The 5 Main Differences Between Gravely Engines Vs Kawasaki

Gravely and Kawasaki are the two most reliable engine types found in most mowers and other outdoor power equipment. But do you know what makes them different?

Starter system, power system, fuel capacity & efficiency, runtime, maintenance, and other aspects state the significant differences between them.

If you are still contemplating Gravely engine vs Kawasaki, keep reading this article to learn about the five key differences.

Gravely Engines Vs Kawasaki

Gravely vs Kawasaki Engine: Quick Comparison Table

SpecificationsGravely EnginesKawasaki Engines
Engine Type:4-cylinder, air-cooled Engines4-cylinder, liquid-cooled Engines
Displacement:2.3 liters1.0 liters
Horsepower:55 HP42 HP
Speed:5,500 – 8,000 rpm8,000 – 11,000 rpm
Compression Ratio:8.5:17.5:1
Fuel Capacity:3.2 gallons5.2 gallons

Brand Overview


Gravely mowers are designed to perform the American way. But do you know when its journey began?

Gravely was founded by Benjamin Franklin Gravely after he earned his first patent for his motor plow invention in 1916. Each Gravely machine is engineered with such powerful engines that make them tougher, faster, and super comfortable to deliver unstoppable precision in every session.


Originally, Shozo Kawasaki founded a shipyard to make an ocean-going steel ship in 1878, which has gone through numerous diversification phases and became today’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group.

Kawasaki engines are also a part of this Kawasaki Group. Check out this video to learn more about the roots of Kawasaki heavy industries.

Gravely Engine Vs Kawasaki: What Makes the Differences?

Let’s compare Gravely and Kawasaki engines based on their features and capabilities:

1. Recoil Vs Electric Starter System:

Gravely engines feature an advanced recoil starter system. But Kawasaki features a typical electric starter system, whereas some models also feature an easy start feature.

Recoil Starter with IntelliStart technology:

Gravely engines use a recoil starter system, which uses a spring-loaded pulley to turn the engine over. They also use exclusively patented IntelliStart technology. This system allows the engine to start quickly and easily.

The only issue is recoil starter system often becomes difficult to pull if you have a cold engine or the grass in your yard is too tall.

Electric Starter with typical easy-start feature:

Kawasaki engines use an electric starter system, which uses a battery to turn the engine over. This starter system is more powerful than a recoil starter and easier to use in challenging cold weather.

Some of the Kawasaki engine models also have an easy start feature like the Gravely engines. But that does not match Gravely’s IntelliStart system. Also, this type of starter system is more expensive to maintain.

Gravely engine features a super easy and quick starter system. But if you need something more powerful for the extreme cold climate, choose the Kawasaki engine.

2. Gravely Two-cylinder Vs Kawasaki Three-cylinder Power System:

Gravely Engines have two cylinders. However, Kawasaki engines feature a three-cylinder design.

Things that state which power system is more powerful than another_

Pistons & Piston rings:

Gravely engines feature lightweight pistons & piston rings. Due to decreased inertia, it improves performance by reducing crankshaft bearing loading. Also, it reduces power-robbing friction and hydrocarbon emissions.

Kawasaki engine’s Forged pistons can endure higher temperatures and pressures than cast pistons. They can handle more power and last longer.

Improved Efficiency & Performance:

Gravely designs the engines with an overhead valve and electronic fuel injection. Its new Air Inlet and Outlet Channel design improves the airflow and increases efficiency.

Kawasaki engines use high-performance camshafts that provide more lift and duration than competitors. It allows the engine to produce more power while still consuming less fuel.

Decreased Emissions:

Gravely engines feature catalytic converters. They reduce pressure loss at the intake and exhaust valves for lowered emissions.

However, Kawasaki engines feature an exhaust system for reduced emissions.

So, both ensure required reduced emissions.

Optimized Ignition System:

Gravely engine’s optimized ignition system boosts spark energy and lets the fuel/air mixture burn entirely. Also, it provides higher power output, shortens flame propagation, and improves combustion.

But Kawasaki engines use more advanced ignition that creates a hotter spark. It enhances combustion and ensures more power and fuel economy.

Run Time:

Gravely engines have a longer runtime since they have a durable built-in design.

On the other hand, Kawasaki engines are designed for speed and power. So, they have slightly less run time than the Gravely engines.

Both Gravely and Kawasaki engines are powerful. But the Kawasaki engine has more torque than the Gravely engine.

3. Gravely Vs Kawasaki Engine’s Fuel Efficiency:

Understanding the actual difference between these two engine types will help you pick the right one_

Gravely engines are designed with a higher optimized compression ratio.

They need less fuel than other branded engines to produce the same amount of power.

Their higher displacement also contributes to increased efficiency. This compression ratio decreases combustion temperature to provide more power.

However, Kawasaki engines have a lower displacement and compression ratio than Gravely engines.

That means Kawasaki engines consume more fuel to generate sufficient power.

Gravely engines have a 500cc displacement, while the Kawasaki engines feature only a 400cc displacement.

Similarly, Gravely has an 8.5:1 compression ratio, while Kawasaki has a 7.5:1 compression ratio.

The bottom line is that the Kawasaki engines consume more fuel than the Gravely engines.

4. Gravely Engine vs Kawasaki Engine Maintenance:

There are three key factors to consider when comparing the maintenance requirements of Gravely and Kawasaki engines:

  • The type of engine, and
  • The environment or condition.

Type of Engine:

Gravely engines are typically air-cooled, while Kawasaki engines are liquid-cooled.

Since air-cooled engines tend to run hotter and are more susceptible to overheating, they require more frequent maintenance than liquid-cooled engines.

Kawasaki Liquid-cooled engines need less frequent maintenance. But Kawasaki engines are more expensive to repair.

The Environment or Condition:

Generally, those engines used in industrial jobs typically require more frequent maintenance than residential or commercial used engines.

Gravely engines are designed for residential and commercial applications. But Kawasaki engines are designed for various industrial and off-road applications.

Since industrial environments tend to be more harsh, rough, and demanding on engines, Kawasaki engines will need more frequent check-ups & maintenance.

If you need an engine for residential or typical commercial use, go for Gravely Engines. But for industrial use, you should select Kawasaki engines.

5. Gravely Engine Vs Kawasaki Lifespan, Warranty Service, & Customer Support:

Gravely & Kawasaki engines are built to last for longer than other competitors. They can easily last for hundreds of hours when properly maintained. 

However, some Kawasaki engines have a life expectancy of 25 up to 40 years.

Service Warranty:

Kawasaki engines have a limited warranty of 2 to 3 years and cover service for the original purchasers.

Gravely offers a three-year limited warranty for most engines, which covers parts, labor, and certain other components.

Both brands offer extended warranties for some of their engine models.

Customer Support:

According to most consumer reports, Gravely has a more actively responsive and helpful customer support system. But Kawasaki often takes longer to get back to them.

If you want better customer support afterward, Gravely Engine will be a better choice than Kawasaki.

Related Post: John Deere Vs Gravely: Which Is The Better Choice?

Which One to Choose Between Gravely Engine and Kawasaki Engine?

Gravely Engine and Kawasaki Engine both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Gravely engines are powerful, quicker to start, have better fuel economy, and are easier to maintain.

They are ideal for typical residential and commercial use.

But when you consider running your machine in harsh conditions where the machine will go through lots of abuse, the Kawasaki engines are more suitable.

However, Kawasaki engines are more fuel-consuming. Even their repair or maintenance is more expensive than Gravely engines.

So, you should choose and take the final decision based on your preferences and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I service my Gravely engine?

Do that after every 30 hours or once before every season.

How frequently should I service my Kawasaki engine?

Service the engine every 20 hours once before each session.

Which company makes engines for Gravely zero-turn mowers?

Yamaha has been manufacturing engines for Gravely.

Which company manufactures Kawasaki engines?

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Has Ariens Company purchased Gravely mowers?

Yes, Gravely mowers are now owned by the Ariens company.

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