As you all know we love tractors, riders, mowers and pretty much anything that you can put gas in and goes vroom. While researching for some upcoming lawn and garden reviews I came across the Raven MPV-710 mower on Youtube. From the video it looks innovative and a good solution for almost anyone. It looks like an ATV and runs off of genset technology that has been proven to reduce fuel consumption in locomotives. Basically it is a 12.5 hp gas engine that is connected to an electric generator, the electricity then powers the wheel and mower motors. It eliminates the need for inefficient squeaky belts, has more power than most riders and is more fuel efficient . Another bonus is that since it is a generator, a panel under the seat gives you 7000W of power. Currently it only has 120V output and rumor has it that next year's model will see a 240V plug also. Now you can take power everywhere around the yard and even take it camping. LED headlights and aggressive styling make most guys drool over this thing. You will be grabbing a lot of attention in the neighborhood.
The 46″ mower easily detaches to allow you to drive the vehicle like an ATV up to 17 MPH. It soaks up bumps with a front suspension and has an automotive style accelerator and brake. The Cost is $2999 with a respectable 3 year warranty. At first I thought the Raven was made by MTD, but after researching I found out that it is made by the RATO power limited company. A Chinese company that makes small engines, ATV's and motorcycles. This it not really a bad thing as RATO builds the RAVEN here in the USA giving us jobs. But it is still sort of an unknown to the American retail market and lets face it Chinese ATV manufactures are not known for their “high”quality. Who hasn't bought a cheap Chinese ATV from a local pop up power sports dealer for half the price of a name brand. Only to be burned when you find out there are no parts available for it and its broke. Ok maybe that hasn't happened to everybody, but it did to my brother in law. The Raven is made exclusively for Lowes and I personally prefer Lowes for my power equipment needs over any other big box store because they carry reliable quality brands like Husqvarna, John Deere and Troy-Bilt at a good price.
Although I love the concept, I do have a few concerns on a new to market vehicle like this such as parts availability, reliability and support. Lowes is a retailer and not a power equipment manufacturer, but they have always been good at taking defective products back and a 3 year warranty gives me some comfort. I am told soon they will be carrying spare parts for this product and have a support network in place via Lowes Service Advantage.
While researching for this article I found out that the Raven was on a sales stoppage or a quality audit. I called around to a few stores and got the same response, they have stopped selling them due to quality issues. This is not the greatest start for the RAVEN, but hey the Boeing 787 is still grounded due to battery problems. As with any new technology there are bugs to be worked out and early adopters will experience some glitches, that is the cost for having the coolest rider on the block.
There is no doubt that this is a great concept and design. Although Chinese parts could be its downfall and only time will tell. The Raven has changed backyard America forever and other manufacturers are sure to follow suite. When the bugs get worked out we might purchase a Raven and give you a full in action review. Comment and let us know what you think of the Raven. Check out Lowes info on this product.
Sales Stop Number 2: