Mowing your lawn used to be one of the most boring tasks in the world. We say “used to be” because Honda’s U.K. unit has built what could bring heap-loads of awesome into lawn mowing – the Mean Mower, which they dubbed as the “world’s fastest” lawn mower. Honda, one of Japan’s leading automakers, claims that this speedy mower can reach speeds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), a speed that certainly puts substance behind that claim.
The title for “world’s fastest mower” – if there is one – was first claimed by Bobby Cleveland of the U.S. firm Gold Eagle in September 2010, riding in a custom-made Snapper model reaching a speed of 96.5 mph. Honda says that the Mean Mower registered speeds of over 100 mph during testing in the track, already breaking the speed posted by Cleveland and Gold Eagle. Honda added that their inspiration for the concept was to build a machine that looks like a mower and cuts like a mower, but would be as comfortable in the race track as it is in the lawns of city suburbs.
The design itself was taken from one of Honda’s more conventional models, the HF2620. But that is where the conventional ended and the fun started. Honda then added a custom-made chassis and swapped the standard lawn mower engine with a 1000 cc motorcycle engine used in Honda’s VTR Firestorm, adding around 50% more power to the lowly mower. The cutter deck is made of fiberglass, cutting down the machine’s weight to 308 pounds (140 kg). Other additions were a fuel tank, a high-capacity oil cooler, and a secondary water cooling radiator.
Honda released a YouTube video on Wednesday showing that its new concept mower does exactly what it claims. The video features Scottish racing driver Gordon “Flash” Shedden in the seat, driving around a lawn doing crazy turns with the Mean Mower. The video is cool and all that, but the actual cutting speed is still a very lazy 15mph, but even that is twice the speed of Honda’s conventional mowers. Honda says that the new mower can go from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, but also making a darned awful noise at 130 decibels. At these noise levels, users may actually need protective gear for their ears to avoid permanent hearing loss. There is no news as of now whether this new concept lawn mower will be made available to the public.
[via Wall Street Journal]