It's an HR17. Local Honda dealer did a little research for me. He said he couldn't find out who it was originally sold to, but found it to be a 1980.
There are a lot of similarities to the HR214 deck shape and edge guards, but this little thing only weighs in at about 50 pounds. It has a 16" blade with the Honda Roto Stop BBC. The engine is a G100 side valve that's rated at a whopping 2.2 HP at 4500 rpm! It's a little racer when it gets warmed up. It has an auto choke so all you have to do is flip the ignition switch to on and pull the rope. The air filter is under the red part of the shroud. The muffler is under the deck, but the exhaust exits through a curved exhaust pipe just in front of the engine. This thing is a lot quieter than the HR214!
Yeah, the handle is pretty unique. The starter rope actually runs from the recoil, up through that handle pipe and comes out at the beginning of the triangular part.