HONDA’S REPUTATION FOR INNOVATION is such that whole books have been written about it (see Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company by Jeffrey Rothfeder if you’d like all the juicy details). Here, however, we’ll make do with a brief summary of some of principles behind Honda’s ongoing success. And since here at Lawnmowers Direct we’re more interested in grass than motoring, we’ll do so by taking a closer look at Honda’s superb range of HRX series rotary lawnmowers.
THE HRX SERIES: Designed for the efficient maintenance of lawns of all sizes, Honda’s HRX lawnmowers might look similar to other four-wheeled, walk-behind mowers at first glance, but these machines incorporate some of the most advanced lawnmower technology available today.
The HRX range is also versatile, with a variety of machines available for use in just about any setting, ranging from the compact, hand-propelled HRX 426 PD (which features Honda’s unique bearing system in its wheels for enhanced manoeuvrability in smaller gardens) to the powerful and versatile HRX 537 VY (a self-propelled mower which offers multiple grass cutting options via a single user-friendly lever). This added choice makes it easy to pick a lawnmower perfect for your needs. What all of the machines in the HRX series have in common, however, is that engineering expertise is placed at the heart of everything Honda does.
EXPERTISE AND INNOVATION: Unlike other manufacturing companies, which are typically led by men in expensive suits who have never seen a spanner in their life, Honda has a proud tradition of promoting engineers to management positions. With such expertise informing the company’s leadership, Honda is able to quickly identify and implement new ways of improving their products to ensure a satisfying user experience.
HRX machines, for instance, feature a variety of innovations designed to make routine lawn maintenance effortless. When combined with Honda’s legendary build quality, this helps to guarantee many years of superb cutting performance. Some of these groundbreaking ideas eventually become clever mechanisms unique to Honda mowers, while some are simply refinements of familiar technology designed to subtly improve performance. All of these enhancements, however, are a result of Honda’s longstanding dedication to creating high quality products.
Nowhere is this more obviously true than when it comes to engine design, as Honda’s four-stroke engines are legendary across the world for their reliability and performance. The 160cc and 187cc single-cylinder engines used in Honda’s HRX lawnmowers, for example, are built using a truly innovative combination of a compact combustion chamber, an overhead cam configuration and uniblock construction. These engines are therefore lighter and more compact than any other engine in their class, while also offering significant reductions in terms of noise and particle emissions. Additional features include the world’s first general purpose engine internal timing belt and an automotive-style auto-choke system, which enhance reliability and facilitate quick starting respectively. As a result, all of Honda’s HRX lawnmowers are harder working, quieter, cleaner and more user-friendly than any lawnmower powered by a traditional four-stroke engine.
CUTTING PERFORMANCE AND DURABILITY: Similarly excellent are the HRX lawnmowers’ intelligently designed blades. Available with a range of cutting widths (42cm, 47cm and 53cm) to suit the size of your lawn, these advanced rotary cutting blades produce finer clippings than conventional blades. This helps boost cut and collection performance by maximising the collection capacity of the high-airflow grass bags supplied with HRX machines. It also enables collection-free mowing when combined with Honda’s clever Versamow™ selective mulching system (available on selected models), which allows you to adjust the amount of grass gathered in the collector via an easy-access lever. Doing this will save time otherwise spent on disposing of cuttings, with excess clippings dropped back down onto the ground to fertilise your lawn as you mow.
In addition to delivering an enviably tidy finish on lawns of all kinds, these blades also bend rather than break should they hit a hard object while you work, thereby bolstering user safety and preventing damage to the crankshaft and cutting deck. By far the most exceptional innovations in terms of boosting durability, however, are the materials used for the cutting decks of HRX mowers; Polystrong® and Xenoy®. These were developed by Honda specifically for HRX mowers, offering impact resistance far in excess of standard polypropylene without the added weight of steel or aluminium. As such Honda’s HRX lawnmowers are resilient and corrosion resistant, but still light and manoeuvrable enough to ensure that working on larger lawns doesn’t become exhausting.
UNBEATABLE CONVENIENCE: The result of including the above envelope-pushing features in, say, a powerful rotary lawnmower such as the HRX 476 VY (which also features a SMART Drive® system for finely tuned speed control and a Roto-stop® blade brake for added safety and convenience) is that HRX mowers are more effective, more efficient and more user-friendly than just about any other lawnmower on the market. As such even inexperienced gardeners will soon find themselves achieving outstanding mowing results, so even demanding lawns can be quickly and effectively maintained with a little help from an HRX series lawnmower.
We can clearly see, then, how Honda’s tradition of innovative excellence is about far more than just furthering business interests; it is also about delivering the best possible products for Honda customers, which in the case of the machines in the HRX range means providing enduring grass cutting results in a truly original and user-friendly package. And there aren’t too many other machines on the market these days which can boast that, never mind such an impressive range of groundbreaking design features into the bargain!
The uniquely questioning approach that Honda brings to lawnmower design and which has been part of Honda’s philosophy since it started out selling improvised motorised bicycles in the 1950s, so we shouldn’t be surprised that, compared to other mowers, the machines in Honda’s HRX series offer improved safety, reliability, cutting performance and user convenience. These other machines aren’t made by Honda, after all, so some might say they suffer a fundamental disadvantage!