Having not even driven the new Honda Talon even one inch, it might be a bit presumpsutious to offer some first impressions but there are three things that really stand out in just looking at the new Honda sport side-by-side.
1. It Looks Awesome
If nothing else, Honda made a big splash with the design and looks of the new Talon. The lines, cockpit and overall design of the Talon are impressive.
2. Fox Podium QS3 Shocks
Every sport side-by-side should have easy-adjust shocks. So kudos to Honda for equipping the Talon with the QS3 shocks, some of our most favorite shocks in dirt and snowmobiles. They’re easy to use. And that makes adjusting for the conditions equally as easy.
3. Automatic Six Speed DCT Transmission
One of the features we absolutely love on other Honda dirt vehicles, such as the Pioneer 1000, is the option of choosing between the automatic or manual transmission. Or a mixture of both. The Talon comes so equipped with the six speed transmission. If you want the Talon to do the work, keep it in automatic. Want to be more engaged in the ride? Go with manual and use the paddle shifters. It ratchets up the fun to extreme levels and now that Honda has a sport side-by-side, it’s all the more engaging.
We can’t wait to drive one or two Talons.
Now for the official Honda press release:
During a special event held in conjunction with Honda's Automobile Division, and coinciding with the L.A. Auto Show, American Honda today confirmed its entry in the sport side-by-side segment, unveiling the all-new Talon 1000X and Talon 1000R models.
For decades, Honda has set the standard for high-performance dirt bikes with its CR and CRF lineups, and more recently the Pioneer family has introduced unmatched capability to the multipurpose side-by-side category. Now, Honda's highly anticipated Talon models marry the two worlds, bringing a new level of off-road excitement, precision, performance and quality to sport side-by-side driving. Drawing on countless hours of collaborative development in both two- and four-wheel design and racing, as well as automotive and motorcycle manufacturing know how and safety expertise, the Talons push the envelope of what is possible in a production sport side-by-side.
Aware that a single offering would be a compromise for some conditions and driving styles, Honda developed two versions of the Talon, each of which works across a broad array of conditions but specializes in a different area of the off-road spectrum. The two vehicles share a common frame and engine but have wheelbases and suspension configurations that are designed to shine in different applications. Both models function at a high level in a wide variety of terrain types, bringing a new level of control, style and refinement to a sport side-by-side market that is hungry for innovation, reliability and an improved driving experience.
"For some time now, our customers have told us they're ready to purchase a high-performance sport side-by-side from Honda, and I'm particularly pleased that we're now able to offer them not one, but two all-new models," said Chuck Boderman, Vice President, Motorcycle Division at American Honda. "We know that many sport side-by-side enthusiasts own Honda powersports products of other types or have a strong emotional connection with our brand. Now, the Talon 1000X and Talon 1000R—both U.S.-developed and -produced sport side-by-sides that are uniquely capable and incredibly reliable—connect these worlds."
Pricing information will be announced in January.
At 64 inches wide, the Talon 1000X is maneuverable and precise. Its 2.0-inch body Fox Podium Quick Switch 3 shocks (QS3) have 5/8-inch shafts and combine with the double-wishbone front-suspension design and 3-link rear system to offer suspension travel of 14.6 and 15.1 inches, front and rear. The one-piece frame retains consistent geometry even when pushed under the hardest loads, for a controlled, confidence-inspiring ride. A performance-tuned 999cc four-valve Unicam parallel-twin engine works with Honda's high-tech, geared Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which offers two automatic modes (Drive and Sport), plus Manual with steering-column-mounted paddle shifters. Honda's I-4WD, the powersports industry's first and only brake traction control system, manages the amount of slip between the front wheels in four-wheel drive, and electronic brake force distribution strategically optimizes brake force to the most effective wheels during braking in two-wheel drive. Hill-start assist temporarily holds the vehicle in place when stopped on an ascent, simplifying the process of resuming motion. As a package, the Talon 1000X is incredibly agile and sure-footed, yet it performs admirably in a broad range of applications.
Colors: Pearl Red/Metallic Gray; Metallic Gray/Metallic Blue
Availability: Spring 2019
Designed to excel when bump absorption and high-speed tracking are the priority, the Talon 1000R shares 85 percent of its parts with the Talon 1000X, including the entire 999cc parallel-twin engine and one-piece frame, yet it diverges when it comes to vehicle width (68.4 inches—4.4 inches wider than its sibling), wheelbase (5 inches longer than the X) and suspension arrangement. The Talon 1000R has a double-wishbone front-suspension layout and a 4+ Link rear configuration, while the shocks are 2.5-inch body Fox Podium QS3 units that have 17.1 and 20.1 inches of front and rear suspension travel, respectively, or 2.1 and 5 inches more than the 1000X. The combination results in remarkable performance in diverse situations, but is particularly impressive in high-speed, rough conditions.
Colors: Pearl Red, Pearl Green
Availability: Spring 2019