Honda HRX Lawnmower Press Kit - VERSAMOW™ System

Introduction

The new Honda HRX™ lawnmower was developed for general consumer use based on maximizing performance in both the bagging and mulching modes of operation. The development and incorporation of the Versamow™ variable mowing system (VMS) allows for maximum mowing performance and flexibility, affording the HRX user the option to select either the bagging or mulching configuration - or any combination of the two - by easily rotating a lever. This option provides a revolutionary level of control while mowing, achieved without having to remove or replace any parts or use any tools.

Versamow™ significantly reduces the overall number of grass clippings collected in the bagging mode, therefore reducing the environmental impact of grass clipping disposal.

A Closer Look at Versamow

The Versamow System is exclusive to the Honda HRX™, the first lawnmower in the world to incorporate such a technological innovation. Consisting of several components that replace the conventional mower mulch plug, Versamow delivers ultimate control of grass flow. By merely rotating a lever behind the engine to place the mower in either mulch mode, bag mode, or any level in between, the operator can use the Versamow mode to select the desired mode at any time without the need for additional parts or the use of hand tools.

The Clip Director™

A rotating shutter scroll located under the HRX's housing controls the direction of the grass clippings. A lever - called the Clip Director™ - fastened into the polymer cutter housing of the mower provides the ability to direct the grass clippings in any conceivable bagging/mulching combination, ideal for a variety of lawn types and conditions. The lever can be rotated, positioning the shutter to allow clippings to escape through the back of the mower into the bag; alternatively, when the Clip Director is placed in the mulch position, the shutter scroll closes off the bag chute and diverts grass clippings to the ground for mulching. Its design maximizes the flow of grass clippings as well as minimizes the clogging of the opening to the bag chute.

The Clip Director is held in its various positions by means of notches molded into the opening in the cutter housing. These notches provide not only the full mulch and full bag positions as described above, but also eight positions in between, each of which provides a different combination of mulching and bagging.

Defining the 4-in-1 Design

Because the HRX's Versamow System allows infinite combinations of mulching and bagging, it is the first lawnmower to achieve the specification of "4-in-1 in the box" - a revolutionary design innovation. Without purchasing any additional parts, the HRX operator can mulch, bag, discharge, or leaf shred (four functions can be performed by one machine).

Mulching
With the HRX, there is no need to remove the bag when switching from bagging to mulching.

Leaf Shredding
The HRX design allows leaves to be recirculated and recut until the particles are small enough to pass through the VMS opening.

Discharge
The HRX contains a convenient European-style rear discharge that improves maneuverability, eliminating the need for separate discharge chute attachments.

Bagging
The HRX offers the best bagging available, providing the ability to:

  • mow 40 percent farther before bag is full
  • empty the bag 40 percent less often
  • pack the bag more fully because of smaller clipping size
  • increase the bag capacity to 2.5 bushels, (a 42 percent bagging capacity increase over the conventional mowers); bagging capacity has been increased to hold clippings from a 15,000 square-foot area instead of a 10,000 square-foot area.

Improved Performance: Bagging and Mulching

The improved performance of the HRX lawnmower in the bagging mode is achieved through the use of a ramp scroll.

The ramp scroll, positioned on the underside of the mower's cutter housing in front of a rotating shutter scroll, provides a downward airflow just before the beginning of the bag chute. This improved, directional airflow helps reduce the number of clippings directed into the bag, and forces some clippings into the blade to be cut into smaller sizes before being stored in the bag. The ramp scroll also decreases the cross sectional area of the cutter housing at the entry to the bag chute, causing an increase in air velocity which helps prevent grass clogging during mulching and Versamow operation. Helping to fill the bag more efficiently during bagging, the ramp scroll is an integral part of the Versamow System, which maximizes the bagging performance of the HRX.

Several design elements help to improve the HRX mulching performance. New blade shapes incorporate an offset between the upper and lower blade cutting edges, allowing for grass to be cut more efficiently with less clogging of the cutter housing under severe conditions. The cutter housing shape also is designed to allow enough volume for the amount of grass clippings cut, while maintaining enough vacuum lift to pull the clippings up into the housing. In addition, the clearance between the tip of the blade and the cutter housing is reduced to improve the ability of the cutter housing to circulate clippings until they are cut to smaller size. Finally, the ramp scroll improves mulching by diverting clippings from the upper portion of the housing back into the blade, also resulting in smaller clippings.

Illustrating the Maximum Performance of the HRX

The bagging performance of a lawnmower is based on two fundamental aspects: filling the grass catcher as full as possible between bag clearings and traveling as far between bag clearings as possible to save time. The HRX's Versamow System accomplishes both extended distance and fully filling the bag.

As illustrated, the Versamow System performance zones - bagging or mulching or the combination of both are defined predominately by grass conditions (height, thickness, dampness) and distance to completely fill the grass bag. The bagging zones are divided into four vertical zones, each zone expanding according to distance and grass conditions. Fundamentally, closing the Versamow shutter to the 75 percent position cuts the grass into smaller pieces and places the smaller grass particles back into the lawn, which ultimately increases the distance. As conditions become wetter, the VMS must be opened to achieve the same performance as in a dry condition. The horizontal zones define the limitations (availability of either 100 percent bagging or 100 percent mulching) of competitors' mowers when grass conditions become undesirable. When grass conditions become more severe, or worsen, the ability to use both modes on the HRX because of Versamow is instrumental, allowing for the combination of bagging and mulching of grass clippings.

Another way to illustrate mowing performance is by evaluating the convenience of use of the model and how much of the operator's time is consumed by the mowing job. Many municipalities have imposed restrictions on the placing of grass clippings in landfills. This has caused an increased demand for mowers that produce less yard waste.

The Versamow™ system is the answer to this environmental trend. The corresponding chart shows how closing the shutter at various increments (75 percent, 50 percent, 25 percent, etc.) decreases the number of times the grass catcher fills up. In optimal conditions, bag emptying decreases by up to 50 percent when compared to a conventional lawn mower that has fixed modes of operation. The shutter position (in column one) helps illustrate this function.

The third column illustrates the distance required to fill one typical grass bag. The added distance to fill one bag actually results in the disposal of fewer bags. The fourth column, bag clearings, is the expected number of grass clippings bags estimated after mowing a typical 1/4 acre lawn.

The illustration of mowing distance vs. grass bag full percentage shows how the mowing distance varies between grass bag clearings. The grass is held within the housing for a longer period of time before passing through a narrower opening in the discharge chute. The added time in the HRX deck will cause the particles of grass to become smaller, and in doing so, the mower is able to pack clippings tightly into the grass bag. This action increases the distance between grass bag clearings.

Snapshot of Versamow Improvements

The HRX Versamow System, a revolutionary innovation in lawn care, enables the easy, simultaneous distribution of grass clippings to both the bag and the ground. Its incorporation in Honda's new HRX lawnmower line provides:

  • new bagging and mulching functionality, allowing the operator to select the optimal mowing position in between mulching and bagging, recycling some of the grass to the ground - mulching - while still providing the clean look of bagging.
  • fewer bags of grass collected over the entire lawn; partially mulching while bagging increases the distance to fill a single grass bag. Fewer grass bags to be collected at the curb mean less yard waste for the landfills, which is better for the environment.
  • increased operator convenience; conversion between bagging to mulching, or levels in between, is controlled by regulating the position of a single lever - the Clip Director (pictured above). No extra mulch plugs or tools (such as the one at right) are required.
  • the best pure mulching and pure bagging cut quality of any single Honda lawnmower; the shape, durability and configuration of the cutter deck, blades, rotating scroll, and the deflection scroll developed for the Versamow System provide maximum performance.
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