The Honda HRU196 is a high quality commercial grade rotary lawn mower which has been both the mainstay and the backbone of the Lawn Mowing Contractors industry in Australia for a very long time. In fact, it wouldn't be an understatement to say that this very machine has legendary status within the industry.
Solid, tough, high build quality, highly reliable and easy to service are the first things which come to mind. Equally as legendary in almost every working man's industry is the sheer quality, durability and reliability of the Honda engine which also powers this mower.
But make no mistake, the HRU196 is not just for Contractors, it will also be the best quality, longest lasting and lowest cost lawn mower for the homeowner over the life of both the machine and over the life of the home lawn.
These lawn mowers appear to be identical in all ways except for the engine. With the HRU196 having the older and well proven GXV160 engine which powers up at 5.5HP, and the HRU197 having the newly designed GSV190 engine, which is about 1KG lighter in weight, but powers up at 6.5HP.
Both machines should be regarded as equal in quality and strength.
With the brand new GSV190 Contractors engine now on offer, I have been asked why I chose the older designed engine instead of the new and improved. Well, that comes down to my previous poor history of lawn mowers before I moved to Honda.
I specifically chose the GXV160 engine for the sole fact that this engine has been reigning supreme in almost every Contractor grade lawn mower possible for a very long time. The engine has been proven true and strong time and again. So for my own peace of mind, and having wasted a considerable amount of money on several inferior lawn mowers in the past, I needed absolute surety in the quality of the next machine and engine I bought.
So I chose the most highly proven engine and chassis combination possible, which is the HRU196.
The HRU has a rugged 19 inch aluminium base, which ensures no rust problems. The pull cord is raised to mid handle height as an ergonomic measure to reduce back fatigue by otherwise having to bend down low and pull the start cord, as was normal on older mowers,
The rear base of the machine has a rubber drop-down mat which aids in stopping debris from ejecting from the rear of the mower, which may otherwise cause a possibility of hitting the operator, the mat stops this from happening.
The air filter is large, allows the engine to breathe easily, and is very easy to remove and clean. Fuel economy from the 4 stroke engine is always excellent as with all Honda engines. The rear catcher is of a solid plastic design with good capacity for catching clippings.
I am fully aware that many Contractors adjust the governor on Honda engines. I have never done this, nor would I ever recommend it. The Honda engines are built for high torque, so they have enough grunt to do almost any type of work. But on the other hand, these engines rev slower than some other engine might, which has led some contractors to beef up the revs.
Firstly, I have never seen a need for this, ever. And finally, did I mention that Honda is renowned across the world for making the very best small engine… These guys know what they're doing when it comes to designing and building small engines… Trust them and you'll have a very long life from your engine and mower. (and you don't want to void that warranty either).
Well after the past two and a half years of commercial use of this machine, it still goes as strong as the day I bought it. This sort of extreme wear and tear that a Contractor places on his machine each and every day is bound to wear down the parts a little, and I can say the wheels aren't as tight any more, and it's a little more rattly than new, but it still powers through the work without missing a beat, all parts remain in good working order, and the mower remains in overall very good condition.
Apart from normal service parts, the only other part I have replaced on my own machine is the Pull Cord, and that was after 2+ years of commercial use!
This Honda has already outlasted any other previous rotary mower I have owned, and several combined. And I can bet it will have many more years of commercial work in it before it needs to be upgraded. And that's an amazing feat.
Equating the work my own mower has done to the same homeowner hours, this mower would have just cruised through 20 years of work if it were owned and being used by a homeowner.
So if you plan to have lawns for a lot of years, and plan to look after them yourself, then do yourself a favour and take a look at either the HRU196 or HRU197.
Spending the extra dollars now and buying a quality Honda machine will save you many more trips to the mower shop to buy new mowers in the future if you did indeed choose an inferior model.
Choose a high quality HRU196 or HRU197 and you'll have a mower for life!
Plus there's nothing better than using a high quality and rugged machine to do your work with, mowing is a breeze and a pleasure.
On revision of this article I have noticed that I haven't mentioned the bad points of this mower… Well there's a good reason for that… I simply cannot think of a single one…
Except perhaps two tiny little things… it would have been nice to see a particle filter in the fuel tank, and perhaps a side facing exhaust discharge, but apart from these couple little, and irrelevant things, I couldn't ask for a better mower.