Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

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andy10917
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Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

Post by andy10917 » July 19th, 2020, 9:33 pm

My decade-old Honda HRX-217 is still fine, but either I or the maintenance shop is seeing it a bit more, so I added the newer HRX-217 with the GVC 200 engine to the stable today. I got the version with electric start for $630 due to an inventory issue.

My initial reaction to the new engine is very positive, but my reaction to other new features is a little more mixed. I'll be posting a review aimed at members that are existing Honda owners considering upgrades in a couple of months. That way we know what are mower changes and what are things that I need to adapt to.

After one day/use, here's my initial reaction (outside of the new engine) - the mower feels a bit "heavier", but is at the same time a little "jumpier". I don't know how those go together - they seem contradictory to me.

bumpy lawn
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Re: Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

Post by bumpy lawn » July 21st, 2020, 7:33 pm

Interested to hear what you think of the updated version more long term.
When you say "jumpier" is it the front to rear weight bias possibly causing this? I experimented with a 5# weight just in front of the front cover and found the jumpiness to be nearly alleviated. ie the front end is much too light/rear too heavy and with a half full bag quite cumbersome.

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andy10917
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Re: Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

Post by andy10917 » July 21st, 2020, 7:50 pm

No, I don't think so. It's more like the paddles are touchy, and even though it feels a little heavier, the added horsepower makes it "hop" a bit when the paddles were not exactly right. With a sloped lawn, it's a bit of work to balance the exact right spot.

The cut is first rate.

bumpy lawn
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Re: Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

Post by bumpy lawn » July 23rd, 2020, 7:32 pm

I agree the HRX does give a great cut! It can be improved slightly but I think Honda did a pretty good job trying to please everyone.
Mowing isn't a chore for me (I really enjoy mowing) so I have no problem varying speed and technique to maximize time on the green and a great look.
I have slopes also. On my "long" slope, I mow across the slope and use the self propel to just keep the mower straight.
On the shorter slope, when going downslope I don't use the self propel only the inertia of the mower. Upslope, I barely budge the paddle enough to let it carry my sorry butt up the hill. I hope I don't sound a "know-it-all" but this works for me. Mine is a VKA so my paddle setup may be different but I've grown to love this drive system.

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andy10917
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Re: Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

Post by andy10917 » July 23rd, 2020, 9:10 pm

Mine was a VKA also, and I loved the drive. I cut up-and-down for turn-around areas, and the rest is across the hill/slope. Setting speed on the uphill run with the new "speed adjustor" is a bit of a PITA. Maybe I'll learn how to do it smoother with practice.

I ain't complaining, just noting things that aren't easy on the first run...


bumpy lawn
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Re: Added New Honda HRX-217 to Stable

Post by bumpy lawn » July 24th, 2020, 7:53 pm

andy10917 wrote:
July 23rd, 2020, 9:10 pm
Maybe I'll learn how to do it smoother with practice.

I ain't complaining, just noting things that aren't easy on the first run...
True, I'll agree with that. Familiarity does make things better.

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