It has been five years since we first heard of the Honda Mean Mower. Back then, it was built to highlight the many facets of Honda that go beyond automobiles and bikes. But the it wasn't your typical lawn mower, though. Sure, it does its intended job well, but beyond the confines of one's garden, it was fast, and it ran to the tune of around 188km/h. You read that right.
One year following its introduction, Team Dynamics who was Honda's British Touring Car Championship partner, took the record of having built the fastest lawn mower. This record has since been beaten, but now, Honda (UK) is at it again. Pushing development to a new level, the new Mean mower boasts of a CAD-rendered design, bespoke parts, advanced materials, and most importantly, a motor with twice the original's power.
An integral part of the Mower is the Honda HF 2622 lawn tractor. Make no mistake, this is a true lawn mower! Carrying over its front cowl, grass box, and body panels, the Mean Mower still looks the part of a garden workhorse. Electric motors power the carbon fiber blades for manicuring duties, while a 999cc four-cylinder unit taken from none other than the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP is placed at the heart of the Mean Mower. The engine produces more than 190bhp and given the Mower's super-light frame, Honda engineers predict what could look to be a 1000bhp/ton power to weight ratio.
The engine is mated to a six-speed transmission, and is also equipped with a clutch, ECU, and full color LCD display, all taken from the Fireblade. Carbon fiber paddle shifters move through the gears, which coincidentally, can run up to 145km/h in first! T45 steel has been favored over chromoly for durability and flexibility, especially since this machine has no suspension. Stopping power is provided by Kelgate four and six piston calipers on the front and rear, respectively, while Goldspeed 10” ATV wheels wrapped in Hoosier racing tires give the grip.
“The original Mean Mower was a great challenge for us and the result was an amazing machine. This time we have moved the game on considerably to build an incredible piece of real engineering, using advanced design and production techniques and calling upon some very clever thinking to bring the performance and power but still retain the look of the production mower”, said Dave Hodgetts, Managing Director of Honda UK. He added, “We’re in testing phase now and everything is looking good, with a top speed of more than 150mph very much in our sights.”
Record-breaking, behind-the-wheel duties rest in the hands of a capable driver and for this purpose, Jess Hawkins, an experienced kart and car racer has been tapped by Honda to drive the Mean Mower into the books once again.