To claim the record, the lawnmower had to run through a 100-meter speed trap, and it had to make two passes in opposite directions within an hour with the average taken between them. Guinness also specifies that to take the title the vehicle must still be able to cut grass and look like a lawnmower. The speed was still plenty to beat the previous record of 96.529-mph set by Bobby Cleveland on a Snapper race mower at the Bonneville Salt Flats in September 2010.
The Mean Mower is based on a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor that's been modified by British Touring Car Championship squad Team Dynamics. It has a newly fabricated chassis from 4130 chromoly steel and packs a 1.0-liter engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm motorcycle with a six-speed sequential gearbox. The engine produces 109 horsepower and 71 pound-feet of torque – enough power to reach 60 mph in around four seconds. The suspension and wheels come from an ATV, and the cutter deck has been remade in fiberglass. The grass bag holds the fuel tank, oil cooler and secondary radiator. The engine no longer actually cuts grass. Instead, the blade is driven by two electric motors.
Scroll down to watch the Guinness Record run and even get a glimpse of the Mean Mower cutting grass at the end. Honda's statement about the attempt is also below.
It's official – Honda's 1000cc 109HP Mean Mower has broken a Guinness World Records™ title for the Fastest lawnmower!
Honda (UK)'s Mean Mower (#meanmower) has officially broken the GUINNESS WORLDs title for the Fastest lawnmower, averaging 116.57 mph to break the previous record by almost 30mph. See the video here: http://youtu.be/DFo7ztlMlmg
The successful GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attempt took place under the watchful eye of a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicator at the IDIADA Proving Ground, in Tarragona, Spain, on Saturday 8th March 2014. Behind the wheel was Piers Ward of BBC TopGear Magazine, who had previously achieved a fastest speed on Mean Mower of 87mph. At around 4.20pm CET on the 2000km North Straight at IDIADA, Piers eclipsed the previous record of 87.83mph, set in May 2010.
The speed was measured through a 100 metre speed trap, overseen by official timers, Timing Solutions Limited. To meet Guinness World Records regulations the mower had to record the same run, in both directions, within an hour – with the average speed taken of these two runs. Additionally, to qualify for the record it needed to cut grass and to look like a lawnmower; both of which it did successfully. With all of these criteria met, the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicator officially declared the success of the record attempt just before 6pm CET on Saturday 8th March.
Ellie Ostinelli, PR Communications Manager for Honda (UK) comments: "The original brief for Mean Mower was to create the world's fastest lawnmower – and now it officially is, by some distance! We are all delighted to hold a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title and we'd like to thank everyone who was involved in what has been a challenging yet incredibly exciting project."
The idea for Mean Mower was to demonstrate Honda's sprit of innovation, its motor sport heritage, and that it makes more than just cars. Mean Mower was designed and built in the UK by Honda (UK)'s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) 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 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 was 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 2012 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 140kg, producing 96Nm of torque, an incredible PTW ratio of 532bhp/tonne; and an estimated 0-60 of just four seconds.
Safety was 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 tyres ensure optimum grip and excellent handling on the tarmac. Additionally, every effort was 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.
To read the full story, head to BBC TopGear Magazine, available in print, online and for iPad.
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