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  1. #1
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    Default Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    My wife and I are building a new house on about 15 acres. We live about 1/2 mile across a soybean field from my in-laws. We have worn out a path around the soybean field traveling back and forth. My in-laws have a golf cart and driving it around has been very handy during the construction process.

    Using the golf cart has put the idea in our heads that a Utility Vehicle would be very nice to have. We have 3 small boys and we will live about 1/3 mile down a gravel driveway, so checking the mail can be a chore.

    Our neighbor has a Kawasaki Mule 610 (camo paint) that we have used in the past. It is a great little vehicle. This forum has gotten me to thinking about a kubota RTV500. I stopped and looked at both today. A local dealership carries both Kubota and Kawasaki Mules. I could literally look at them side-by-side.

    My initial impression was that the Kubota was a much stronger built vehicle. It is wider and with more HP, but the seat is not good for riding 3 people in the front. The Mule is not as strong, but looks very solid.

    The RTV500 was ~$9500 and the 610 Mule was ~$7500. Kubota has 0% financing and Kawasaki has 2.9%.

    I believe my wife would use the fool out of either one of these things. I have two tractors and an old Ford truck, but this Utility Vehicle will be hers. I can't imagine we will ever take it 4wheeling in the mountains, but we hope whatever we buy will last many years.

    I have seen a lot of posts on the forum about Kubota RTVs. They seem to be the most widely owned product here, but several of you own the Mule. My questions for the group are

    - Do those prices seem reasonable for each?
    - How do the Mule owners like them?
    - Is it reasonable to expect one of these things to last 10+ years?
    - Is the Kubota worth the extra $2k over the Mule 610?
    - Does anyone own a Mule 600?
    - Is there another Utility Vehicle that we shold consider? How about one of those new Bobcats?

    As you can imagine, $$ is tight with a new house under construction. I don't want to buy one of these things and then wish that I had bought something else. Any comments or discussion would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Old Coot's Avatar
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    Kubota 3130 --- RTV900--- Yamaha Big Bear 4X4--BX2660

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    I can't speak for the 500 kubota, but I had a Mule 610 and liked it. I now have a RTV 900 and like it. The mule was great but not built like the Kubota.

    Yamaha Big Bear--L3130 Kubota--Kubota RTV900-BX2660--06 Corvette--2011 GMC

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    I know this is not what you asked, but it is a mojo factor (yes, mojo) for a lot of people doing ranch/farm work (I'm not a dealer, or do I have any stake in the matter). I'm not a big fan of free testimonials for large companies either.

    This is a quote off of an advertisement I found online:

    "The Mule 610 4x4 transfers its power through the CVT, which features durable materials in the converter and a
    long-lasting drive belt to match the engineç—´ acceleration and hill-climbing performance".


    This and the 0% was the main reason I passed on the mule; as awesome as it is...I don't know for sure but I recall somebody here mentioning belt smoking going up hill and a comment about absolute failure of a belt driven loaded OHV on a steep downgrade. I don't know for sure if it was a mule either.

    My RTV 500 pulls my 6X12 trailer, (up and down) a full cord of dry firewood with ease, the wife likes it.

    For anyone considering an RTV, I suggest learning how to decipher the DOM in the VIN.


  4. #4
    Veteran Member grnspot110's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    I wouldn't worry about the belt drive! I have a 550 Mule I bought about 12 years ago, well over 1000 hours, some pretty heavy use. Might have changed the belt once, don't remember for sure.

    I have it dealer serviced every 2-3 years, besides regular maintenance that I do. ~~ grnspot
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011-wildlife-116a-jpg  

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Agrantina's Avatar
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    Kubota L3240 GST

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    - Do those prices seem reasonable for each?
    - How do the Mule owners like them?
    - Is it reasonable to expect one of these things to last 10+ years?
    - Is the kubota worth the extra $2k over the Mule 610?
    - Does anyone own a Mule 600?
    - Is there another Utility Vehicle that we shold consider? How about one of those new Bobcats?
    I have a 610 mule that is 6yrs old with 400hrs. Not one problem as of yet. I looked at the Kubota last month- wanted more leg room? Would like to have it but cant get what I want for my mule so I am keeping it. It is a good machine, just under powered in my mind.

    #1 Prices sound a little high. I was quoted $8300 on a plain orange 500.. Mule I paid $6300 but that was 6yrs ago not sure what they are now?
    #2 I like the mule-no problems out of it in 400 hrs- be a rough 400hrs!! It is alittle under powered for me but sound machine. I pull a 20ft trailer out of the backyard with it alot and it knows its back there but have not had a issue with the belt at all..
    #3. For me- hunting, sporting clays shooting and just messing around at the farm- I am sure that 10yrs is no problem.. Mine is 6yr old with 400hrs. so ten yrs I might have 600hrs??
    #4 extra 2K?? I dont know. I like the 2 cylinders that the Kubota has vs the 1 cylinder Mule.. I think thats where you get your extra power from. Now I like the bench seat in the mule and really- really like the flip up hood dry storage of the Mule. couldnt live with our that!!- closed up glove compartment is also better on the mule. So the extra $$ is your choice??
    --- the other questions I cant answer but if I was buying brand new I would really look long and hard at the Kubota over the mule. Might go with the KUBOTA to match my L3240 and for the extra power.. But the flip up hood and bench seat are realllll nice... Hope this helps.. let us know what you buy and send PICS!!!


    AndyG
    Last edited by Agrantina; 04-28-2011 at 08:56 AM. Reason: typing to fast
    Lets work in the solution and not in the problem...

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    I've got no feedback on the Mule as I went with the kubota 500 but I will say the hydrostat transmission on the Kubota is very nice, I like the engine braking it has and that alone would be reason enough for me to pick one over the Mule. I like the ruggedness of the Kubota, it's built like a tank. The fuel economy is great and they are quiet. There's not a lot not to like, the only downside I've found is it will no go over 25 mph so you won't keep up with the quads.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    I have an '07 Mule 610 Camo (see pic below), & it's awesome for what I use it for: Cruising around dirt roads, woods & trails, occassionally putting some stuff in the bed. I don't try to use it for heavy duty stuff, & I don't think it would fare well if I did. It's very efficient (ie good on gas), & that's mostly due to the fact that it's fairly light. I've modified mine quite a bit: Added a stereo with sub-woofer; Added a plywood roof; Added rear seats I made, Different wheels/ tires since the pic, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    - Do those prices seem reasonable for each?
    Yes on the Mule. Not knowledgeable about the kubota.

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    - How do the Mule owners like them?
    I love mine - See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    - Is it reasonable to expect one of these things to last 10+ years?
    My Mule's only 4 years old, but I see no decline in it so far. But I generally treat my stuff pretty well (just don't go read my thread on my recently broken 3PH on my tractor That was an anomally ). It really all depends on how you treat it & care for it, like anything else really.

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    - Does anyone own a Mule 600?
    My buddy cheaped out & got it. There are places I can go that he can't because of the 4x4. And, he only has one forward gear, whereas I have High & Low. Low is actually helpful if you do pull or carry something heavy; Seems easier on the Mule.


  8. #8
    Veteran Member TOMMYHPX4X4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    well i can't say much on the bota but i used to have a hpx and it had the same motor in it that the mules have .it ran like a mule and worked hard . there are alot of farmers around here with them mules and they seem to hold up pretty good. they are simple machines to work on if you ever need to that is.if it was me i would go for the mule hands down.
    This ignore feature is great it's like raid is on pest one click and the pest is gone

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    I appreciate all the comments and feedback on both the Mule and the kubota 500. I found the Mule 610 for 4x4 (red or green) for $6999 and the Mule 610 XC (Blue) for $7699. I am not certain that I understand the difference between the 610 and the 610 XC.

    I might take my wife to look at both of them this weekend. I do believe the RTV 500 is a stronger and more powerful Utility Vehicle, but I am not certain it is worth the extra $$. It will be interesting to hear my wife's take on both products. I will post her comments so the group can see the "He Said" vs. "She Said" take on both products.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 vs. Kubota RTV 500 - 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    I appreciate all the comments and feedback on both the Mule and the kubota 500. I found the Mule 610 for 4x4 (red or green) for $6999 and the Mule 610 XC (Blue) for $7699. I am not certain that I understand the difference between the 610 and the 610 XC.
    I read that the XC has a different paint scheme(s), slightly larger wheels/ tires, longer suspension, stronger brakes, revised transmission & upgraded steering.

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralNC View Post
    I might take my wife to look at both of them this weekend. I do believe the RTV 500 is a stronger and more powerful Utility Vehicle, but I am not certain it is worth the extra $$. It will be interesting to hear my wife's take on both products. I will post her comments so the group can see the "He Said" vs. "She Said" take on both products.
    One thing to add: My Mule 610 requires decent effort to steer. Bein' male, it's not a big deal, but a lass might not like it. I added a steering wheel knob to mine, & that helps, but it's still no power steering vehicle. Now I haven't tried the XC's claimed "upgraded steering", so maybe it's a non-issue.

    Oh, & the brakes are notoriously poor. You can really stand on 'em & I don't think locking 'em up is even possible. This is a criticism I've read many times. Also not a big deal to me, since it only does 25 mph anyway. Just something to be aware of. Again, since I haven't tried the XC's claimed "stronger brakes", maybe they're a non-issue, too.

    Good luck.

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