I finally got my Raven. My previous mower is a Husqvarna with the hand control for drive. This drive control is my favorite because I can operate the mower extremely accurately with very little effort and it has cruise control built in. Absolutely no need for a brake pedal, other than to activate the parking brake. Very smooth drive speed changes and the only thing preventing instantaneous direction reversal is the limitations of tire traction. First off, the Rave's starter battery was dead from the the moment I got it. It drove in electric mode just fine, though. The manual says you can't jump start it. You need a special slow charging cable that is sold separately, which Lowe's didn't have. So I jump started it. A bit difficult to get to the battery, had to take out about 5 screws and remove a panel. It jumped easily.
In my opinion the Raven mower deck cuts well, the unit drives fast and the generator will most likely be very convenient. But the drive system is very choppy and very inconvenient. It is very difficult to make small adjustments to your drive speed. Very jerky. So much that it forced me to use the cruise control as much as I could (which works very well.) It is extremely annoying to use reverse while mowing. You have to push a kill defeat button before you push reverse. Every time. (I will be defeating this.) Then, the process of changing from forward to reverse, or back, takes 5-10 seconds. When you have to maneuver around a lot of lawn obstacles, this whole process is VERY tedious and time consuming. I ended up making big loops to reverse direction whenever possible, because using reverse was just too much trouble. The steering is very heavy. Takes WAY more strength to turn than any other mower I have ever used. Maybe because it's twice as heavy as a traditional mower. I am hoping the use as an electric vehicle on my property and the generator make up for the completely unrefined mowing experience. I am expecting better towing than with my Husqvarna. I am keeping the Raven for now, but I'm only another small annoyance away from returning it. Like most things that are supposed to perform several different functions, this unit performs none of them very well.