Honda has made what could be the fastest riding lawn mower in existence.
Back in 2014, Honda made history. They took an HF2620 model riding mower, ripped out its guts, and replaced them with the engine from a Honda Firestorm motorcycle, a 1000cc, V-twin that produced 109 horsepower.
It was undeniably the most powerful lawnmower at the time, but to make sure it was also the fastest, Honda teamed up with Top Gear to bring their creation, dubbed the “Mean Mower”, to the IDIADA proving ground near Barcelona. There, with a team from Guinness World Records to ensure everything was on the up and up, Honda made history.
With a good running start, the Mean Mower managed to reach a top speed of 116.57 mph and forever have its name in the history books.
Then a year later the record was broken by a Norwegian team that took the engine from a Corvette and slapped it in a Viking/STIHL T6. They managed to get up to 134 mph and steal the record from Honda.
Now Honda wants that record back.
Enter the Mean Mower Mk. 2. Much like the original, it’s based off Honda’s successful HF2620, but there the similarities end.
The engine is now from a Honda Fireblade superbike, a 1.0-L 4-cylinder monster producing nearly 200 hp (189 if you’re a stickler for exact figures). The chassis is made out of T45 aircraft grade aluminum not just for lightness but for its flexibility. Mean Machine Mk. 2 has no suspension, so the chassis has to endure what few bumps might be found on the racetrack.
The transmission is also gone, replaced by one that has a curiously long first gear. It’s expected to get up to 90 mph entirely in first, with a 0-60 time of under 3 seconds.
The wheel is more like something you’d find on a racecar than a lawnmower and has the word “Sparco” emblazoned in the middle. Perhaps most importantly, the mower blade has been replaced by a carbon fiber one that is powered by a set of electric motors. If the blade was spun by the mower’s engine, as on most lawnmowers, it would surely spin-off and kill someone.
Honda expects the Mean Mower Mk. 2 to reach 134 mph and hopes that stunt driver Jess Hawkins survives long enough to record such a time. We’ll find out more once Honda has found a suitable test track.