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Really fast Grass Clippings by Top Gear and Honda

Grass Clippings - Honda & BBC Top Gear Racing Lawn MowerHonda engineers are racing to build the world's fastest lawnmower after being put up to the task by Top Gear Magazine

They are targeting a speed of 130mph (210km/hr). That would easily beat the current record of 96.5mph claimed by the fuel additive firm, Gold Eagle.  A first look at the machine - showing flames coming out of its exhaust - has been posted online.

Honda said it had taken on the project to promote its "sporty credentials".

"The main engineering challenge stems from the need to retain the look of the lawnmower on which it is based, and the ability to still cut grass while achieving the speed and the handling characteristics required for this type of vehicle," said Peter Crolla, team manager at Team Dynamics - Honda's UK motor racing team partner - which is overseeing the project.

"To our knowledge, this has never been done before, certainly using this mower and engineer combination, and as such there are no previous learnings to draw upon."

Top Gear Magazine said it had set a deadline of 17 June for the team to complete work on the machine.  The Japanese carmaker has upgraded one of its mowers by replacing its engine with one normally used in motorcycles.

A steering rack sourced from a Morris Minor car has been fitted to offer greater control, the mower's seat has been lowered, the wheels and tyres have been substituted with those of a quad bike, and the metal part of the chassis that normally holds the blades has been replaced with a glass fibre equivalent to make it lighter.

The alterations have forced the engineers to rethink how the machine cuts grass. The original model featured metal blades, but they had to be removed as the engineers found it too complicated to connect them to the new engine.

Instead the machine now houses two electric motors with lengths of brake cable attached to them. These will spin round at about 4,000 rotations per minute to cut lawns down to size.

The team believes that, when complete, the machine should be able to accelerate from 0-60mph in about four seconds.  "There's no scientific reason why we asked Honda to build this," said Piers Ward, senior road tester at Top Gear Magazine.

"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?"

The British Lawn Mower Racing Association is not allowing the Honda and BBC Top Gear lawn mower to race at one of it's meetings.

Read more here on The BBC

Read more here on Top Gear

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