Flashback Friday: Honda's Speed Demon Lawn Mower
With Goodwood upon us, we decided to take a look back at one crazy lawnmower that Honda built for the Festival of Speed last year.
The Need For Speed
Back in 2014, Honda created their original "Mean Mower" to go after the title of being the world's fastest lawn mower, which they achieved with a top speed record of 116.575 mph. With the Guinness record in hand, Honda had accomplished their goal of being the king of mowers and set the Mean Mower project aside. Fast-forward to late 2015 and a Viking T6 lawnmower modified with a Chevy LS series V8 stole the crown from Honda with a blistering top speed of 134 mph. Honda remained quiet for quite some time, but with the introduction of their new hot-rodded Mean Mower V2, they clearly plan to stamp their name at the top of the lawnmower speed record book once again.
The Premium Cutter
The Mean Mower V2 began life as Honda's premium mower model HF2622 which has all of the bells and whistles that one could wish for in a riding mower, including their hydrostatic drive, Versamow mulcher, and electric grass dumping system to name a few. The engine originally in place to propel the mower was a 688cc OHV V-twin that was good for 22 horsepower. Overall, this smooth-riding mower was a comfortable place to be when out mowing the back forty.
Creating The Chassis
Honda took the HF2622 completely apart to build it back up again with the necessary components to achieve maximum speed. They first began by building a complete custom tube chassis out of T45 aerospace carbon steel tubing because it is both durable and flexible. The chassis is rigid without any traditional suspension components, (hence the need for chassis flex) but uses a set of competition Kelgate brakes with 4-piston calipers in the front and 6-pistons in the rear as well as a Kelgate steering system. Hoosier R25b racing slicks are mounted onto a set of lightweight 10" aluminum ATV wheels for ultimate traction.
Splice in the Superbike
Where the magic really begins to appear is in the engine. Honda plucked the powertrain directly for their top-model superbike: the CBR1000RR-SP. The 999cc inline 4-cylinder produces 189 horsepower and 85 lb-ft of torque in stock form. The mower uses the standard CBR 6-speed sequential transmission with a Translogic PSR power shifter linked to carbon fiber shift paddles mounted behind a Sparco steering wheel. The engine electronics and LCD dash were also carried over from the CBR. However, a custom airbox was 3D printed to fit under the mower's cowl. The engine exhausts through a custom Scorpion header and silencer made of titanium.
Lawn Cutting Capabilities
In order to be considered a mower, the Mean Mower V2 actually has to be able to mow some grass, so it is no surprise that the original HF2622 cutter deck with 12v electric motors were used. All of the cowling was obviously modified to house the new powerplant and flow around the racing bucket seat, but it still very much resembles a Honda riding mower, especially with the 350-liter collector bag hanging out back.
A Mowing Missile
All said and done, the Mean Mower V2 weighs in just a hair over 300 pounds, thus giving it an unheard of power to weight ratio of roughly 1000bhp/tonne. Honda claims their new mower will dash to 60 mph in under 3 seconds and believes 150+ mph is attainable. Maybe even more impressive is that it will supposedly cut grass up to 50 mph! While there is no news about a record attempt just yet, the Mean Mower V2 was recently seen dashing up the Duke's driveway at Goodwood several weeks ago. (The video can be found here.) In any case, Honda looks set to smash the lawnmower speed record with their awesome Mean Mower V2.