Conducted last year by contractors at Brinsley Nature Reserve in Melbourne's east, the testing confirmed the current Honda HRU196M1 has built on the legacy of its predecessor (the HRU196D), thanks to a series of innovative product enhancements. Performance was measured in overload conditions - with and without a catcher fitted - to determine bag filling capcity, the amount of power required to cut a section of grass, and the finish of the lawn.
Catching performance was among the most impressive results recorded during testing, with the HRU196M1 catching 21 per cent more grass than its predecessor on the lush, wet kikuyu of Brinsley Nature Reserve.
Honda Power Equipment National Sales Manager Ray Briffa said the HRU196M1's catcher was designed to fill more completely under most conditions.
"Testing showed that the improved design of the HRU196M1 deck & catcher increased airflow and resulted in an extra 700g of grass being collected before the catcher had to be emptied," Mr Briffa said.
"Other results confirmed what we at Honda have known for quite some time - our new premium range of Mow-Safe lawn mowers are the best we've offered in the Australian market to date.
"The HRU196M1 produces a better cutting finish than its predecessor - when overloaded it operates for a longer period before stalling, it drops less clippings, and it produces finer mulch, improving nutrient availability to lawn."
The HRU196M1 also performed well in cutting efficiency, requiring up to 53 per cent less throttle than the HRU196D under most conditions. It also provided a far better finish during the mulching test than its predecessor due to its new deck design. This has improved airflow due to less square edges that can be prone to accumlate clippings over time.
"This translates into lower fuel usage and lower running costs for the operator, which is certainly a win-win situation," Mr Briffa said.
Thanks to the integration of the brand's patented Mow-Safe technology, the latest Honda lawn mower range is also a standout when it comes to operator safety.
Mow-Safe technology is available in two versions - Blade Brake & Engine Brake. The Blade Brake variant is activated when the operator releases the mower's handle, causing the blades to stop automatically within three seconds. Engine Brake equipped mowers go one step further, shutting down the engine and the blades within this timeframe.
The HRU196M1 that was tested at Brinsley Nature Reserve utiises Blade Brake technology - a perfect choice for busy contractors who are required to empty the catcher many times a day.