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Honda 216 Review After One Week

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AndoTheMando
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#1

Ok...  you may know i bought a 216...

well, this week was its first full week of lawns ..   I have 50 customers and lots of them are on hills and average sized blocks ..some big some small..

 

Hear are my thoughts after one week... 

 

First thoughts when picking up the machine were.....its looks nice , but its bloody heavy..

 

since its a self propelled mower...lets talk about that....   its great if you are just mowing long straight lines all day...but when you are "cutting in" the yard..doing all the nooks and crannies...the mower is a pain in the @rse ... the self propelled lever not used during this part of the job...and the mower is just a heavy ,awkward unit...  I have a H/D domestic mower , A "Toro supper bagger" it has a self propelled operation called "personal pace"...its excellent...you just push on the handle and the mower drives its self....  I wish the Honda was like this..  

and because your trying to be "nice"to the gearbox on the Honda , your still pushing it at every stop before you engage the drive line... 

But in saying that....it drove up my steepest hills with ease and never looked like stopping ... 

So, the S/P works well....but its an effort...

 

The mulch plug....  did Honda have the "work experience kid design this? what a piece of boonta 

its fits badly...its hard to get in....    just bad...  come on Honda....Really ?

 

the height adjuster is stiff and not as easy as you would think a new mower would be..

 

The revs...  Straight out of the box....this unit revs at 3000 rpm..  (no blade).. 2800 blades engaged.. as soon as I get 25 hours on this machine...I'll be turning it up to 3500 Rpm..  because it really needs it !!!

 

The build quality .....  well, its a very solid mower....very well built , I can see this lasting for a long time.. 

 

so, overall...  its a big heavy mower that's built well with a great engine...its awkward to use being so heavy... 

 

would I buy one again?.....what choice do we have?....it seems Honda has us Contractors bent over a barrel....there is no other mower as strong as this that's going to cut 50 lawns a week ... or is there ? 

 

so...  I must say there is no "WOW" factor with this mower...    its a big heavy mower..

 

do I need this in my Business?.....yes i do...  I cant do without it 

 

I'm not disappointed .....but I'm not excited either

 

 

 


Posted 14 September 2018 - 07:23 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


john22
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#2

Nice review and well said, with time and practice you’ll throw it around in half the time. Moving from a pusher to a S/P takes a bit of getting used to after that you’ll wonder why you never made the change sooner.
Posted 14 September 2018 - 07:56 PM

crocster
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#3

I had the same feelings about my 217 Ando - used to call it the Bismarck - but as John says you do get used to it very quickly - and you learn to use the whipper to radius out nooks and crannies so you don't have to to and fro with it so much -

 

I've got an older 216 and I used to stress about the gearbox and give it a bump with my hip to get it started before engaging but wiser, experienced heads on here said don't worry about it - it's a dog clutch so just bang it in - the mower is built to take it - think they were right.


Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:27 PM

Grae
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#4

…use the whipper to radius out nooks and crannies so you don't have to to and fro with it so much -

 

+1


Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:33 PM

insert witty saying here "________________"


Lucky
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#5

Interesting that the faults you mention. weight, mulch plug and drive system are the main reasons I went with the 217. And yes, they will cut 50 lawns a week for years.. Arfa probably cut much more than that per week id wager.

 

But you will get used to it and whipper a little differently, rounding the corners off for eg.


Posted 15 September 2018 - 08:03 AM

AndoTheMando
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#6

Interesting that the faults you mention. weight, mulch plug and drive system are the main reasons I went with the 217. And yes, they will cut 50 lawns a week for years.. Arfa probably cut much more than that per week id wager.

 

But you will get used to it and whipper a little differently, rounding the corners off for eg.

I use my whipper as much as i can . But you still have to cut the edges in to a certain extent ..

The only thing that stopped me from getting the HRX was the height adjuster function...I can change heights 10 times a day...some customers have 2 or 3 different height sections ... 

I will get used to it....  its just very cumbersome ...very dinosaur


Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:28 AM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


Macka
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#7

never man handle the mower , never push or pull it backwards, always use the drive function.  Its a totally new way to learn to mow, but its the easyest buy a long shot.   your steering the pmower thats all.  

 

PS: that gearbox will pull you along so rest you legs and let it do all the work


Posted 15 September 2018 - 10:53 AM

AndoTheMando
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#8

never man handle the mower , never push or pull it backwards, always use the drive function.  Its a totally new way to learn to mow, but its the easyest buy a long shot.   your steering the pmower thats all.  

 

PS: that gearbox will pull you along so rest you legs and let it do all the work

mate....I wish I didn't have to man handle the mower....  but my customers arn't perfect square blocks...  lots of obstacles ...lots of ins and outs ...sure I whipper all the little bits to make my job easier ...  but you still need to get into there to pick up the clippings of the whipper and make it look tidy...  

I'm sure my technique could be better though..


Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:26 AM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


Macka
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#9

mate....I wish I didn't have to man handle the mower....  but my customers arn't perfect square blocks...  lots of obstacles ...lots of ins and outs ...sure I whipper all the little bits to make my job easier ...  but you still need to get into there to pick up the clippings of the whipper and make it look tidy...  

I'm sure my technique could be better though..

 

are you not blowing  after you trim ? blow everything onto the mowing area before you mow. 


Posted 15 September 2018 - 11:39 AM

Lucky
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#10

I use my whipper as much as i can . But you still have to cut the edges in to a certain extent ..

The only thing that stopped me from getting the HRX was the height adjuster function...I can change heights 10 times a day...some customers have 2 or 3 different height sections ... 

I will get used to it....  its just very cumbersome ...very dinosaur

Yea the height adjusters on the 217 suck balls. But even so don't let the customers dictate cut height. I can go weeks without adjusting mower height even with the MM which is an easy adjustment. 


Posted 15 September 2018 - 01:06 PM

plucka
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#11

I've not used the 216 but I love the 217. I think the nexite deck makes it considerably lighter than the 216 and yet seems to be indestructible.
Posted 15 September 2018 - 05:50 PM

Colsy
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#12

Give it time, one day you will realise you are in love with it.


Posted 16 September 2018 - 02:21 PM

AndoTheMando
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#13

Give it time, one day you will realise you are in love with it.

haha....  I will book myself in for therapy :D


Posted 16 September 2018 - 05:26 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


scorpNZ
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#14

Somewhere somehow you've been given some #### poor advice. Under no circumstance apart on a slippery going up hill would you need to push the mower to give it a hand. Hence the name self propelled hehehe .Seriously tho there's no need to push it unless absolutely necessary otherwise you may as well get rid of it & get a push mower.

 

Mulch plug - this ones easy get yourself the old solid version. Push in pull out couldn't be simpler .Can provide photo's if required. but tomorrow as it's late now. I'll also have a look at the new one you mention & see if there's something that can be done to make it easier to remove

 

Regarding weight are you trying to bench press it :P all self propelled 20" or above are heavy,the motor is where the weight is, the chassis even with handles is light. Feel free to debunk however i do have many honda's & i know when the motor comes off they're light as. No different to weed eaters or chainsaws the bigger the motor the heavier it will be

 

Height adjust - Yeah they have a real heavy spring, can't stop that tension. However you could provide some lube to the axle bushes & any other moving parts associated with it to at least lessen the friction. Will it work ? can't remember lol .Look on the bright side your getting an arm workout.

 

Nooks & cranny's - contrary to what has been suggested you will at times have to pull the mower backwards that is a given & not a bad thing. It can mow forwards or backwards (fun fact: it will mulch better going backwards) ,however my rule of thumb is try not to mow the same piece of grass twice. Example: a tree or large shrub thing that's too low to walk under,don't go in directly go on a slight angle towards the trunk,when pulling the mower back try & get the mower to cut the uncut grass beside it on the way out,you'll get teh hang of it after a while,tho there will be times it may not be possible to do it. The cut will be fine & not ugly

 

One last piece of advice always check what you've mowed once you've turned around & heading back (make sure nothings missed) & ffs get some over lap & be careful not to do what a few do & put the wheel in the same track on one side of the mown strip on the turn around. Ever noticed after a day or two of what appears to be a strip of a thin line of grass that's like a mowhawk all the way from one end to the other & another farther over etc i see it many times over here

 

Edit: Just to prove how bullet proof those honda gearbox's are & this is a two speed however its the same apart from an extra gear). For more than 3 years (this g/box is still functional eve tho i no longer use it or the mower) it has seals that no longer seal. The slop in the pto pinion is so large you can fit a double decker bus past it sideways.The cross shaft can't old oil either so for those years i'd pump grease into it every weekend though a grease nipple i attached. Can't tell you how many hours it did i will say this i got it 3rd hand from a contractor friend who got it from another contractor. Eventually i got the chassis plated & put another motor on it. I've had that mower using that gearbox for around 6 years or more. The only other gearbox i know of that comes close to bullet proof is the masport variable speed from more than 20 years ago 600/4 20". I still have it. Dam it's fast. Actually the blackhawk ain't noting to sniff at either. Horrid chassis tho brittle as


Edited by scorpNZ, 17 September 2018 - 06:30 PM.

Posted 17 September 2018 - 06:18 PM

Macka
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#15

Somewhere somehow you've been given some #### poor advice. Under no circumstance apart on a slippery going up hill would you need to push the mower to give it a hand. Hence the name self propelled hehehe .Seriously tho there's no need to push it unless absolutely necessary otherwise you may as well get rid of it & get a push mower.

 

Mulch plug - this ones easy get yourself the old solid version. Push in pull out couldn't be simpler .Can provide photo's if required. but tomorrow as it's late now. I'll also have a look at the new one you mention & see if there's something that can be done to make it easier to remove

 

Regarding weight are you trying to bench press it :P all self propelled 20" or above are heavy,the motor is where the weight is, the chassis even with handles is light. Feel free to debunk however i do have many honda's & i know when the motor comes off they're light as. No different to weed eaters or chainsaws the bigger the motor the heavier it will be

 

Height adjust - Yeah they have a real heavy spring, can't stop that tension. However you could provide some lube to the axle bushes & any other moving parts associated with it to at least lessen the friction. Will it work ? can't remember lol .Look on the bright side your getting an arm workout.

 

Nooks & cranny's - contrary to what has been suggested you will at times have to pull the mower backwards that is a given & not a bad thing. It can mow forwards or backwards (fun fact: it will mulch better going backwards) ,however my rule of thumb is try not to mow the same piece of grass twice. Example: a tree or large shrub thing that's too low to walk under,don't go in directly go on a slight angle towards the trunk,when pulling the mower back try & get the mower to cut the uncut grass beside it on the way out,you'll get teh hang of it after a while,tho there will be times it may not be possible to do it. The cut will be fine & not ugly

 

One last piece of advice always check what you've mowed once you've turned around & heading back (make sure nothings missed) & ffs get some over lap & be careful not to do what a few do & put the wheel in the same track on one side of the mown strip on the turn around. Ever noticed after a day or two of what appears to be a strip of a thin line of grass that's like a mowhawk all the way from one end to the other & another farther over etc i see it many times over here

 

Edit: Just to prove how bullet proof those honda gearbox's are & this is a two speed however its the same apart from an extra gear). For more than 3 years (this g/box is still functional eve tho i no longer use it or the mower) it has seals that no longer seal. The slop in the pto pinion is so large you can fit a double decker bus past it sideways.The cross shaft can't old oil either so for those years i'd pump grease into it every weekend though a grease nipple i attached. Can't tell you how many hours it did i will say this i got it 3rd hand from a contractor friend who got it from another contractor. Eventually i got the chassis plated & put another motor on it. I've had that mower using that gearbox for around 6 years or more. The only other gearbox i know of that comes close to bullet proof is the masport variable speed from more than 20 years ago 600/4 20". I still have it. Dam it's fast. Actually the blackhawk ain't noting to sniff at either. Horrid chassis tho brittle as

 

good advise

 

Weight  - the heavy machines give a superiour flat lawn and prevent the need for thatching

 

Mulch plug - its easly scrap chut if there is build up and kick it in.

 

Nooks & cranny's - trimmer

 

Height adjust - i grab the handle and lift alittle when i adjust the hieght


Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:09 PM

AndoTheMando
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#16

all good advice guys....I'm only new at this ...so all input is great.. ;)

 

I was under the impression that these gearboxes are fragile and you had to manually push it rolling first before engaging the S/P function. !

 

So what your saying is....From a standing start, no helping the mower,  I can engage the S/P   with no worries about the gearbox ?

 

and as a few of you have said...my overall technique will get better as time goes on ..  its bloody hard work at the moment , but getting easier..  


Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:27 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard


Colsy
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#17

A mower service guy told me you are supposed to push and then engage but I never do. And my instructions dont say anything about pushing first although it does say never up the speed while still in motion.


Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:35 PM

spongy buffalo
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#18

When the tyres smooth off they’ll spin a little and smooth out the take off a bit.

Change height with your boot, someone on here mentioned it and it’s a winner. Just make sure the blades are stopped till you get the hang of it, lols
Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:43 PM

crocster
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#19

 

I was under the impression that these gearboxes are fragile and you had to manually push it rolling first before engaging the S/P function. !

 

So what your saying is....From a standing start, no helping the mower,  I can engage the S/P   with no worries about the gearbox ?

 

 

Yep that's what I was told - no need to give it any assistance and the worst thing you can do is try and "slip" the engagement lever as you'll damage the dog clutch - just bang it in and away you go.


Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:50 PM

AndoTheMando
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Honda 216 Review After One Week
#20

haha....well. if I can just bang it into gear from a standing start....this has made my life sooo much easier.....this mower is looking better already ...lol :D


Posted 17 September 2018 - 08:29 PM

B.L.T.H ....Brake late, Turn hard





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