Bikes, mowers & robots - hands on with Honda’s non-car products
From mowers to water pumps, we try some of the other wild and wacky kit Honda produces
There’s a lot more to Honda than just cars. In fact, there’s a lot more to Honda than products with wheels.
I was sent out into the field dressed for the jets and boats the brand also builds, only to find I’d be climbing aboard its quads and lawnmowers. But who knew a girl could have so much fun with some power equipment?
The first Honda I got to try was an all-terrain vehicle, or ATV. The TRX500 is ideal for crossing fields, as it can be set in two or four-wheel drive. That’s why it’s a favourite for farm use.
However, with a top speed of 50mph and hard-working suspension over rugged ground, it’s also lots of fun when you’re given some space to play – as I was.
Even bigger and more powerful than the TRX500 quad is the HF2622, with its beastly 688cc four-stroke overhead valve V-twin. That gives it a top speed of… 5mph.
But put down the blades and this ride-on lawnmower springs into life, offering real cutting power. And with its electrically powered grass bag for hands-free dumping of cuttings, I was the envy of gardeners up and down the land.
Yet the Miimo demonstrates Honda’s hi-tech vision for your lawn. If you don’t have time to use your ride-on HF2622, this robot mower comes out of the shed to trim your grass as needed. It even takes itself back to base if it’s low on charge!
And Honda has been delivering charge to consumers for decades. Back in 1965, so the legend goes, the company was first to make electric power portable when Sony had just invented the portable television, but had no way of powering it. And the modern-day EU20i generator has a 2,000W output and an ergonomic pull-chord start.
It was joined in our Honda kit parade by the EU70is – a generator so quiet, you’ll hardly notice it’s working. Plus, with a handle and wheels, it couldn’t be easier to carry – impressive for something with an output of 7,000W.
Despite its roots, Honda doesn’t only produce fast, furious bikes like the Fireblade in our Civic Type R track battle. The MSX125 is now one of its smallest models, weighing just over 100kg. It delivers a power output of 9.7bhp, so you can ride it after doing a day’s compulsory basic training. Yet it still has a top speed of around 65mph.
Talking of moving quickly, how about shifting 140 litres of water in a minute – like Honda’s WX 10 water pump can? It’s only 30cm high, but it’s super-durable, and will run for 80 minutes at a time. If you’ve sprung a leak, call in Honda.
Fast Hondas Special
- • The future of Honda: Q&A with Takahiro Hachigo
- • Progress report: we compare Honda models old and new
- • New Honda NSX: full details on Honda's 2016 supercar
- • Moments of clarity: Honda's greatest tech innovations
- • Top 10 best ever fast Hondas
- • Bikes, mowers & robots - hands on with Honda’s non-car products
- • Honda Civic Type R vs CBR1000RR Fireblade SP: video
- • Half bike, half car: the radical Honda Project 2&4 single-seater
- • WIN a Honda Civic Type R for a weekend