Exmark started back in 1982 as an independent manufacturer, however now the brand falls under the Toro corporate umbrella. Being known for innovation and commercial mowers, they intend for this new Exmark Radius X Series to fit a niche in the mower market. Keeping aim with quality components and manufacturing, Exmark sets to expand their brand into property-owner roots as well.
Undoubtedly the hardest part of this review is determining under which category the judging falls. Exmark states that the Radius X Series fits the Prosumer. –Oh great! We have a name for everything, thanks Bennifer and Brangelina–. Anyway, the Prosumer title, you guessed it, is a merger of the professional and consumer. In the case of the X Series, it actually makes a lot of sense. Even at first glance, this is definitely not your off-the-shelf zero turn, stamped-deck, recycled-beer-can chassis, chained-together in front of the big-box-store type of mower. At the same time, the Radius X Series doesn’t carry the price tag of the pure-commercial mowers either.
Spoiler alert, we really like this mower! Sit back with your glass of iced tea – sweet tea, if you’re in the South – and enjoy the show. We try our best to cover it all, the good and the bad, providing you with the facts, only the facts (not really).
Exmark Radius X Series 60 Inch Features
Exmark features their UltraCut decks on Radius models from 48- to 60-inch cut widths. These UltraCut decks include maintenance-free, sealed-bearing spindle assemblies. This aids in durability, reducing downtime and cost of ownership.
In addition to the fabricated UltraCut decks, Exmark also uses fully-welded 2-inch by 3-inch frame tubes. This Radius frame design places major components including the engine, hydro drive, and fuel tank lower, with better mass distribution. With a lower center of gravity, the Radius X Series delivers better traction and stability.
Power and Fuel
Our Exmark X-Series 60-inch is powered by the Kawasaki FX730V, which is a 726cc V-twin engine. Engine output is estimated at 22.2hp at 3,700 RPM. The power from the Kawasaki is enough to propel the X-Series to a 10mph top speed. This is not game-changing, but it’s much quicker than the ZT mowers purchased at the store. With all that power, you need a fuel tank to get you through the acres, and the day. A sight-window fuel level gauge is visible on the front, below the seat, and the 7gal fuel tank encompasses both sides and the crossover under the seat.
Safety and Comfort
To keep the operator safe, the Exmark Radius X Series includes the Rollover Protection System (ROPS). Exmark uses a folding design built from round tubes, with a simple, spring-loaded hinge. The ROPS system also provides a place for accessories to mount, such as the LED light kit. In addition, the X-Series comes with a full-suspension seat, which includes a full three inches of travel. This seat provides the operator optimized isolation from bumps and vibration.
Easy Cut and Service
The operator can easily see where the deck height is positioned. To quickly change the height, the user fully depresses the heavy-duty foot-lever on the right. This locks the deck at the highest setting. Next, pull the magnetic pin and replace it in the desired height hole. Again, depress the foot-lever while pulling the deck-unlock detent, and lower the foot-lever. This is much easier to do than the text to explain it.
The foot rest or floorboard can be removed without any tools and provides access to the top-side of the cutting deck. Also, the removable belt shields provide easier access to belts and spindles. Finally, the welded-on jack receiver on the fabricated frame allows for easier service to the bottom-side of the deck when combined with the optional jack.
Ok, we won’t dilly-dally around here. We know our audience and what they want. It’s a lot like a NASCAR race, you may say that you like the race – you’re really watching for the wrecks. We didn’t drive the Exmark Radius X Series off any cliffs, but we did abuse it a little – a lot. Put it this way, we’re sure the ‘suits’ at Exmark-Toro wouldn’t approve or recommend the X Series cut through the forest of weeds and lake grass we fed it.
The time of said battle is mid-March in Central Florida. Days are already breaching the 90°F mark and the humidity in the same range. Just looking outside will have sweat beading on your brow. Once the nights turn warm, our Bahia and St. Augustine grass starts growing like mad. Add in a little afternoon shower, which is typical in these parts, and said grass gets out of hand, quickly.
When my brother hears that we have a new Exmark mower for review, he quickly volunteers some testing grounds. He declines to comment that the right tool for the job should be a bush hog. Behind my brother’s house lies an acre or more that borders a pond, hence lowland when the water is higher. With the water from the pond a little low, and the warmth of the sun, the 6-months of un-maintained lawncare has this Bahiagrass, weeds and trees more than waist high. Oh sure, this will be fun!
With sincere amazement, the Exmark performs extremely well in this abusive environment. Cutting quality is very good, and the power to the blades and the wheels are more than ample. In all honesty, did we bog it down – of course, we were cutting through Sherwood Forest for goodness sake. What you don’t see in the pictures is the other yellow commercial 60-inch mower that was cutting with. I won’t tell you the name, but I will tell you it starts with an “H” and ends with “ustler”.
We both cut in strips half the width of the deck, to reduce bogging. All things equal, his trusty stead bears newly-sharpened blades, as my Exmark wields nearly-new blades. I literally cut laps around him, but I did slow down in passing, as to not blow too much grass in his face. Also noticeable is the fine-tuned controls; I found it easy to feather the forward controls for just the right speed. One word of caution, the Radius is not the best for mud-bogging – maybe I got stuck, maybe I didn’t.
Performance, Efficiency, and Driveability
Power from the 22+hp powerplant is more than ample for the typical mowing needs of the consumer and professional. Add to it, the HydroGear integrated transmissions to get the 10mph top speed. The same powerplant also pushes the cutting blades to 18,500 fpm. Ground speed is much faster than our previous review of the Husqvarna RZ54i.
The efficiency of the X-Series didn’t seem to be noticeably good or bad. What is noticeable is the fact that every time the key is turned, the engine fires to life. If the engine is cold, make sure to use the choke, and it cranks right up. All the controls seem self-explanatory, so learning to drive the Exmark is a cinch. The control sticks to this zero-turn Radius are pretty typical, and they are comfortably positioned. Individual operators can quickly adjust the sticks to their desired location.
Comfort And Ride Quality
Deluxe suspension seat – drop the mic. This is a game changer for the consumer market, and Exmark sales people, take note. Any property owner with more than an acre will so appreciate this seat. I’m not as good as I once was, or as skinny – said under my breath -, so this seat gave me new hope when cutting my 5-acres of Bahia. With an easy adjustment dial, you can set your weight prior to operating and also fine-tune on-the-fly.
Also, the large pneumatic smooth front tires aid in absorbing some of the shocks on the uneven ground.
Flat ground, slow-rolling hills, and undulations seem to be no match for the Exmark X Series. Over the months of testing, we have yet to see the deck or cut need tuning. The cut has remained true and even. Even when cutting on undulations, the cut seems to blend very well. This is even after using the deck as a step (intended) every time we mount the Radius. This is where the manufactured deck and commercial-grade fasteners keep the deck from deformity.
While the Radius X Series includes many great features, Exmark wants to make sure there are additional accessories to partake of as well. The Micro-Mulch System mounts under the cutting deck and keeps the grass clippings churning until the micro-mulch falls to the ground. An LED light kit mounts to the ROPS bar, so we can mow into the night. Exmark also offers a sunshade kit to keep the hot sun off that red neck. Many other options and accessories are available, with more to come.
We like to see forward thinking with expensive equipment maintenance and upkeep. Typical consumer brands skimp when it comes to this area. Exmark seems to be trying hard to make the Radius X Series not just a contender, but a long-lasting one.
With one hand the floorboard can be removed, without tools, to allow for belt inspection and replacement. Individual hydraulic filters screw into independent hydraulic pumps for each rear wheel. A jack-mount is welded to the frame on the front of the Exmark Radius. Using this mount, a typical screw/trailer jack, lifts the X-Series off the ground for easy blade removal. Finally, a long remote rubber drain hose allows for easy and mess-free oil changes.
More than two (2) months are history since receiving the Exmark Radius X Series here at PTR. Our testing and reviewing now calculates into days and miles, not just hours and acres. While our Florida St. Augustine grass is thicker and prettier, the wiry Bahia grass wreaks much more havoc on blades and equipment. Just ask any lawn pro in Florida. The large majority of our testing has been on Bahia grass, so we have done our best to give the X-Series a good shakedown.
Some of the items to note that were surprisingly good were the ride comfort and seat, ample power and blade/cut performance, fabricated deck and frame, easy ROPS functionality, built-in jack mount for blade changes, commercial-style maintenance (no-tool accessibility to belts, oil drain, hydraulic filters, etc.), and great options to pimp your ride (LED lights, mulching kit, fuzzy dice, etc.). Overall, the build of this mower screams commercial/industrial, much louder than consumer. I say we dub it PROsumer.
So let’s talk about the not-so-good, which is very short. In fact, one of these items is more personal preference, but worth noting. I noticed that the Exmark Radius X Series gives me the feeling that I’m sitting up pretty high, over my work. After riding many other commercial zero-turn mowers, I believe that I typically like sitting a little lower. Please understand, this is more of an initial impression and the feeling has subsided the more I use the Radius. Additionally, other users and lawn pros that tested the Radius, here at PTR worldwide headquarters, they like sitting up higher with the Radius. As I mentioned, more of a preference, but I didn’t want to leave it out.
This next one really chaps my hide. I mean, we’re in 2017, right?! Exmark, what are you doing putting a 12-oz drink holder in a commercial-grade mower? We’re mowing the grass! This means the sun is out and Punxsutawney Phil has long forgotten seeing his shadow. Stay hydrated, they say. We do this with 32-oz styrofoam cups, at a minimum, or bladder-blasting 44-oz and higher containers. Please, I need a place for my sweet tea. Sorry for the rant. Not too shabby to have such a short “Bad” list.
Value and Price
Value typically speaks for itself as a product of quality, fit and price. The conundrum here is the same one we started with. Is this fit for the consumer or professional? The answer is Yes! After some research, the price seems to fall in the $7,999 range. While this is more than a stamped out zero-turn, it’s still much less than an actual commercial-grade mower, like the $18.5K Altoz TRX.
Ok, this is where I have to venture out and actually provide my best assessment of the whole deal. First, I can definitely recommend this mower, due to the quality of build, comfort, performance and the 4-Year or 1,000-hour warranty. There are so many components and features of this mower that meet and exceed many commercial or professional zero-turns.
Who does this fit? I have to say that if you’re a homeowner mowing less than an acre, you probably have no need for this. Would you be happy with it? Of course, I think so, but not a necessity. If you are mowing two or more acres consistently, then you will definitely recognize the difference in a mower like the Exmark Radius X Series. You will finish the job much quicker and more comfortably. Also, this is a great mower for the up and coming lawn professional that wants good performance and a deck that won’t wear-out in a year.
To find a dealer near you that carries the Exmark Radius X Series, click here.
Exmark Radius X Series 60 Inch Specifications
- Brand Engine: Kawasaki
- Model Engine FX730V
- Displacement Engine: 726cc
- Series Engine: V-Twin
- Engine Type: Carbureted
- Speed Engine: 3,700 rpm
- Air Filter Cyclonic Air Cleaner
- Fuel Type Gas Carbureted
- Fuel Capacity: 7-gallon
- Fuel Indicator: Translucent Visual
- Drive: Hydro-Drive
- Drive Description: Dual Hydro Gear ZT3400
- Speed: Infinitely variable speed selection from 0–10.0 mph
- ROPS: 2-post foldable ROPS standard with seat belt and latch
- PTO Engagement MagStop electromagnetic 125-ft-lb clutch
- Width / Cutting Deck: 60″
- Deck Style: Floating Deck
- Deck Construction: 10-gauge high strength alloy
- Blade Tip Speed: 18,500 fpm.
- Cutting Heights 1.5″ (3.8 cm) to 5.0″ (12.7 cm) in 0.25″ (.6 cm) increments, adjustable from operator’s seat.
- Blades 3 Blades at 20.50″ Length