Grand Rapids, Mich., August 25, 2011 — Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Engine and Power Products Div. will begin rating its engines in accordance with SAE J2723. Kawasaki’s move to “Critical Power” ratings will move away from the wide tolerance that’s permitted by SAE J1940, the generally applied industry rating standard.

This application of this standard marks a departure for the outdoor power equipment industry, and it’s one Kawasaki officials believe will alleviate end-user confusion over horsepower labeling and “usable” power.


“By making this move we’re giving the dealer an advantage to a certain extent,” says Tiffany Young, marketing supervisor for Kawasaki Motors Corp. “He now can have the confidence to refer to the rated horsepower and know that the rating on the engine or in the brochure is what it showed in testing. This standard removes some of the uncertainty that has been there in the past.”

SAE J2723 rating methodology, commonly used in the automobile industry, in combination with SAE J1995 Gross Power testing procedures, provides an accurate assessment for real-world equipment applications for the engines. A global testing agency, TÜV Rheinland Group, verifies sample models from specific Kawasaki engine series.

“There are several different combinations of SAE testing and rating standards for engines,” says Greg Knott, applications engineering manager, Kawasaki Motors Corp. “In the past we along with the rest of the industry used SAE J1940, which permits the advertised rated value to be 85% of the test values.” For example, on an engine rating of 10 hp, test results were required to show the engine put out 8.5 hp.

By applying SAE J2723 methodology, purchasers of lawn care and other equipment with will know Kawasaki engines will produce at least 98% of their rated values. In the 10 hp engine example, under the new standard Kawasaki engines must be tested to 9.8 hp.

Nothing has changed in the design, performance or serviceability of the engines as a result of this new standard, although the advertised horsepower will. “For example, if we test an engine at 10 hp,” says Knott, “the old standard permitted us to advertise 11.5 hp. Under SAE J2723 we will label it as a 10.2 hp. unit.

Kawasaki has been working closely with its OEM customers to implement this new rating, and will begin production of the newly rated engines early next month. Many of the company’s engines are produced by Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A. in Maryville, MO.  Others are built at facilities in Japan and China.

In conjunction with the new ratings, Kawasaki has launched a Critical Power micro-site here: