2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST

If you are in the market for a four-seat sport UTV from a Japanese manufacturer, your choices are limited to the Honda Talon 1000X-4 or Honda Talon 1000X-4 Fox Live Valve. Yamaha and Kawasaki have yet to release a family four-seater for high-speed fun. In fact, Honda still doesn’t have the long-travel R-version four-seater the people in the Southwest have wished for. Our 2021 Honda Talon 1000X-4 test machine is good for the smoother high-speed trails or tight-woods riding of say the Pacific Northwest or east of the Mississippi. Since a four-seat version of the 68-inch-wide Talon R does not exist yet, we are going to build our very own Talon R4 out of this machine as soon as we tell you how it works in stock trim.

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST
Honda’s Talon 1000X-4 is the only four-seater you can get without a CVT belt. Instead, it uses a 6-speed manual transmission that gives instant torque to the wheels and goosebumps on the passengers.

HOW DOES THE COST COMPARE?

Honda’s Live Valve Talon has a list price of $23,999, and our 2021 Honda Talon 1000X-4 test unit has a $21,999 price tag. Polaris has two cars that could be contenders against this machine—the RZR XP 4 1000 at $21,499 and the General XP 4 1000, which is $3500 more. Can-Am has two as well that you may want to consider—the brand-new Commander MAX XT-P fits in this category at $21,199, and so does the 64-inch Maverick X3 Max ds Turbo at $21,999, which comes with a turbo for that price.

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST
This Talon has the same three-link rear-suspension system as the Talon X. It’s 64 inches wide and has 15 inches of travel. It works better in the whoops than a good A-arm setup, but not by much.

HOW FAST IS THE TALON X-4?

Smash the throttle and you can get the Talon up to 75 miles per hour, which is pretty quick with your whole family on board. The six-speed transmission really masks any kind of extra weight you are carrying. It feels just as quick full of passengers as it does with just a driver. The brakes do a great job slowing that machine down from any speed. This is one of very few cars that slows down just as well weighted down with passengers as it does empty. In most four-seaters, you feel the extra passenger weight a lot more. Turbo systems are available for the Talon, but we have yet to test any, so we can’t vouch for that upgrade.

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST
Two inches short. The low-profile 28-/15-inch tire size is one of only two things we don’t like about any Talon. The 999cc Talon engine can easily pull a larger 30-inch tire. The other thing we don’t like about the Talon is that the driver’s seat doesn’t go back 2 more inches.

DOES IT HAVE A BELT?

No, this is the only four seat sport UTV on the market from a major manufacturer without a belt. The 1000cc, single-cam, parallel-twin engine is mated directly to a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The beauty of this setup is that if you want the car to shift automatically, it does that for you. If you want more control, you can do that, too, via a set of paddles connected to the steering column. Either way, you still get the sensation of banging through the gears under hard acceleration and have absolutely no worry of a belt breaking. Furthermore, if you are into rock crawling, the Talon has a low-range sub-transmission that gives you all six gears—just with a lower starting ratio. It’s not perfect for extreme rock crawling, though, especially if you have big tires. As for obstacles at most public riding areas, however, this Talon can climb anything. The racers tackling King of the Hammers are having success experimenting with additional gear-reduction systems.

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST
Unlike the RZR four-seater, the Honda Talon 1000X-4 has
full length skid plate protection for every occupant inside. The stock skid plate is soft,
though, and has to be replaced quickly if you like to slide over rocks often.

HOW ARE THE SHOCKS?

Our 2021 Honda Talon 1000X-4 test machine uses simple-to-adjust Fox QS3 shocks. They provide 14.6 inches of travel up front connected to a dual-A-arm setup. Out back, this Talon uses a three-link trailing-arm system that travels a full 15 inches. The shocks lack the adjustment that the Talon R has, but they hold up well with very little fade for casual, non-abusive trail riding. If you are hard on the throttle and like to “send it,” as the kids say, upgrade to the Live Valve version and you and your passengers will be happier. The Live Valve X-4 also rides smoother at low and high speeds.

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 TEST
Double A-arms control 14.6 inches of movement up front. The i-4WD system is unique on this machine, as it uses the brakes to tighten up the differential clutch pack to give more bite to the tire that has the most traction. It works well and contributes to a light steering wheel.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?

Thanks to a 116-inch wheelbase, this car handles the bumps very well. It can skip over the chop, dance over small whoops, and it drives straight and controllable. For most customers, the suspension works fine. One thing that can make the ride even better is getting rid of the 28-inch tires and upgrading to a 30-inch tire; however, you don’t want to get too heavy of a tire, as it will hurt acceleration and top speed slightly. If you are comparing this car to something like a RZR Turbo S or long-travel Can-Am X3, keep in mind that several companies are making long-travel kits for the Talon X that will help you out.

The Talon is super predictable at all times. Its travel is limited on this machine like it is on the X model. A sway bar and low-profile tires keep the car from getting tippy in the corners.

WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT USE?

Honda calls it I-4WD. It’s a unique system that sort of uses an anti-lock brake system in reverse to apply a little bit of brake pressure to a front tire that may have less traction than the other. This in turn forces power to both corners. It works well and makes for a light steering wheel, no matter what speeds you are running in four-wheel drive. This system, coupled with the low gear from the sub-transmission, makes the car work excellently and saves you from worrying about clutch failure. This dual-clutch transmission setup has been used in Honda ATVs, motorcycles and cars for decades.

The Talon has the best stock seat made. It’s wide enough for big guys, has harness bezels and is super comfortable.

IS IT SAFE?

Your safety is primarily dependent on the driver and other drivers around you, but Honda does provide an additional safety feature with standard window nets that no other UTV like this has. All occupants get good passenger grab handles as well. So, add a couple of high-vision lighted whips and you couldn’t be much safer no matter where you ride.

Honda’s engine and transmission are unique to the UTV world. However, this Uni-Cam dual-clutch concept has been proven reliable in their cars, motorcycles and ATVs for decades.
The paddle-shifting transmission is a blast when banging through the gears. The beauty is that you can flip through the gears or leave your fingers on the wheel, and the transmission will shift nearly perfectly all by itself.

WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?

We love the Talon 4. It’s a great family trail machine that is still compact enough for some tight, wooded trails and can stretch its legs when needed. The passengers we took along on our photo shoot had zero complaints. In fact, they commented that the ride was way more comfortable and the suspension more forgiving than expected. If you are looking for a four-seat car with a turbo for the sand dunes, this is not it; however, the six-speed transmission helps utilize all 104 horsepower, so the car works great even at high elevation. If you are looking for a wide, long-travel car to blitz the deep whoops in Baja, SoCal or Arizona, this is not that car, either; however, with help from companies like HCR Racing, it can be that car. Until then, find a smoother trail or back off a bit in the really rough stuff, and you will be very happy with the 2021 Honda Talon 1000X-4. 

SPECS:

HONDA TALON 1000X-4

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Liquid-cooled, Uni Cam, parallel twin,

4-stroke

Displacement 999cc

Bore x stroke 92mm x 75.1mm

Compression ratio 10:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction 46mm EFI (x2)

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition switch w/ brake on

Type Paper pleats

Access Behind panel in bed

Transmission Dual range 6-speed w/ rev. auto or paddle

Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”

Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ auto diff-lock

Final drives Shafts

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS

Fuel capacity 7.7 gal.

Wheelbase 116.4”

Overall length/width/height 152.6”/64”/78.5”

Ground clearance 12.8”

Claimed wet weight 1735 lb.

Turning radius 21.3 feet

Bed weight limit 299lb.

Hitch No

Towing limit N/A

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. shocks/14.6

  Rear IRS 3-link trailing arms w/ prel./

comp.-adj. shocks/15”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Park position on range selector

Tires:

  Front 28×9-15 Maxxis MU9H radial

  Rear 28×11-15 Maxxis MU9H radial

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console

Lighting:

  Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights w/ accents

  Rear Dual LED brake/taillights

DETAILS

Instrumentation Digital or analog speed/odo/trip/

hour/rpm/fuel/gear/clock/2WD-4WD

Colors Metallic Grey/Pearl Red

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $21,999

See the new Special Edition Honda Talons here: HONDA INTRODUCES SPECIAL EDITION TALON AND PIONEER 1000S | UTV Action Magazine

Contact www.powersports.honda.com

 

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