— Rugged Radios sets it up right —

Honda has finally made its dramatic entrance into the sport UTV revolution with the all-new Talon 1000R, 1000X and now 2020 Talon 1000X-4 and X-4 Live Valve. All four Talons sport the super-smooth Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) that launches out of the hole quicker than any other UTV, and the dual-range transmission adds to its versatility. Also, the torquey 999cc parallel-twin engine in every Talon is capable of turning taller tires for better ride quality. We got a chance to check out one of the first Talon 1000R builds at the Moab Rally on the Rocks, where Honda chose to debut and demo the Talon 1000R and 1000X to the public. Here’s Kalani Korn’s Rugged Radios Talon 1000R.

Rugged Radios’ Kalani Korn is conducting one of the first Honda Talon 1000R builds, and we got a chance to check out the Rugged Talon at the Rally on the Rocks’ Behind the Rocks trail.


While overall cabin comfort is high in the Talons, we’ve had some test pilots come up out of their seats over water bars. All OEM UTVs have one-size-fits-all seats, so Talon owners can get a more comfortable and secure ride by checking out different styles and sizes of seats from the aftermarket. Kalani went with PRP Seats’ XC ostrich-skin seats with reinforced lateral leg support and ports for aftermarket or OEM retractable harnesses. XC seats start at $459 each with 39 color choices, plus $40 for the extra-wide option, $50 for front goggle pockets, $55 for rear pockets, $80 for a 70-ounce hydration system and/or $75 for air lumbar support. Also, a heated-seat option is available for $165. See; PRP also has several Talon storage bags for $50 to $190.


Rugged Radios has developed the Talon R/X radio and intercom mount ($55.25), which is designed to work with Rugged Radios’ RM60V or RM45U radios ($325 each) and RRP660 ($339.15), RRP660+, RRP696 ($573.75), RRP6100 ($424.15) or RRP362 intercoms. Rugged Radios enables car-to-car communications for staying together on adventures, while intercoms provide in-car communications. The RRP362 intercom installed in the Rugged Radios Talon comes in a two-person system with two helmet kits for $548, while an RRP660 intercom system with four helmet kits goes for $946.05. See


Leaving others in your dust is nice, but not when having to connect multiple trails on big rides.

Assault Industries Phantom convex side-view mirrors ($309.99) and Bomber convex rear-view mirror ($99.99) let you see out the back with the widest possible views. The 6061-T6 billet-aluminum Phantoms have a unique angular design and replaceable bezels and glass, plus there are several bezel color choices. They have a breakaway design and adjustable tension with stout anodized-aluminum mounting clamps. The Bomber convex rear-view has a durable poly body with customizable raw aluminum bezel and a real convex glass with Assault logo in the corner. Side mirrors are required for street use in Utah, and a rear-view is required in Arizona and other states. See or call (714) 799-6711.


Racers and rock crawlers will definitely want to arm their Talons with Honda accessory nerf bars ($412.95), which are also constructed of large-diameter steel tubes and powdercoated black. These use factory-designed mounting points and are shaped to protect the bodywork from rocks, brush, debris and collisions when racing. Honda’s accessory lower door panels provide more roost protection and a more secure cabin for $209.95, or go with accessory aluminum doors with the Honda Racing logo for $749.95.


While Talons have excellent traction with their specially made Maxxis 28x9R15 front and 28x11R15 rear tires, the 15-inch wheels cut down on sidewall height and impact overall ride quality. The Rugged Radios 1000R was fitted with BFG KR2 32×9.5R15 tires on Fuel beadlock wheels at all four corners, giving 2 inches more sidewall for a more cushioned ride and 2 inches more ground clearance for Moab’s rocks. The potent Honda powerplant has plenty of power and torque to turn the 4-inch-taller tires, and the Rugged Talon rips! Ride quality and overall traction are greatly improved, as are the drifting capabilities with the narrower rear tires. BFG KR2 A/T 32×9.5R15s have an MSRP of $258.99 each, and Fuel Anza D918 beadlocks were $215.99 each at 4 Wheel Parts.


Arm the Talon for night rides with LED lights. KC Hilites’ Pro 6 LED lights come in six LED sets for sport UTVs with light bar mounts and brackets with hardware. The Gravity LED G6 optical inserts are efficient and powerful, and six Pro 6 LEDs produce 13,800 lumens and throw a beam 4700 feet (1,435 meters). They’re available in Spot, Driving and Wide-40 patterns, and the Infinity Ring system allows the conversion of the Pro 6 system from straight to radius in seconds. They have extremely high output with low draw (9.78 amps). Prices haven’t been set for the Talon Pro 6, but the YXZ1000R system is $1,400.39, and the Wildcat set is $1,479.59. See or call (888) 689-5955.


While there isn’t a CVT belt to break, Talons can still get stuck and need extraction. Honda’s accessory Warn 3500-pound winch ($510.95) has more than enough capacity to get you out of bad situations via 50 feet of synthetic 3/16-inch rope. Honda’s winch mount kit ($270.95) includes the necessary winch mounting plates, hardware, wiring loom and power cables for installing the winch, plus the dash-mounted remote port. They integrate well with the front bumper, too.


Letting it rip in four-wheel drive sends front-tire roost rearward, and rocks can rip CV boots and damage shock shafts and bodies. Close racing can damage front shocks and CVs as well. SealSavers has new Pro-Series Shock Savers for all Talons, including the 1000X-4 Live Valve with high-end 2.5 Fox Podium shocks. Protecting the CV boots, shock springs, cross-over and preload rings and shock shafts is cheap insurance. SealSavers Pro-Series Shock and CV guards start at $39.95 per pair. See or call (951) 757-0458.


Rugged Radios

951 E. Grand Ave.

Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

(805) 541-1696

(888) 541-7223

XTC Power Products

925 N. McQueen Rd., Suite 101

Gilbert, AZ 85233

(480) 558-8588

Honda Talon upgradesRugged RadiosTalon custom build