The successful attempt took place under the watchful eye of a Guinness World Records adjudicator at the IDIADA Proving Ground in Tarragona, Spain on 8 March. Behind the wheel was Piers Ward of BBC’s Top Gear Magazine, who had previously achieved a fastest speed on the Mean Mower of 140km/h.
The speed was measured through a 100-metre speed trap overseen by official timers. 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 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.
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. A 1 000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm was used along with a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV.
The ability to still cut grass was also a key element of the brief and the superfast mower still can do so admirably thanks to two electric motors on the cutter deck that spin a 3mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4 000rpm. The mower can cut grass at around 24km/h, more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620 from which it is derived.
The result of this remarkable feat of engineering is a lawn mower set up and geared to achieve a top speed in excess of 209km/h, weighing just 140kg, producing 96Nm of torque and an estimated 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just four seconds.