For those of you who are fans of the Stig, you may remember his infamous “Mean Mower” episode from Top Gear’s Speed Week 2013, as he blasted around the track on a lawn mower that sounded more like an Aston Martin than a two-stroke. As comical as it was, that mower was producing 109hp, and had a 0-60 time of four seconds, all while retaining the ability to cut the grass and corners. That Mean Mower is back and this time, and at the IDIADA proving ground in Tarragona, Spain, it broke a Guinness World Record. The Honda HF2620 mower, paired with a 1,000cc v-twin Honda SuperHawk engine propelled the Mean Mower to an average of 116.57mph, to take the title of World’s fastest lawnmower title.
It is not that the Japanese manufacturers don’t have strong brands, it is just that their brands stand for something fundamentally different from those being forged by the Europeans. While companies like Ducati, KTM, and Triumph are building entire communities and lifestyles around their motorcycles (hat tip to Harley-Davidson for showing them how), the Japanese continue to hang their hats on the attributes of their products. Well-engineered, bulletproof, and relatively cheap, Japanese motorcycles tick all the right boxes when one is objectively measuring a motorcycle, but they are sufficiently lacking when it comes to creating lasting ties to their owners.