Lawn mowers serve a vital purpose in our world. They help keep our yards looking great and also offer an outlet for speed demons and motor heads. There’s even a community (a large, global community) of people obsessed with building and racing lawn mowers.

Racing Lawn Mowers Association

Image: U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Assn.

At the moment, an American sits atop this special sport — Bobby Cleveland’s very powerful Snapper mower holds the title of “World’s Fastest Lawn Mower.” Key phrase in that sentence — at the moment.

Lawn Mower Speed Demon Bobby Cleveland

Bobby Cleveland at Bonneville Salt Flats – Image: LetsMow.com

While Bobby Cleveland’s grass-cutting speedster has been officially clocked at just over 96mph, his 2010 record could be smashed to bits by a challenger from the speed demons at the BBC’s Top Gear any day now.

Back in May, the Top Gear guys declared their intentions to capture the title and also solicited help (okay, they begged for assistance) from the engineers at Honda Racing. The Honda crew jumped at the chance and work began almost immediately. This video from early June shows what appears to be a lawn mower frame with a very loud engine that actually shoots flames from the exhaust:

Fast forward a few weeks and it appears that the hard work has paid off with a lawn mower that will easily stomp on the 96.529 mph record.

Mean Mower from Honda

Image: Honda

According to reports leaking out of England and bouncing around racing blogs, the Honda Mean Mower will go from 0-60 in 4 seconds and approach a top speed of 130mph — and the Mean Mower will also cut grass — a requirement to earn the title of World’s Fastest Lawn Mower.

So, what does it take to build a lawn mower capable of hitting 100+ miles per hour AND still be able to cut grass? Here are a few of the Mean Mower’s vital statistics:

  • curb weight is 309 pounds
  • the engine is 1,000cc and produces a 109 horsepower
  • a paddle-shift, six-speed transmission
  • suspension and wheels are from an ATV
  • the chassis is custom built from 4130 chomoly

Don’t expect to be able to walk into your local lawn mower store and be able to order one of these machines. About the only thing standard on this Honda HF2620 is the body.

After watching a test video of the Honda Mean Mower, it’s apparent that America’s claim to the land speed record for the world’s fastest lawn mower is seriously at risk. Check out the :57 clip leaked by Top Gear and Honda.

For more on current record holder, Bobby Cleveland and his long history in the world of fast lawn mowers, check out this video profile from Leatherman Media.

(H/T: Autoblog)

Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @stuntbrain

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