Kawasaki Engine & Power Products Division has added an impressive achievement to the history books. The Kawasaki FX1000V engine created a new land speed world record by powering Runningblade, the fastest lawn mower on the planet, on 22nd and 23rd May at Pendine Sands. The beach is famously known as the historic home of land speed records.
In sweltering weather that rivalled that of any desert, the scene was set for the lawnmower landspeed record attempt. With the officials in place the lawnmower, powered by the Kawasaki FX1000V engine, demonstrated it could cut grass outside The Museum of Speed, just several feet from where the most famous landspeed record breaking machine Bluebird was situated. As the time drew near for the attempt the buzz and excitement was contagious as the team waited for the right conditions to go for the new record.
Before the attempt, Jack Ford, Senior Product Manager, Kawasaki Engine & Power Products Division commented: “We have every confidence our FX1000V engine will deliver the power to break the lawnmower land speed record. To set the record the lawnmower has to do 2 timed runs over a 1 mile stretch of the beach in 1 hour. The 2 runs are then averaged out to produce the final speed.”
One of the new flagship series of FX twin cylinder engines, the Kawasaki FX1000V is a vertical shaft engine. The FX1000V has a ‘V’ twin cylinder configuration and a displacement of 999cc. Some of its key features include cast iron cylinder liners, a twin barrel carburetor and triple over head valves per cylinder. The benefit of these core components mean the engine is able to operate for many hours even in the toughest and most demanding mowing conditions. This industrial range of engines has been specifically developed for ‘ride on mowing’ equipment.
Don Wales, one of the iconic speed conquering Campbell family, is the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell and nephew of the renowned Donald Campbell. Trial runs were carried out to ensure the surface of the 1 mile stretch of beach was fully prepared before the official timings took place. You could feel the tension in the air, and although totally focused, there was no mistaking the excitement on Don’s face as he relished the challenge that lay ahead.
Around the world people were able to watch in anticipation, via live TV coverage, as the lawnmower powered by the Kawasaki FX1000V engine accelerated down the golden beach of Pendine Sands. Within the hour the record had been broken. A large cheer erupted from the watching team as the new lawnmower land speed world record of 138.51 km/h was announced.
Immediately after the record was set Don said: “What a relief and now we have a new Guinness World record it’s a fantastic feeling. We broke Bobby Cleveland’s record and we might have a go tomorrow to push this up a bit higher. Records are set to be broken”
So, not satisfied with breaking the lawnmower land speed record once, a second attempt was made on the Sunday under the watchful eyes of the dedicated team. To everyone’s delight within 24 hours the record was broken again reaching a speed of 141.35 km/h.
When asked Don Wales said:”I am exhilarated, it will sink in that we have broken the world record again and increased the record by 1 mile an hour. The team has worked really well and the guys at Countax and Kawasaki have done a fantastic job with this lawnmower. It is quite a bumpy ride as the sand has been quite soft today, so on a harder surface this machine will go faster.” This is an excellent endorsement for the Kawasaki FX1000V engine.