In our test, the Super Stripe 61 starts on the second pull of the rope-pull recoil starting mechanism. Power comes from a four-horsepower Honda engine.
One tester starts mowing with a unit that has Motivair servo controls to the primary drive and cutting cylinder, and a manual clutch via a chain to provide the drive to the split twin rear roller. The Motivair clutch is a little awkward at first but very light to use. Allen says models currently coming off its production line are fitted with a normal clutch lever and should be simpler to operate.
The tester has no difficulty manoeuvring the mower around the lawns, running along the edge of the ha-ha or close to the flower border. The rear roller is two-piece cast iron with bevel gear differential. The front roller comprises four sections and is made of wood.
The five-bladed reel of the Super Stripe 61 does an excellent job of cutting. Collection is also good and, despite the conditions on the day, the mower leaves a superbly striped finish. We believe that if you need a cylinder mower that will cut right to the edge, this could be the one for you. There is only a short distance between the end of the reel and edge of the mower, so cutting along borders and close to obstacles is easy. The cavernous grass box is supplied as standard but the trailing seat is an optional extra.
This mower is also going to suit situations where noise is an issue. It is remarkably quiet in use and our testers perceive hardly any vibration. “It almost feels as though it is not on full throttle but it goes quick enough and is doing a lovely job,” comments a tester.
Height adjustment is simple — wind it up or down to the required setting. The handles also adjust so operating height can be matched to the user for comfort. The tester says: “The handles have really comfortable grips — this mower shouldn’t make your wrists ache if you need to use it for a long time.”
The mower is clearly marked Allen Super Stripe 61, yet there is something familiar about it. This machine is made by an accepted champion of cylinder mowers — Ransomes of Ipswich — and carries most of the specification of the Ransomes’ Marquis.
It may not seem like cricket — taking someone else’s mower, changing the engine and putting your own badge on it — but the agreement works very well for all concerned, including users.
Ransomes widens its customer area and brings its machines to dealers other than official Ransomes’ agencies. Allen has access to the marketing of a first-class machine. Ransomes-built machines are available to smaller dealers, without having to invest in millions of pounds worth of municipal and golf machinery. And customers may find a dealer more locally and can buy with the knowledge that the machine is backed by the Ransomes spare-parts service.
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