If you’re not sure just how loud 130db is, watch this video of the new Honda Mean Mower. This 1,000cc, V-twin motorcycle engine-powered, custom lawn mower kicks out one hell of a snap, crackle and pop from its hand-built Scorpion exhaust system. There’s no way it would pass noise regulations at UK race circuits, even with British Touring Car Champion, Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden, behind the wheel.
In the video, we see Shedden take the race-ready Mean Mower out for a spin around what used to be a tranquil garden, and not only does the rear-wheel drive Mean Mower have plenty of grunt for doughnuts – 109bhp and 96Nm of torque from the V-twin motor out of the Honda VTR 1000F Firestorm – it seems to drift very nicely indeed. Well, it should, it was built by the team behind Shedden’s championship-winning Honda Civic Touring Car – Team Dynamics.
The brief for Project Mean Mower was very straightforward, and nicely silly – to build a super-fast mower which retained its original look, but could still cut grass. Anyone could put a huge motor in any old mower and go mad on it, but this thing does the trimming too, albeit at turbocharged speeds.
Long-time top-notch race team, Team Dynamics, re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor on which the Mean Mower is based, using an all-new fabricated chassis that they custom-made from 4130 chromoly tubing, which is much lighter and stronger than the original. Into this they slotted the torquey Firestorm engine and 6-speed sequential gearbox, and then added bespoke suspension, wheels and brakes from a Honda ATV. Much of the original bodywork remains, so this thing is now the ultimate ‘sleeper mega-mower’!
The Mean Mower can indeed still cut grass – although surely only after you’ve burnt a tank of gas just pulling drifts around the garden! – but instead of the engine driving the cutting blades like on the original mower, two electric motors spin two, 3mm steel cutting cables at 4000rpm. The Mean Mower can cut grass at 15mph; twice the speed of the original HF2620 Lawn Tractor. This makes perfect sense to me – not only do you have a bad-ass mower, it also saves you plenty of time. Not sure what the build price was though!
Other tune up parts of interest include a custom-made paddle shift 6-speed gear system, a custom-made Cobra bucket seat, a hand-built stainless steel Scorpion exhaust system, and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.
All of this madness adds up to some really fun figures. Top speed is in excess of 130mph (don’t fancy trying it myself!), it weighs just 140kg, and with 109bhp pulling that little weight, it has a power-to-weight ratio of 532bhp/tonne. That should do it!
By Dan Anslow