NEW HONDA TALON 1000X FIRST TEST

— Would you be happier with the X or R model? —

When Honda comes to play, people take notice. For 2019 Honda came with two new models—the Talon 1000R and Talon 1000X. This is what we thought of the 64-inch-wide, $20,000 Talon 1000X.

Honda’s small wind deflector does an excellent job keeping the passengers warm. The fender flares do a good job of keeping mud out of their laps, too.

WHAT DOES IT COMPARE TO?

It depends. If you are talking price, the YXZ1000R, base Maverick Turbo and RZR XP-T are in the fight; however, spec-wise, it’s under-suspended compared to those but has a list of other assets that make it worthy of consideration.

This is the first sport machine to come with window nets as standard equipment. They are easy to attach and remove with one hand.

HOW’S THE POWER?

Strong and torquey. It pulls from the moment you push the throttle. There is no gear lag, and power gets right to the dirt and pushes you forward. Revs top out at around 9000 rpm, and the speed limiter is set at 74 mph. We really like the midrange power, and the computer does a good job of keeping you in the right gear; it shifts when you expect it to. In manual mode, it’s fun, but you do seem to be shifting a lot. For tighter trails, we like keeping the X in automatic mode. It works great.

The Talon bucket seats are equipped with harness pass-through holes, and they are as big as race seats, so an upgraded seat will be on the bottom of your list.

HOW’S THE TRANSMISSION?

The dual-clutch transmission is really good for rock crawling and tight woods riding. Mated with a lower sub transmission, you have more options to keep the motor in the powerband, depending on your needs. For a spirited trail ride, high range was perfect. We never needed to use low range, but when we tried it, we were surprised it still went over 50 mph. That being said, if you did want to add larger tires and more load on the engine, the low range might end up being some people’s gear of choice. Mud guys or severe rock crawlers may still ask for something lower. Time will tell.

The Honda has a host of great features inside and out. Its biggest asset is the ability to choose between automatic or paddle shifting.

HOW’S THE SUSPENSION?

Impressive. Sure, it’s not the long-travel number that gets all the hype, but the 15 inches do work well throughout the stroke up front and in the rear. Body roll is minimal side to side or front to back. The X really handles great in all trail conditions—smooth or rough. We did find the limits, but we had to hit square-edge bumps and some tree roots with excessive force that we would normally back off or avoid. The QS3 adjusters were simple, and you could really tell the difference between each setting. Once we found the machine’s limit, we set the clickers at full soft and had all-day comfort.

When cup holders first became common in automobiles it was a big deal. In UTVs they have been almost around since the beginning. The cup holders in the Talon are bigger than any others and can hold small water bottles too.

HOW’S THE COCKPIT?

The first thing we noticed in the driver’s seat was how well the seat rollers slide as you adjust. Even with full body weight, it rolls fine. After a full day of muddy riding, it worked just as well. It’s one of the many aspects of this machine that is car-like in quality. In the passenger seat, the grab handle moves just as easily. The seat is not adjustable. We do wish the driver’s seat would go back another inch or 2 for leggy guys over 6 feet tall. Another component that is easy to operate is the netting system. You can hook or remove it with one hand, so it doesn’t feel like a chore and it doesn’t feel in the way when you are looking out.

The steering wheel is nice, and the paddles were perfectly placed at our fingertips. They are plastic on the Talon and work just fine. The huge cup holders work well, and the cockpit feels comfortable and doesn’t get hot or unnecessarily dusty. The glove box space is ample but not overly large.

HOW’S THE FRAME?

The exact same frame is used on both models of the Talon. It’s made of 2-inch steel tubing and appears to be protected well underneath. You could actually bolt the suspension arms of the R model on this X frame, change out a few components (such as rear hubs and all four axles) and have yourself a long-travel car. So, it will be interesting to see what is popular when the aftermarket gets busy with its builds. Aftermarket cages will be interesting, too, as the rear pillars of the stock cage wrap around the rear of the cargo area and provide the exhaust muffler mount. Hopefully, someone will come up with an enclosed cargo area. We don’t like three-sided cargo boxes.

On paper, the Talon has 104 horsepower. On the dirt, it feels like one of the fastest normally aspirated UTVs you can drive. Honda’s drivetrain is very efficient and gets the power to the ground well.

INITIAL THOUGHTS?

It’s good. While it’s actually under-suspended compared to all other 64-inch-wide cars, it doesn’t feel handicapped when you drive it. The Fox QS3 shocks worked perfectly for trail riding and didn’t seem to fade or disappoint us at all. It was a blast to drive everywhere. It didn’t feel wide in the tight stuff, as it turned sharply and didn’t ever push or two-wheel. The back end didn’t buck or kick unexpectedly. The interior is better than expected, and you won’t be looking for more power unless you are in the deep dunes. If you are considering any non-turbo two-seater and don’t have any width requirements, make sure the Talon X is on your short list. 

SPECS:

2019 HONDA TALON 1000R

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 w/ reverse

Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”

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

Final drives Shafts

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS

Fuel capacity 7.3 gal.

Wheelbase 87.6”

Overall length/width/height 123.9”/64”/75.3”

Ground clearance 12.7”

Claimed wet weight 1490 lb.

Bed weight limit 299 lb.

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 4-link trailing arms w/ prel./comp.-adj.

shocks/15.1”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front . Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Lever on console

Tires:

  Front 28×9-15

  Rear 28×11-15

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console

Lighting:

  Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights w/accents

  Rear Dual LED brake/tail lights

DETAILS

Instrumentation Digital or analog speed/odo/trip/hour/

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

Colors Pearl Red/Pearl Green

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $19,999

Contact www.powersports.honda.com

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