d got pulled from the shed last month, I knew it was time to bite the bullet and find a replacement model for the business.
    The local offering from Honda was the HRU216M = same old tired GXV160 motor & gearbox with a blade brake/clutch for $1,600.00, so I had a look around and I think I've found a better option in the USA. It's a genuine Honda with a Better motor, better drive, better mulching, better catching, lighter, and for only US$680 + freight. The USA model is a HRX217HYA - so I imported one for trial.
    Mower HRX 9.12.12 002 (800x600).jpgMower HRX 9.12.12 008 (800x600).jpg

    Checked out the options on Evilbay, the Chondas are tempting - being a copy of what I've run for more than 10 years, but I'd heard a fair bit about Proscape's stuff, and liked the idea of a more powerful motor (Kawasaki), so I bought a Proscape 21inch Self drive first (before the HRX217) to try out , it only took a day - there were so many faults and failings with it I sold it to a bloke for $150 less than I bought it for after only cutting 20m of grass. Piece of crap in my opinion.

    The HRX is just the opposite - OK, first what I don't like -
    • I don't like the 4x height adjusters (one for each wheel), but it cuts flat - unlike the crescent cut finish of the local HRU's.
    • The deck is "Nexite" = (Honda speak for "plastic"), but I bought a plastic deck mower for my parents 13 years ago and it's bloody bullet proof, so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts in a commercial environment. The Honda alloy decks always fail at around 2x years service on the gearbox/LH side of the deck, so if it lasts 2 years it's as good - we'll see.
    • The drive system runs gears in the wheels like a Rover drive system - which are 1960's design garbage, let's hope Honda have got it right, and the input to the hydrostatic drive is by belt - another fail point compared to the shaft drive Honda 3 speed box. Once again - we'll see.

    Mower HRX 9.12.12 007 (800x600).jpgMower HRX 9.12.12 009 (800x600).jpg

    Now for the good bits -
    • First has to be the 187 cc Honda motor. Cast sleeve bore, Overhead cam (not just overhead valve) with a decent torque curve - at last a bit more power!!
    • Equal first is the Hydrostatic drive - It's faster than the old 3 speed by almost another gear, infinitely variable drive means no wheelspin marks on boggy lawns, and although I don't like the "gear in wheel" system it drops the drive axle lower and opens up the grass chute.
    • Versamow mulch system - not only is it less awkward than a seperate mulch plug, but it works better. It packs the catcher FULL of grass without choking, and when you set it to "mulch" it's hard to tell that the lawn was mulched and not caught. Bloody beautiful finish compared to the Aussie HRU.



    And the unknown -
    The blade brake/clutch - new area for me, I like that I can stop the blades without stopping the mower, but it means you can't let go of the handle without the blades stopping - which is a real bugger when you're turning at the end of a run, slows you down heaps.
    But we all know can't is a terrible word, so I've modded the blade brake with a catch that locks it on, and with a bump of the palm releases it. = no more "can't".
    The other thing with the blade brake is the possibility of more to go wrong, more to fail/repair. Wait and see.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Here is a picture of the blade clutch latch - (it wouldn't fit on the first post)
    Mower HRX 9.12.12 017 (800x600).jpgMower HRX 9.12.12 018 (800x600).jpgMower HRX 9.12.12 019 (800x600).jpg

    Just an old bicycle bell ringer and a catch made from a scrap of flat bar.
    The adjuster bolt is for the throw on the Hydrostatic drive lever (I like a short throw clutch = faster turns)

    I'll post more mods and details as they evolve.

    The same HRX as the American one is for sale in the UK as a HRX537VY for almost double the price. Not hard to tell which markets are the most competitive - and that us Aussies have to pay a huge profit margin to Honda Australia for the left over stuff that isn't good enough elsewhere in the world.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9A-wzTTzXw

    Keep us posted AB. found this on utube. While our dollar is high is the time to buy if anyone is interested.

    With it going over $1000 did they get you for import duties etc?
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9A-wzTTzXw + http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1690564

    Keep us posted AB. found this on utube. While our dollar is high is the time to buy if anyone is interested.

    With it going over $1000 did they get you for import duties, GST, etc? ( i think we have a free trade agreement with usa?)
    https://www.southeastmowing.com.au/careers/
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    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawnmowing Wheelers Hill View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9A-wzTTzXw

    Keep us posted AB. found this on utube. While our dollar is high is the time to buy if anyone is interested.

    With it going over $1000 did they get you for import duties etc?
    Kept the freight seperate to the purchase invoice. So far no import duty - but you know our government, I'll probably score a court order in 3 years time for import duties, back tax and compound interest.
    We have a free trade agreement with USA, but if you want a challenge to fill your weekend - try the Australian Customs and import site and try to figure out if and what import duties are imposed - it makes corporate tax legislation look like buying a loaf of bread.
    Easiest way was just to import and see what happens.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  6. #6
    Senior Member PaulG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Wow that's huge. Like an F350 compared to a Hilux!

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    Member courty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Looks good Arfa,does the deck save much weight or is it as porky as the M2?
    "I'm not alone cause the tv's on yeah,I'm not crazy cause I take the right pills.... everyday" Jimmy Eat World

    http://www.dreamlawnsandlandscapes.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Quote Originally Posted by courty View Post
    Looks good Arfa,does the deck save much weight or is it as porky as the M2?
    When you lift it onto the workshop bench you feel the difference in weight = it's lighter by about 5kg I reckon, but when you are mowing it feels pretty much the same as the HRU alloy deck to throw around. Probably because the rear wheels are further back, which would throw more weight forward.
    The handle is a little longer too, which means a slightly bigger arc when you swing at the end of a run, but you soon don't notice it. Biggest alteration to mowing technique was the blade clutch, but with the latch mod it's a non-issue.

    Something I didn't put before was a photo of the catcher and grass chute.
    Mower HRX 9.12.12 003 (800x600).jpgMower HRX 9.12.12 004 (800x600).jpg
    HRU is on the left.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    SPECIFICATIONS
    MODEL GXV160
    TYPE 4-stroke, overhead valve, single-cylinder, Vertical Shaft
    BORE & STROKE 68 x 45mm
    DISPLACEMENT 163 cm3
    COMPRESSION RATIO 8.0:1
    NET POWER 3.2 Kw (4.3HP) at 3600 rpm
    CONTINUOUS RATED POWER 2.0 kW (2.7HP) at 3000 rpm
    MAXIMUM NET TORQUE 9.6 Nm at 2,500 rpm

    SPECIFICATIONS
    MODEL GSV190
    TYPE 4-stroke, overhead cam, single-cylinder, vertical shaft
    BORE & STROKE 69 x 50 mm (2.7 x 2.0 in)
    DISPLACEMENT 187 cm3 (11.4 cu in)
    COMPRESSION RATIO 8.5:1
    NET POWER 3.8kW (5.1HP) at 3,600 rpm
    CONTINUOUS RATED POWER 2.6 kW (3.5 HP) at 3000 rpm
    MAXIMUM NET TORQUE 11.3 Nm (8.3 lbs ft) at 2,500 rpm

    Going by Honda's own specs, the GSV190 has 18% more "Net power"
    30% more "Continuous rated power"
    and 17.7% more "Maximum net torque"

    I still want MORE POWER, but at least the GSV190 is getting there.

    The HRU216 ground speed specs =
    Ground Speed 1st=0.8 m/sec , 2nd1.1 m/sec , 3rd1.4 m/sec
    converted to km/h it equals 1st = 2.8km/h , 2nd = 3.9km/h, 3rd = 5km/h
    to get an idea you do a percentage increase
    1st to 2nd gear = +37%, 2nd to 3rd gear = +27%

    The HRX217 has it's ground speed listed as infinitely variable 0-4mph so we need to do some conversions. 4mph = 6.4km/h or 1.77m/s or like a +26% 4th gear. over the old HRU 3 speed.

    "Wet/ operational weight of the HRX = 99pounds , Weight of the HRU216m1 is anyones guess as honda doesn't give those specs. From forum threads it comes in at around 55 - 60kg, which seems about the right weight difference by lifting the two mowers.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    hru216m2 & k2 53 kg or 117 pound
    i wouldn't be surprised if honda bring these or similar out next year but i bet the price will still be more than you can import for yourself
    Anything Ian says may or may not be garbage, it may also be his own opinion or it may not be his opinion at all, it may just be something he felt like stating anyone following his advice does so at their own risk and may be doing something Ian would actually advise against.
    And if you don't like what Ian has to say use the ignore function if you don't know how ask i will gladly tell you

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    Senior Member imoww's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Those bar blades are a bit of a worry...
    Can you replace them with the 4 swing blade carrier?
    Everything looks good with a haircut.... ɐuıɥɔ ɯoɹɟ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐl ǝɥʇ sʇɐɥʇ

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    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    hru216m2 & k2 53 kg or 117 pound
    i wouldn't be surprised if honda bring these or similar out next year but i bet the price will still be more than you can import for yourself
    I wouldn't be surprised if we get stuck with the new HRU216M1's for another 12 years, just like we were stuck with the old models for 12 years.

    Don't get me wrong - the HRU216d was the best mower available in Australia for those 12 years, and the new HRU216m1 will probably be the best available until it's demise, but as an Aussie I don't believe I am a 2nd class citizen. I don't eat scraps from the garbage and I don't believe I should have to accept a lesser product for an extortionist price.

    Trouble is the average Aussie just takes whatever crap they are served and fork over the cash - Honda know that - and treat us accordingly.

    If more of us had the balls to complain, write letters, phone up, and buy elsewhere, It might be the Honda Australia's exec's forced to eat scraps while they looked for new jobs.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Arfa Brayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Quote Originally Posted by imoww View Post
    Those bar blades are a bit of a worry...
    Can you replace them with the 4 swing blade carrier?
    Please !!!!!

    Of course I can replace them with a 4x blade swing disc, but better to adapt the tips of the lower blade to swingbacks. That keeps the mulch ability and the (it still makes me smirk) "twin blade advantage"
    Yes I know it's not bubblewrap insurance TQM checksheet approved to modify blades - save it for someone younger without common sense who thinks it's important.
    "Can't" is a dirty 4 letter word.
    If someone says "Can't" , take the "T" off the end and brew it.
    Sip on a mugfull, relax, and take a look at what you've got left to work with.

  14. #14
    Senior Member imoww's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    Who do i contact to get one imported?
    Everything looks good with a haircut.... ɐuıɥɔ ɯoɹɟ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐl ǝɥʇ sʇɐɥʇ

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    Default Re: Honda HRX217HYA imported from USA - A better mower for less $$ than an Aussie HRU

    i would recommend getting a snorkel kit for them Victa and Honda both had ones that simply snap on with out replacing carby jets or anything simply a new airfilter cover,tube and filter holder which you attach to the handle you then keep the old paper filter in the bottom one and use a victa filter in the top one
    Anything Ian says may or may not be garbage, it may also be his own opinion or it may not be his opinion at all, it may just be something he felt like stating anyone following his advice does so at their own risk and may be doing something Ian would actually advise against.
    And if you don't like what Ian has to say use the ignore function if you don't know how ask i will gladly tell you

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