Kawasaki first among small-engine makers to get ‘certified-by-SAE’ engine power ratings

  • 09-Nov-2011 10:36 EST

Among the engines for which Kawasaki received "certified-by-SAE" designation is the FX751V.

Kawasaki Motor Corp. is the first company to use a new combination of SAE International standards in certifying the power ratings of small engines, potentially spurring competitors to do likewise.

“Kawasaki has released more than 20 new engine models since 2006,” Greg Knott, Application Engineering and Government Relations Manager at Kawasaki, told SAE Off-highway Engineering. “Keeping that in mind, and after review of the current power rating options, Kawasaki feels that [SAE J1995 and J2723] more appropriately reflect the recent advances in engine design and manufacturing technologies vs. the previously applied SAE J1940 when rating engine horsepower.”

“J2723: Engine Power Test Code - Engine Power and Torque Certification” is part of SAE’s Certified Power Program and establishes the terms and procedures under which a company may claim that an engine’s power and torque ratings are “certified by SAE.” One of those terms is that a company applying for a certification must subject the engine in question to one of two SAE testing regimes for an accurate (to within 2%) determination of power and torque ratings.

One testing regime, embodied in SAE J1349, addresses net power (the engine’s power rating including loads such as air-conditioning and power steering) and is the one favored by automakers. The other, J1995, addresses gross power (no auxiliary loads on the engine) and is more suitable for smaller engines used in off-road applications. (The J1940 standard referred to by Kawasaki above is an older power rating standard that is more open to interpretation than J1995 and cannot be used to receive official SAE certification).

Certification under the SAE standards assures consumers that the engines they purchase will produce at least 98% of the power and torque ratings claimed. J1995 and J1349 engine testing is witnessed and verified by an SAE-qualified observer.

Kawasaki received SAE certification for 32 four-stroke engine models of up to 999-cc displacement—nearly its entire range of general-purpose engines, according to the company. Each certified engine has a unique combination of features (e.g., air- or liquid-cooled, vertical or horizontal crankshaft) and power. Applications for the certified Kawasaki engines are mainly residential and commercial tractors, walk-behind mowers, and zero-turn riders (not motorcycles or ATVs).

“Kawasaki has met the required standards to use the SAE International reference in its advertising and promotional materials for specified engines,” said Gary Pollak, who in his capacity as SAE Program Manager of Ground Vehicle Standards administers the organization’s Certified Power Program. “The certification entailed a battery of engine tests operated and witnessed by independent, experienced engineers familiar with the requirements of SAE J1995.”

Companies interested in having their engines certified by SAE may contact Pollak at gary@sae.org.

A listing of all engines that have received the official designation of “SAE Certified” can be found in the SAE database at www.sae.org/certifiedpower.

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