July 25, 2013
A 130 MPH Lawnmower
Imagine going out to your garden shed, jumping on your mower for your weekend lawncare chores, and speeding around your yard like you’re in a race. This could be the future of lawncare.
Honda has produced a lawnmower for Top Gear magazine that is capable of speeds reaching well over 100 mph and 0 – 60 times are around four seconds. That is quicker and faster than many automobiles and has a 130-decibel roar (106 for the normal mower) with flames that shoot from the Scorpion exhaust system.
Peter Crolla, the team manager at Team Dynamics who oversaw the project, stated, “The main engineering challenge stems from the need to retain the look of the lawnmower on which it is based, and the ability to still cut grass while achieving the speed and the handling characteristics required for this type of vehicle. To our knowledge, this has never been done before, certainly using this mower and engineer combination, and as such there are no previous learning’s to draw upon.”
The record speed for a lawnmower was previously set at 96.5 mph back in 2010. In a test run at the Circuit de Charade in France, Top Gear magazine clocked the mower at a little over 100 mph on the backstretch.
This super-fast mower is still capable of cutting grass, but only at speeds of 15 mph, which is still about twice as fast as the normal rider. To lighten up the machine, a fiberglass body was used and to keep the engine cool, a high capacity oil cooler and a second radiator were added.
For the mower to reach its top speed, the original mowing deck was replaced to accommodate the engine. Top Gear magazine’s senior road tester Piers Ward, writes in the latest issue, “Honda has fitted two 4,000rpm electric motors with metal brake cables attached to flail the green stuff into submission.” But the modified cutting deck is only 0.4 inches off the ground, so it must be removed to get to 100 MPH plus speeds. Ward added, “hearing it for the first time, and seeing flames spitting out of the exhaust, didn’t exactly help make me feel relaxed before I drove it.”
This mower has been named the Mean Mower. It is a modified Honda HF2620 lawn tractor that has the original 20 hp motor removed and replaced with a 109 hp 1,000 cc V-twin engine and the six-speed transmission from the VTR1000 Firestorm sport bike. The suspension was modified to compensate a set of ATV wheels and tires.
Don’t be looking for this mower at your local home improvement store. It is a one-off project only to highlight Honda’s product offering and to promote its sporty heritage, according to Honda.
Image Credit: Honda