In this review of the Ariens Ikon x 52, we’ll be taking a close look at this zero-turn, ride-on mower and what it can and can’t do in residential mowing situations.
We’ll examine the type of engine it comes with, the cutting deck’s construction, the zero-turn steering system, ergonomics, and this mower’s overall performance.
Then we’ll give you a summary of what verified buyers say about using this lawnmower. Then we’ll share some concluding thoughts, so you can decide if this is the right mower for you and your yard.
Ariens Mower Specs:
|Power Source||Weight||Dimensions||Cutting Width|
|Kawasaki 23 HP FR V-Twin gas engine||871 pounds||77.5 x 63.4 x 40.9 inches||52-inch|
Main Product Benefits:
- Zero-turn steering
- 23 horsepower Kawasaki engine
- Extra-wide, 52-inch cutting deck
- Commercial-grade construction
This Ariens mower is built to handle large mowing jobs in residential settings. You can cover plenty of ground in a short time when mowing with the 23 HP Kawasaki engine and the 52-inch wide, 3-blade cutting deck on this machine.
This mower has a sleek, attractive appearance with its dark-orange color and sophisticated design. You can see that a high level of attention and care went into its manufacture by looking at it.
With zero-turn steering, the operator sits with a clear view of the terrain ahead because the engine’s location is at the mower’s rear. The enhanced visibility helps safely mow at top speeds while you trim away 52-inch strips of grass with each pass.
The steering bar system lets you quickly make a 180-degree turn in minimal space. This feature also makes it fast and straightforward to turn around and mow the next strip of grass without leaving any space between it and the previous strip.
Ariens Ikon x-52 Engine
This lawnmower comes with a powerful and reliable Kawasaki 23-HP FR691V Twin gas engine.
Top travel speeds are 7 mph in forward and 3 mph in reverse. The fuel tank holds 2.8 gallons, an ample supply for extended mowing between refueling. The engine’s high torque gives the machine plenty of power, even at low speeds.
For optimum performance and lifespan, gas engines like those in this zero-turn require seasonal or more frequent oil and oil filter changes. Regular cleaning or replacing the air filter and keeping the grills clean from debris build-up are essential, routine maintenance tasks.
Other necessary engine maintenance includes changing the spark plugs and fuel filter per the manufacture’s recommendations. The included Owner’s Manual for the Kawasaki engine contains crucial information on the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedules.
– Zero-Turn Steering
It might take you a short time to get used to the steering bars on this mower. However, most people only need a few minutes of practice on a level area without any nearby obstacles to learn how to use this steering system.
Many people find steering bars easier to use than regular steering wheels because their use results in less strain on your hands during long mowing sessions.
The steering bars swing upward to allow the operator to enter the seat. When the bars are upward, this also activates the parking brake system.
When you pull the bars down after sitting down, the parking brake releases. Pushing and pulling the bars forward and backward together when they are in the lowered position turns the front wheels in either direction.
Steering bars need occasional adjustment to keep them aligned with each other. See the Ariens’ owner’s manual for instructions on how to make this adjustment.
A zero-turn mower can make a 180-degree turn without needing to move backward and forward in the process. However, using the zero-turn feature on grass or other soft surfaces can result in holes and bald areas on the ground from the front wheels when they turn on the spot.
When turning around in a zero-turn mower on lawn or dirt, it’s best to move the machine slightly backward and forward in a small ‘K’ turn to avoid damaging the ground. With this little maneuver, you can turn the machine around in minimal space and continue mowing without uncut spaces between the rows or bald spots.
This series of mowers by Ariens come with EZT Transaxle drives. This model has cooling fans on both of the transaxles.
Hydro-Gear makes the EZT drive system, and it’s one of the most popular units for residential mowing applications. Its low-maintenance design has few points for leaking to occur, and the integrated unit provides maximum power and needs minimum servicing.
The hydraulic gear drive and transmission shift for you as you change speeds, so you don’t have to let go of the control bars to change gears.
The reduction ratio for this transaxle is 19.2:1, and it has input speeds of 3,000 RPMs at hi-idle/no load and 1,800 RPMs at minimum speed with a load. The torque output reaches up to 215 foot-lbs., and the axle shaft diameter is 1-inch.
The cutting deck on this lawnmower is a heavy-duty fabricated 11-gauge steel construction. The deck recesses 4.5-inches around the cutting blades. It has anti-skid wheels placed around the deck’s edge to prevent the blades from hitting the ground when going over high spots.
The deck uses a hand-operated dial for selecting the cutting height into one of 13 settings between 1.5 and 4.5-inches. You then use a foot-operated lever on the floor area’s right side to elevate or lower the deck’s desired setting. The deck is securely attached to the base of the mower using a commercial-style 4-point hanger.
The deck and blades protrude on the mower’s left-hand side, extending a few inches beyond the wheels. This design allows you to mow up to a curb or other structure while keeping the wheels away from the surface, letting you readily see the line you’re cutting.
While powerful and capable of tough cutting jobs, this mower has a slightly small wheel-base. It can cause to ride up on the back wheels when mowing uphill on a steep slope or pulling a heavy trailer load. The maximum safe slope for this mower is 15 degrees.
For storing this mower in a shed, it needs a door of at least 60-inches in width. The mower is 56-inches wide when folding up the side discharge chute, and a 60-inch opening provides enough room for clearance on both sides of the doorway.
Ariens Zero Turn Mower Features and Accessories
The frame on this zero-turn is fully welded and constructed with heavy tubular steel for durability. The deck is fabricated from 11-gauge steel, making this machine suitable for challenging mowing situations, uneven ground, and sloping terrain.
The operator seat has a fully-padded, high back and padded armrests on both sides. The seat has deep padding and is supported underneath with steel springs to minimize operator discomfort while mowing. The seat is also adjustable, moving front to back, to fit drivers of different heights.
The mower does not come equipped with headlights, and headlights aren’t essential in many mowing situations.
However, for operating the mower in low light conditions, when it’s foggy or pedestrians or vehicles are nearby, headlights are an essential safety feature. You can buy an add-on set of headlights for this machine at the Ariens’ website.
The headlight kit comes with a strip lamp, electrical connectors, mounting bracket, and fasteners. A hex wrench for tightening the fasteners is also part of the package. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to install the kit.
This model does not come with a bagging unit. However, you can purchase an optional 2-Bucket Bagger from Airens for collecting grass clippings as you mow.
You can also use a mulching kit to spread the cuttings evenly on the lawn and add nutrients back to the ground. The mulching kit comes with baffles to redirect and spread the cut grass, three mulching blades, and hardware for attaching the baffles.
To install the mulching kit on this machine and service the blades, you must use a hoist or ramps to raise the front end and expose it under the deck. Removing the deck is another option for getting to the blades to sharpen or replacing them with mulching blades.
Another popular accessory for this mower is a trailer hitch. It allows you to pull a cart or trailer behind the mower and move materials like animal feed, compost, and fertilizers around your property with ease. Installing the hitch takes a couple of minutes and the use of a wrench and a large Philip’s screwdriver.
Buyers are generally impressed with this lawnmower and what it can accomplish. They note that the manufacturer has been in business for a long time, making a yard and garden equipment like zero-turn mowers, walk-behind mowers, and snow blowers, and has a solid reputation in the industry for quality.
Another feature noted by a buyer researching the Kawasaki engine is its high torque at low speeds. This torque and speed give it lots of power for tough mowing on flat and uneven ground when a lower speed is needed.
The competitive price tag on this model is another feature many buyers find impressive.
Typical comments from buyers about this zero-turn mower include:
- “Really nice!”
- “Cuts excellent.”
- “Super quiet.”
Multiple buyers remark about the high-quality construction of the frame and deck and the machine’s overall sturdiness.
Buyers also state their mower came fully assembled, except for putting in gas and oil and hooking up the battery. Unpacking the machine and getting it started took about 45 minutes, according to one buyer.
As far as how much area you can mow in an hour on this machine, one buyer says he can cut 2.5 acres in 1.75 hours total, with flat, open spaces taking as little as 45-minutes per acre.
This buyer also expressed appreciation for how the mower spreads clippings back onto the lawn, as long as the grass is not too tall when it’s cut.
One buyer cautions not to leave the key on in the ignition because it adds to the engine hour counter even when it is not running.
On the downside, there are some complaints about this model.
Several uses noted that this machine would do a wheelie when going up a hill too fast or with a heavy load in a trailer. Keeping the speed down on slopes and not overloading the trailer solves this problem.
One buyer says the transmission made a noise after minimal use. He wasn’t able to get the service department to address the problem in a timely way. Another buyer says the mulching kit did not work well on his lawn.
Several buyers said that the springs under the seat were not comfortable on rough ground or when sitting for long periods.
This Ariens 52-inch zero-turn mower has a rugged frame and deck, a powerful engine, and a triple-blade cutting system for tearing through tall weeds and over large lawns. You can cover a lot of ground in minimal time using this mower.
While this is a residential machine, it has capacities and performance similar to an Ariens commercial mower. This Ariens 52-inch zero-turn is a mower for people with extra-large yards or fields with or without moderate slopes.
Conclusions about the Ariens commercial mower
This is a heavy-duty mower for the largest residential lawn mowing applications. It comes with multiple features for operator comfort and optional accessories like a mulching kit and a hitch for towing.
Most buyers say they are happy with the Ariens 52-inch zero-turn lawnmower’s performance and durability. A few buyers experienced disappointing results when contacting the service department for help with a problem they had.
This mower comes with a comprehensive 3-year warranty, and service departments are available in most locations.