Honda’s bonkers new Mean Mower is finally ready for action. The custom-built, fully-functioning lawn mower has ‘more than 190bhp,’ spits fire out of its exhaust, and we already love it.
Built by Honda’s British Touring Car Championship team, Team Dynamics, it’s gunning to beat not just the 116.575mph record the original Mean Mower set back in 2014, but also the 134mph mark reached by the Viking lawn tractor in 2015.
We first saw it being built four months ago, but now the ridiculous grass-trimmer is ready to reach for a new world record. With almost double the power of the first Mean Mower, version two is predicted to top 150mph thanks to its 999cc Fireblade SP engine, whose standard 189bhp at 13,000rpm has been bumped upwards by a less restrictive exhaust.
A reported dry engine weight of 69.1kg contributes to a 190kg-ish total – including the driver – and means the manic little thing will have a power-to-weight ratio in the region of 1000bhp per tonne. The gearing could see 90mph in first. The close-ratio setup is designed to reach close to 200mph in its two-wheeled natural environment, but aerodynamics will halt the mower much sooner.
Part of the brief, to qualify for the official world record, is for it to function as an actual lawn mower. Version Two is modelled on Honda’s HF 2622 ‘lawn tractor’ and uses that machine’s front bodywork, body panels and grass box, all mounted onto a T45 steel space frame.
Underneath, some clever re-engineering sees the bike engine’s chain routed over carbonfibre cutting blades that are powered independently by an electric motor and battery. If you want to mow your lawn with this thing, you really can. You can also get 35mpg, apparently.
What you can’t do is get comfy. There is no suspension beyond the 10-inch Hoosier slick tyres, Honda says. Far more important for the task in hand are mighty Kelgate brakes: four-piston grabbers at the front and six-piston items out back, gripping vented discs and hiding behind gold anodised ATV wheels.
At the wheel for the record attempt will be Jess Hawkins, a Honda-backed kart and car racer who’s currently also working as a stunt driver in the Fast & Furious Live show.