Honda surprised the motor racing world, when it entered Formula 1 in 1964 placing ninth in its first campaign; known predominantly for its motorcycles at the time, it was not long before the company's product classes diversified taking advantage of its racing-inspired research and development for the benefit of its consumer products.
According to Ray Briffa, Manager of Honda Power Equipment, a division of Honda MPE , the company is fortunate to be able to share and apply the knowledge developed by its parent programmes in Formula 1, Moto GP and aviation with the development of the manufacturer's four-stroke engine products.
"Honda Power Equipment over the years has strongly benefited from its ability to access some of the world's most creative and innovative minds," Ray Briffa said.
"While many power equipment manufacturers are still producing two-stroke products, Honda's advanced four-stroke lineage can be traced back to the early 1950s when our company was pioneering this technology and later honing it on the race track.
"Since this time Honda has firmly established itself as an innovator in the design and development of compact four-stroke engines."
The recent range of advanced Honda four-stroke engines emit significantly less smoke, and crucially, about 85% fewer hydrocarbons than most comparable two-stroke versions.
Four-stroke engine technology also eliminates the need to mix oil and petrol and uses less fuel than two-strokes, a considerable advantage given today's high petrol prices.
All Honda four-stroke power products meet tough EPA phase 2 and CARB (California Air Resources Board) tier II emissions levels, the most stringent in the world.
According to Ray Briffa, Honda's commitment to research and development ultimately gives consumers the latest in cutting-edge technology and innovation.
"It is the ability of our engineers to access critical motor racing and interdepartmental research that has enabled us to employ this technology to smaller engines," Ray Briffa said.
"A simple example is the 'STR governor', as featured in Honda's high tech I-GX440 engine, which enables greater control of the throttle opening and revs per minute (RPM), using electric rpm machinery; this is knowledge that has long been associated with racing."
Currently, Honda produces approximately five million multipurpose engines a year. Through its extensive research and development process, its power products are moving the world into the next generation of small engine technology.
"So next time our customers pull the starter chord on a Buffalo lawnmower, brushcutter, generator or one of the multitude of other Honda products, they should know that they've chosen the power equipment equivalent of pushing the starter button of Jenson Button's F1 Honda race car."