There’s a new force in powering zero-turn mowers. That force is the Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, Outdoor Power Equipment that showed off its new MXV-EFI Vertical V-twin series engines designed specifically for ZTRs at the Gravely dealer meeting in Amelia, Florida, on Oct. 3.

The three new engines ­— the MX775V-EFI, MX800V-EFI and MX825V-EFI — range from 29 gross horsepower to 33 certified gross horsepower. The later two new models will be available early spring 2017 on select models in Gravely’s Pro-Turn 200 and 400 lines. Other engine Kawasaki and Kohler engine options remain available on these models as well.

Why was Gravely selected as the initial launch partner for the engines?

Over the past four years Yamaha has been working closely (and very quietly) with the Brillion, Wisconsin-based power equipment manufacturer to develop the vertical V-twin engines.

“Ariens (which owns Gravely) was involved from the beginning,” said Yamaha’s Derek Schoeberle, referring to the research and testing of the Yamaha-powered mowers in the United States and Japan.

Gravely contributed to the development process helping Yamaha with voice of customer development and defining the engine’s specifications for the OPE industry as well as extensively testing the engine on several models in Japan and the United States.

Not only did the dealers and journalists learn about the closely guarded collaboration at the Florida meeting, they put Yamaha-powered Gravely commercial mowers through their paces on a spacious golf course driving range. From all indications, the dealers responded to the announcement and the performance of the Yamaha-powered models enthusiastically.

Gravely reported the new Yamaha EFI engines can be immediately ordered on its Pro-Turn 260 (29-hp engine), Gravely Pro-Turn 452 (29-hp engine), Gravely Pro-Turn 460 (33-hp engine) and the Gravely Pro-Turn 472 (33-hp engine).

“Three valve hemispherical heads, closed loop electronic fuel injection (EFI) with variable ignition timing, and low-friction design result in the most fuel-efficient engines in their class saving users both time and money,” said Jim McPherson, Yamaha’s Outdoor Power Equipment division manager.

“This is just the beginning,” added Schoeberle, Yamaha Business Planning Manager. He said the outdoor power equipment market, including commercial cutters, should expect to see Yamaha introduce more engines in the years to come.