Lawn mower sets new speed record

Last updated 10:25 03/04/2014

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Honda's 1000cc Mean Mower is the world's fastest lawn mower.

The Mean Mower set the new Guinness World Record of 187.601 kmh in Tarragona, Spain, last month to break the previous record by nearly 50 kmh.

It was driven by Piers Ward of BBC TopGear Magazine. Ward had previously achieved a fastest speed of 140kmh on the machine but this time was easily able to better the previous world record of 141.3 kmh set in May 2010.

The Mean Mower's speed was was measured through a 100 metre speed trap, overseen by official timers and to meet GWR regulations it had to record the same run, in both directions, within an hour – with the average speed taken of these two runs.

Additional record-setting requirements were the need to cut grass and look like a lawnmower.

It was designed and built in the UK by Honda's British Touring Car Championship partner, Team Dynamics. The team 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 light platform. A 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm was used, along with a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV.

The cutter deck was custom-made in fibreglass, to reduce weight, while, the grass bag provides a happy home for the fuel tank, a high capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator.

Two electric motors on the cutter deck, spinning 3mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4000rpm ensured the mower passed the cutting grass requirement. The mower can cut grass at around 15mph, more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620 from which it is derived.

It also features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system, has a custom-made Cobra sports seat, a Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.

Net result is a lawn mower set-up geared to achieve a top speed in excess of 200 kmh, weighing just 140kg, producing 96Nm of torque with an estimated 0-100 kmh of just over four seconds.

Honda says safety was paramount to the project, with every effort 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 tyres ensure optimum grip and excellent handling on the tarmac.

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