B2301 or B2601?

alasippi

New member

Equipment
zen Noh zl1500
Apr 22, 2014
12
1
3
Louisville,Ms
I am in the early stages of looking for a replacement for my growing obsolete grey market ZL1500. I was originally looking at a green tractor but after visiting my local Kubota dealer for an oil filter for the ZL, I took a look at a B2601 they had on the lot. I really like the idea of having a 3 range hydrostatic transmission. After talking with the salesman for a bit, I decided that replacing orange with orange. My biggest question is should I go with the B2601 or the B2301? Is the slight increase in hp worth the added cost? I already have a rotary cutter, finishing mower, box blade, and disc harrow- all 4ft wide- so I don't want a tractor much wider otherwise the LX2610 would be in the running as well. I do plan to get rear remotes, 3rd function, pallet forks, and a grapple when I do decide to pull the trigger. Either tractor would be a huge step up from what I have already. I just want to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck.
 

Mossy dell

Active member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) JD970 (1998) B2100 (1991) B6100E (1988)
Jul 20, 2020
257
105
43
sw VA
My concession to the "bigger is always better" usual wisdom on tractor forums is to get the biggest engine within a chosen frame size. It's been a year since I bought, but isn't the 2301 essentially the same size as the 2601?
 
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alasippi

New member

Equipment
zen Noh zl1500
Apr 22, 2014
12
1
3
Louisville,Ms
My concession to the "bigger is always better" usual wisdom on tractor forums is to get the biggest engine within a chosen frame size. It's been a year since I bought, but isn't the 2301 essentially the same size as the 2601?
The B2301 is just slightly smaller in all dimensions. Not enough physically to matter much to me. FEL and 3pt hitch capacities are the same. 2 hp difference in pto output. My question is that is the 2hp pto hp increase/ 3.4 engine hp increase and 60 lbs weight difference justify the extra $1500 cost of the B2601? Is it really that noticeable of a difference in performance?
 

Mossy dell

Active member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) JD970 (1998) B2100 (1991) B6100E (1988)
Jul 20, 2020
257
105
43
sw VA
The effect of these differences I can't answer. More engine horsepower may be unneeded insurance. As I'd had a bigger tractor, and a decent tractor fund, I followed my bigger-engine-same-frame-size rule of thumb.

Surely someone compared these tractors directly on the lot or has more direct experience!
 
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greg86z28

Active member

Equipment
B2601
May 17, 2020
306
168
43
South Central Wisconsin
The B2301 is just slightly smaller in all dimensions. Not enough physically to matter much to me. FEL and 3pt hitch capacities are the same. 2 hp difference in pto output. My question is that is the 2hp pto hp increase/ 3.4 engine hp increase and 60 lbs weight difference justify the extra $1500 cost of the B2601? Is it really that noticeable of a difference in performance?
If you are performance matching implements to your machine you will probably be fine. Kubota wouldn't sell the B2301 if it wasn't a decent machine. A B2301 might do things slower, but it's 100 times faster than doing it by hand.

$1,500 is the cost of an implement.

I would try to set your expectations, is there something you will be doing where that extra HP will be really noticeable or needed? Based on the implements you listed at 48" wide I feel like you should be fine with the B2301. Also consider that the B2301 should feel like a big step up from your ZL1500, if I'm not mistaken.
 
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Mossy dell

Active member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) JD970 (1998) B2100 (1991) B6100E (1988)
Jul 20, 2020
257
105
43
sw VA
That's a good way to think of cost tradeoffs: another implement or not. I actually went through a period of buyer's remorse when I wondered if I should have gotten a BX with backhoe. I hadn't thought I could justify a backhoe but ended up doing a lot of digging. Thankfully I found a guy with a BX and backhoe I could hire!
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
999
380
63
WestTn/NoMs
Other than the power, the only difference I see is the 2601 is slightly wider (due to larger tires?). Unless the dealer is giving you a better deal on the 2301, there's only ~$1000 difference. So, only 3 reasons I'd buy the smaller tractor
1 $ extremely tight
2 that inch and a half or so difference in width is critical (larger tires may increase the ROP height slightly also, if that's critical)
3 Availability
 
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alasippi

New member

Equipment
zen Noh zl1500
Apr 22, 2014
12
1
3
Louisville,Ms
That's a good way to think of cost tradeoffs: another implement or not. I actually went through a period of buyer's remorse when I wondered if I should have gotten a BX with backhoe. I hadn't thought I could justify a backhoe but ended up doing a lot of digging. Thankfully I found a guy with a BX and backhoe I could hire!
I considered the backhoe attachment for a little bit but realized I wouldn't be using it near as much as the FEL. My brother-in-law who lives across the road has a Bobcat mini X if I need any holes dug. My main use would be garden plot prep, trail maintenance and light field mowing, about 3-4 acres.
 

alasippi

New member

Equipment
zen Noh zl1500
Apr 22, 2014
12
1
3
Louisville,Ms
Other than the power, the only difference I see is the 2601 is slightly wider (due to larger tires?). Unless the dealer is giving you a better deal on the 2301, there's only ~$1000 difference. So, only 3 reasons I'd buy the smaller tractor
1 $ extremely tight
2 that inch and a half or so difference in width is critical (larger tires may increase the ROP height slightly also, if that's critical)
3 Availability
I believe here in my market area #3 is probably going to be one of the biggest deciding factors. I have 4 dealers within 50 miles of me and currently only one has the B2601 in inventory. None have the B2301.
 
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i7win7

Well-known member

Equipment
BX2370, B2650 grapple, tree puller, trailer mover, 3 point hoist, mower, tiller
Feb 21, 2020
1,652
943
113
Central, IL
Is the slight increase in hp worth the added cost? I already have a rotary cutter, finishing mower, box blade, and disc harrow- all 4ft wide
Extra pto power maybe worth it. Using 4' mower on B2650 (replaced by LX) If tractor fits between trees, no worries about mower.
 
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alasippi

New member

Equipment
zen Noh zl1500
Apr 22, 2014
12
1
3
Louisville,Ms
Those with the B2601- what are your likes and dislikes about it? DO you have the Kubota 3rd function and/or rear remotes and if so which valves do you have? Has anyone used a 4n1 bucket with it?
 

JimmyJazz

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Aug 8, 2020
799
431
63
Pittsburgh, Pa
Pretty sure the B2601 outsells the B2301 by a wide margin. I think Neill from Messicks has some thoughts on the matter on YouTube. I believe he recommends the B2601. Resale might be better on a B2601. Good luck.
 
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jimh406

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
1,070
711
113
Western MT
Unfortunately, there are very few people would have tried both under your expected workloads. I’d go with the B2601 because the extra HP won’t hurt a thing, but as someone noted, it’s probably more important to have the implement you want compared to a bit more HP.
 
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JimmyJazz

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Equipment
B2601
Aug 8, 2020
799
431
63
Pittsburgh, Pa
My book shows the B2301 smaller only with ag tires.

Rest of tires combo's same tires for both B2301/B2601
They are the same other than the engine. Same story with the L2501,L3301 and L3901. The L4701 is larger dimensionally. The others are built on the same frame.
 
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Rdrcr

Active member

Equipment
L2501, B2601
May 7, 2021
242
151
43
WA
I owned a B2601, great tractor which I highly recommend.

If it was my $1,500, I’d go with the B2601. That’s the decision I made between the two tractors a couple years ago.

Mike
 
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rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
437
279
63
Ohio
I am in the early stages of looking for a replacement for my growing obsolete grey market ZL1500. I was originally looking at a green tractor but after visiting my local Kubota dealer for an oil filter for the ZL, I took a look at a B2601 they had on the lot. I really like the idea of having a 3 range hydrostatic transmission. After talking with the salesman for a bit, I decided that replacing orange with orange. My biggest question is should I go with the B2601 or the B2301? Is the slight increase in hp worth the added cost? I already have a rotary cutter, finishing mower, box blade, and disc harrow- all 4ft wide- so I don't want a tractor much wider otherwise the LX2610 would be in the running as well. I do plan to get rear remotes, 3rd function, pallet forks, and a grapple when I do decide to pull the trigger. Either tractor would be a huge step up from what I have already. I just want to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck.
I think it depends…what do you need the extra HP for (tasks)…and do you need HP or really more weight? I notice you mentioned pallet forks…so from loader standpoint I suspect footprint and weight most important. I had a bx before a b…really not much difference…it’s got more lift and weight and all, but weight makes a much bigger difference I think…b is sort of a bx with a lift kit. I think a B to an L is a much bigger jump. It’s tough to measure a 2 HP increase. If you need a belly mower that sort of limits how big you can go. I am not sure I helped at all. Either way new orange is awesome.
 
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RalphVa

Active member
Jan 19, 2020
480
187
43
Charlottesville
Just went through this and selected the B2601. Main problem is availability of stuff at this time. The B2301 needs wheel spacers to make it as wide as my JD 2025R at just over 48 inches. The 2601 is 49 inches. Wheel spacers available?

Chucked the additional hydraulics based on 34 weeks delivery for TnT cylinders and lines. Don't really need the added hydraulics for the loader as I've never had in 17 years. So, chucked that, too. Also, I wonder about availability of those extra hydraulic lines, etc. If sales guy comes back and says he has them in hand, I could change my mind and get them anyway and just wait for the TnT cylinders (you pay and wait at Fit Right).

Had to make a 5 hour round trip to the dealer in Winchester, as they have a couple FELs. None of the 3 dealers nearer here had any.
 
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alasippi

New member

Equipment
zen Noh zl1500
Apr 22, 2014
12
1
3
Louisville,Ms
Just went through this and selected the B2601. Main problem is availability of stuff at this time. The B2301 needs wheel spacers to make it as wide as my JD 2025R at just over 48 inches. The 2601 is 49 inches. Wheel spacers available?

Chucked the additional hydraulics based on 34 weeks delivery for TnT cylinders and lines. Don't really need the added hydraulics for the loader as I've never had in 17 years. So, chucked that, too. Also, I wonder about availability of those extra hydraulic lines, etc. If sales guy comes back and says he has them in hand, I could change my mind and get them anyway and just wait for the TnT cylinders (you pay and wait at Fit Right).

Had to make a 5 hour round trip to the dealer in Winchester, as they have a couple FELs. None of the 3 dealers nearer here had any.
I've been following your posts about your tractor search. Congratulations on the B2601! I agree that the rear remotes for the TnT are nice but not a must have. The 3rd function however for me is a must have for a grapple or a 4n1 bucket. If by the time I am ready to pull the trigger on one and the Kubota kits are still not available, I will probably look into a kit from Summit Hydraulics that has both rear remotes and 3rd function.