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How long would it take you to cut your lawn using this ‘heavily’ modified lawnmower? Don’t forget your helmet and other protective gear.
For the Top Gear team, it’s just another day at the office; if your office is a track.
Japanese manufacturer Honda has been building motorized vehicles since the 1950’s. As you are likely aware, they also have a Power Equipment Division where you can pick up a trimmer, snow-blower or a lawnmower. Though known for their durability and cutting-edge technology, don’t expect to be able to pick up this lawnmower at your local home improvement store.
The goal was to set a new record for the world’s fastest lawnmower. The current record stands at 155.35 km/h which was set by Bobby Cleveland at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2010. It took Bobby two days and five runs to set that record.
So let’s discuss the lawnmower.
The lawnmower started as a HF2620 model. Then Team Dynamics, Honda’s UK motor racing team partner got involved. The challenge was to maintain the look of the lawnmower while still being able to cut grass. Some of the modifications included lowering the seat, swapping out some metal parts with fibre glass to lighten the load, putting in place a go-kart back axle, new wheels, quad tires and of course a new engine. The engine is a 1,000 cc version borrowed from a Honda motorcycle.
As quoted on BBC News, Senior Road Tester at Top Gear Magazine, Piers Ward stated, “There’s no scientific reason why we asked Honda to build this. The grass needed mowing and everything on the market seemed a bit slow. Why take an hour to mow a football pitch when you can do it in five minutes?”
So did Honda and Top Gear break the world record? Yes they did. Top speed reached 187.61 km/h.