Honda’s 150MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower

We drive the Mean Mower 2.0, the world’s fastest riding lawn mower.

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower
We ride, er, drive the world’s fastest riding lawn mower.American Honda Motor

Here's a fun fact to share with friends during the next backyard barbeque: Honda's built the world's fastest riding lawn mower. And you can have one…for $120,000.

“Back in 2013 we created the original Mean Mower,” says James Rodgers, team manager, Team Dynamics Motorsport, the mad scientists behind this ultimate home and gardening project.

“It had a Honda V-twin 1,000cc engine, good for about 100 horsepower. We got the world record then with fastest mower in the world at 117 miles an hour.”

Team Dynamics unknowingly started a landscaping cold war…

“Then in 2015 a Scandinavian garden products company [Viking Stihl] created a lawn mower and got the record at 132 miles an hour,” he tells us. “But it didn’t look like a mower. It was more akin to a dragster with a Corvette V-8. Subsequently, Guinness World Records changed the criteria and said it had to intrinsically look like a mower. So we went back to Honda UK about 18 months ago and proposed that we build a new one.”

Despite Team Dynamics working closely with Honda for more than 15 years in motorsport and serving as its technical partner in the British Touring Car Championship, getting the green light to build a second version wasn’t easy.

“They said no,” Rodgers says laughing. “They [Honda] weren’t overly keen on the risk and the potential negatives. But we persuaded them to do it, and fair play to them, they gave us the go-ahead, and this is where we’re at today.”

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower engine.
The Mean Mower V2.0 is powered by Honda’s 2017–2019 generation 998cc inline-four as used in the CBR1000RR superbike.American Honda Motor

Version 2.0 is meaner than ever. Its powered by Honda's current-generation 998cc engine as used in the 2017–2019 CBR1000RR sportbike. The Honda PR folks claim the engine is good for more than 200 hp, but on the Cycle World dyno, the engine delivers 149.6 hp. To be fair, however, the front-engine-mounted Mean Mower has more space available, say, for a larger airbox and exhaust. So it's no surprise that the OE airbox was ditched for a larger custom piece fabricated from a 3-D printer. It drinks fuel from a 4.75-gallon belly-mounted fuel tank and spent gases are expelled behind the left front wheel, via a custom-fabricated Scorpion Red Power titanium exhaust.

More go-kart than lawn mower, or motorcycle, the Mean Mower rolls on a kart-like chassis, without suspension. The OE oil-bathed clutch and six-speed gearbox transfer power to a 2-inch-diameter live axle that turns both 10 x 8-inch Hoosier R25B rear slicks. Up front, it rolls on slimmer 6-inch-diameter rubber.

Nestled inside each front wheel are four-piston calipers pinching a set of cross-drilled and vented rotors. A single six-piston caliper clamps an axle-mounted rotor similar to some ATVs, UTVs, and karts. The brake system is sourced from Kelgate Performance, a UK-based kart speed shop. The chassis underpinnings are draped in body panels from a Honda’s Euro-spec HF2622 riding lawn mower. So it certainly looks the part.

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower
Although the Mean Mower rolls on a custom chassis, it uses the original HF2622 riding lawn mower body panels.American Honda Motor

The driver sits in a form-fitting carbon fiber bucket seat—girthier drivers with a waist larger than 34 inches will have to do some extra wiggling to fit. There is no seatbelt or safety restraint, so it’s a good thing it’s a snug fit. Although is it better to be connected or thrown from the Mean Mower if things go pear-shaped?

A suede-wrapped custom Sparco steering wheel controls the Kelgate-sourced steering rack. There’s no power assist, so be prepared to use some muscle to get the Mean Mower turning at parking-lot speeds. Get some speed however and steering effort becomes minimal with a direct, calculated feel. Small movements net big direction changes, if you desire. Since there’s no suspension you feel every crack, bump, and ripple in the road and the Mean Mower delivers a visceral riding experience. From the scream of the engine to the whine of the drivetrain, it all works together to make you feel like you’re moving faster than you probably are.

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower deck.
As opposed to the stock belt-driven cutting deck on the HF2622 lawn mower, the Mean Mower’s deck is powered separately via a 12-volt motor. The deck can be removed, if desired.American Honda Motor

A set of foot-mounted pedals control the clutch (left pedal), brakes (center), and throttle (right) with paddle-mounted shifters on the steering wheel allowing for gearshifts. A CBR1000RR-sourced color display keeps tabs on the Mean Mower’s running vitals and is mounted above the steering wheel.

Launching the Mean Mower is similar to a manual-transmission-equipped automobile. Press and hold the clutch pedal before notching the shifter into first gear. Slowly release the clutch pedal as you feel its engagement point and away you go. Now the fun part: Mash the gas pedal, shift gears, and hold on! Final drive gearing is substantially lower than a CBR1000RR motorcycle, and because it doesn’t have any suspension, acceleration in the lower gears actually feels faster than its two-wheeled cousin.

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower
The Mean Mower is full of bespoke pieces, like this carbon fiber bucket seat. There are no safety restraints so it’s a good thing it’s a tight fit.American Honda Motor

One small squak: Because the shift mechanism is a mix of motorcycle and go-kart, the driver needs to depress the shift lever for longer than expected versus a modern car, for it to exchange gears cleanly.

So how fast is it?

“We just got a record. Null to 100 miles per hour in 6.2 seconds. It’s topped out at over 150 miles an hour,” Rodgers reveals. “Yesterday we did it [a quarter-mile run] in 10.8 seconds and 128 miles per hour terminal.

“We feel it’s got more in it,” he continues. “We think it’s [capable of] low 10s or even high nines. Probably somewhere a little bit cooler than where we are now [ambient air temperature in the California desert, where we drove it was more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit]. It takes a little bit out of the engine.”

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower tire.
The Mean Mower rolls on a set of meaty Hoosier racing slicks. Inside the front wheels hides four-piston calipers pinching cross-drilled and vented discs.American Honda Motor

Record-setting acceleration performance aside, the real question is: Can it still cut grass?

“Part of the Guiness world record attempts that we’ve been doing, we have to demonstrate it cuts grass,” Rodgers adds. “On the standard mower, the deck is powered by a belt drive off the engine. But it was too big for what we wanted.”

Plus, it can be a little dangerous, “rotating blades on a mower going this speed probably aren’t the best thing, safety-wise,” Rodgers adds with a laugh.

The Mean Mower V2.0 uses the standard HF2622 cutter deck, the standard blades replaced with a pair of 6-inch trimmer blades powered by a 12-volt motor. The cutting deck runs off its own electric system, so the deck can be removed from the bottom of the chassis. Without the mower deck, the Mean Mower weighs 483 pounds.

“Most of the time we run with the cutting deck, because it’s a lawn mower, but we can run without it. It saves a little bit of weight and gives us a bit more performance,” he tells us.

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower
With the cutting deck removed, the Honda Mean Mower weighs 483 pounds. Honda says its capable of accelerating from zero to 100 mph in 6.2 seconds.American Honda Motor

So are you going to see Honda’s Mean Mower for sale at your local Big Red dealership anytime soon? Not exactly. Honda Europe commissioned the Mean Mower build simply because it can.

“We wanted to make sure you could get as much as the CBR1000RR parts as possible, and as much as the mower parts as possible,” Rodgers sums. “We could have taken it all out and replaced it with motorsports specific, but the stock Honda kit is that good.”

Interested in having one in your garage? “Give us a call,” Rodgers suggests. “And ask for me.”

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower
Team Dynamics used as many OE Honda CBR1000RR and HF2622 parts as it could for the build.American Honda Motor
Honda Mean Mower V2.0 Specifications
PRICE $120,000 (estimated)
ENGINE 998cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four; 16-valve
BORE x STROKE 76mm x 55mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 13.0:1
FUEL DELIVERY Dual-stage fuel injection
CLUTCH Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; cable actuation
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
FRAME T45 steel
FRONT SUSPENSION N/A
REAR SUSPENSION N/A
FRONT BRAKE Kelgate 4-piston calipers w/ drilled discs
REAR BRAKE Kelgate 6-piston caliper w/ drilled discs
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Goldspeed DWT Red Label; 10 x 6.0-in. / 10 x 8.0-in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Hoosier R25B Slicks; 16 x 6-10 / 16 x 7.5-10
RAKE/TRAIL N/A
WHEELBASE N/A
FUEL CAPACITY 4.75 gal.
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 483 lb.
WARRANTY N/A
AVAILABLE N/A

GEARBOX

Honda’s 117MPH, CBR1000RR-powered Riding Lawn Mower on road.
With lower final drive gearing (as compared to the CBR1000RR) and no suspension, the 150-hp Honda Mean Mower feels especially quick in the lower four gears.American Honda Motor