Well, wouldn’t you know, Honda thought about that. Whereas we spent a full day riding the trails of southern Utah on the Talon X, when it came time to tackle the rocks and sand in Sand Hollow State Park, we moved to the Talon R.
The Talon R is 68.4 inches wide compared to the X (64 inches wide) and has a wheelbase of 92.7 inches compared to the X at 87.6 inches. Both Talons are 123.9 inches long. So the wider and longer (wheelbase) is more suited to rock crawling and driving across the sand.
Many of the same things we liked on the X, we like on the R: stout powerplant, nice suspension, responsive EPS and great ergonomics but one difference we appreciated is the 4 plus Link trailing arm on the R, which kept the rear planted in the big whoops in Sand Hollow. There is also 20.1 inches of travel on the R, compared to 15.1 inches in the rear on the X. We also had the settings on the Fox Podium 2.5 QS3 shocks set a little stiffer on the Sand Hollow ride.
If you forced us to confess one small thing about the Talon X and the Talon R, which Honda officials say are purpose built for the conditions they are intended for (the X for maneuvering on trails—especially tight trails—and the R for big bumps and stability), it would be this: Whereas both can handle the conditions the other is designed for, the R probably does it a little better than the X does. What we’re saying is, you can take the R on trails (maybe not really tight trails due to its width) but the X might not be as adept in the big whoops as the R is.
But both are great side-by-sides and we have a full report in the next issue of Dirt Toys Magazine.
Here are a few photos from our ride at Sand Hollow.