Honda has a rich racing and off-road heritage and recently their UK team decided to meld that experience with their line of lawn tractors. They teamed up with their title winning British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) partner, Team Dynamics, to create what is believed to be the world’s fastest lawn mower.
Honda is calling it their Mean Mower.
Meet Mean Mower…
The brief for Project Mean Mower was very straightforward. To build a super-fast mower which retained its original look, but, crucially, could still cut grass. The result is a machine capable of reaching an estimated 130mph and 0-60 in just four seconds with an ear splitting roar reaching 130db.
The Birth of Mean Mower
Team Dynamics re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground-up, adding an all-new fabricated chassis, custom-made from 4130 chromoly, to provide a strong, safe but very light platform. A 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm was used, along with a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV.
Every effort has been made to retain as much of the look of the original mower as possible. The cutter deck was custom-made in fibre-glass, to reduce weight, while, in a stroke of pure genius, the grass bag provides a happy home for the fuel tank, a high capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator.
The ability to still cut grass was also a key element of the brief, and the super-fast mower still can, admirably, thanks to two electric motors on the cutter deck, spinning 3mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4000rpm. The mower can cut grass at around 15mph, more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620 from which it is derived.
Based on feedback from Honda Yuasa Racing drivers, three times BTCC champion Matt Neal and reigning champion Gordon Shedden, the mower features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system. Additionally it has a custom-made Cobra sports seat, a Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.
The result of this remarkable feat of engineering is a lawn mower set-up and geared to achieve a top speed in excess of 130mph, weighing just 140kgm, producing 96Nm of torque and an incredible PTW ratio of 532bhp/ton. In testing to date the mower has topped 100mph on a circuit, belting out a remarkable 130db at three-quarter RPM and 98db at idle.
Safety is paramount to the project, so every effort has been made to make the mower stable and secure. To achieve optimum balance ATV wheels have been used – ideal because ATV racing is held on rough off-road tracks. Super-soft tires ensure optimum grip and excellent handling on the tarmac.
Every effort has been made to use Honda parts, where possible, including brakes and several motorcycle components. Almost everything else has been custom-made by Team Dynamics and its partners.
Here’s a great video of the mower in action.