- Riding Comfort
- Mower Handling and Performance on Hills/Rough Terrain
- Quality of Cut
At first glance this mower certainly looks like a contender. First impression is that it has a lot going for it. Let’s take a closer look at the Ariens IKON X52 Zero Turn Mower.
A high back padded seat with armrests(that can be lifted up) accompanies this mower. The handlebars can also adjust up or down and in or out. The armrests are definitely a nice feature.
The mower does come with an oversized cup holder which seems to be geared more towards like a 32oz soda cup or something, so you may have to get a koozy or something if you want just a water bottle to fit without really rattling around.
As far as the ride goes, I did come across the most complaints about a rough ride. A lot of reviews said if the terrain isn’t really flat then you’ll be in for a rough ride.
One review in particular stuck out to me: “When you hit a bump it jars spine, unless going very slow.” I’ve had similar experiences on other zero turn mowers and I had to get a suspension seat which made a world of difference. Just keep that in mind that if you have to do that it will lower the overall bang for your buck on this model.
However, the good news is even with that comment the person still gave it 4 stars, so that really speaks to the quality of the mower overall.
This mower comes equipped with a Kawasaki FR691V 23HP 726cc engine. This engine is really quite a good value for a mower of this price. There are mowers that are much more expensive using less quality engines, in my opinion.
The Ariens IKON X52 mower only has a 2.8 gallon gas tank on it which I would have really liked to see a bit bigger tank, at least a 3.5 gallon tank. Nothing worse than running out of gas in the middle of a mow. And unfortunately there is no gas gauge so you’ll have to keep do periodic checks to see what your level is once you get an idea on how much gas it uses while cutting.
I’ve seen some reviews that mention the oil change being a messy process because of the oil drain location. I don’t know if they aren’t using the supplied tube or what because honestly it looks pretty simple. Take a look at the video below of how to change the oil in an IKON X52 with Kawasaki engine and judge for yourself:
Mower Handling and Performance
On flat ground this mower could handle anything with no problems. The issues do start to come in when you throw slopes into the equation. While the 23HP Kawasaki provides plenty of power the 18″ rear wheels with turf tread do have some slipping issues. I would have really liked to have seen 20″ tires on here and maybe a little more aggressive tread. This is probably a fairly minor thing unless your property has a lot of drop offs and/or ditches.
The Ariens IKON X52 has 11″ tires up front and as I mentioned the 18″ tires in the rear. Max forward speed is 7MPH while max reverse speed is 3 MPH.
Dual EXT-2200 transaxles reside on this machine which is pretty good for a mower of this size/price.
The frame is sturdy and made out of 3″ tube steel. It’s backed with a 5 year warranty. Definitely nice.
One thing to consider is that the frame is solid, meaning the deck plate (where you rest your feet) does not lift up. So when you have to change your belts it is going to be a little more hassle. Some other mowers do have a removable deck plate, so that is something to consider.
For those of you trying to fit this through a gate, the IKON X52 zero turn mower is 56″ wide with the discharge chute up.
Quality of Cut
This is one of the areas where I think you’ll see the most conflicting reviews for this mower. From what I’ve seen users with flat ground yards love the cut on this machine.
Users with rough terrain seem to think the cut is not level or smooth.
I think I know why.
The 11 gauge fabricated steel deck on the Ariens IKON X52 is built really well. It has a reinforced edge all the way around and three anti scalping wheels on it. The deck hardly moves at all, you can basically stand on it and it will barely budge.
This is good and bad.
Think of mowing flat ground, you’d want the deck to be as immobile as possible to stay right in line with the grass. That, along with the 4.5″ deep deck needs that suction to get rid of all the grass clippings. You’re also going to get a lot less vibration in the deck this way.
Now think of mowing a yard with a lot of little whoopie-dos (is that the right term? lots of little rolling hills…) where the front of the mower is going to be at different angles than the back. You’d want more of a floating deck that could “go with the flow” a little better, otherwise you’re just going to be scalping a lot of spots, anti scalping wheels just won’t help in that case.
With that out of the way, deck height adjustment is super easy. Simply step on the pedal and a simple dial turn knob allows you to change from 1.5″ to 4.5″ high in 1/4″ increments, 13 positions in all.
There is no deck wash attachment on this mower.
There is a bagger available for this mower but it is not readily available online, the part number is 81504300. One thing to note about running a bagger is it is going to really throw off the weight balance so you might want to add some counterweights to the front.
A mulching kit is available for the IKON X52 mower: Mulching Kit Part # 715140
The standard garden hitch you’re probably used to seeing does not come standard on this mower, however it is available for purchase: Ariens Trailer Hitch #71514900, after that you could tow most attachments even though it is not really recommended to tow with a zero turn mower.
This review is almost like the tale of two mowers. Basically, it boils down to this…
If you have a flat yard or nearly all flat, this is a great mower, probably the best you will be able to find for this size/price.
However, if your yard has slopes, dips, ditches, etc I think you might be better off going in a different direction.
Just my opinion, you certainly know your property better than I do, I just wanted to give you some perspective.
The Ariens IKON Z52 zero turn mower is definitely a quality product though.