This is not new territory for Honda, which in 2014 built the original Mean Mower, a riding mower modified with a V-twin motorcycle engine whose 109 hp was enough for a 209-km/h top speed.
Four years later, Honda is once again working with Team Dynamics, the group that works over its British Touring Car Championship race cars, but has bolted in a 190-hp engine from a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP motorbike, with which it hopes the Mean Machine will hit that 240 km/h benchmark.
The Guinness World Records people won’t recognize a speed record for a lawn machine that won’t cut grass, so like the original Mean Mower, this second effort will indeed do so, with carbon fibre blades powered by electric motors.
From the CBR1000RR, the Mean Mower also borrows a clutch, engine control computer, six-speed transmission and a full-colour LCD display. With the engine capable of revving to 13,000 rpm, Honda figures its machine will hit about 150 km/h in first gear.
Because it’s unwise to try for a speed record without a way to slow down, the Mean Mower sports four-piston brake calipers up front and six-piston units at the back, while Hoosier racing tires provide grip.
Honda took advantage of 3-D printing technology to create an air filter box for the engine that would fit under the mower’s cowl, which, along with most of the Mean Mower’s body, is taken directly from the Honda HF 2622 lawn tractor on which the speed machine is based.
The current record for the world’s fastest lawn mower belongs to Norway’s Per-Kristian Lundefaret, who nearly touched 215 km/h on a Viking T6 mower in the fall of 2015.
When Honda goes to reclaim its record later this year, it will have 23-year-old racer Jess Hawkins behind the wheel.