HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE

HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE

The popularity of four-seat UTVs is at an all-time high. Families are enjoying the outdoors together, exploring parks and public lands. Honda’s Talon four-seater is offered in a base, special-edition or Live Valve model. We featured the base model in the June Issue. This month we will look at what makes the Honda Talon 1000X-4 Live Valve so special.

HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE
The shocks can sense hard cornering and will combat body roll.

 

HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVEHOW DOES THE COST COMPARE?

This is the only long-wheelbase, non-turbo, four-seat UTV available with Live Valve or even electronically adjustable suspension. It sells for $23,999. The base model Talon 4 is $21,999. Polaris sells a 64-inch-wide, turbo Pro XP with Dynamic suspension for $32,499, and the long-travel RZR Turbo S4 sells for $31,999. Can-Am’s Maverick X3 four-seater with Smart-Shox sells for $32,099.

HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE
Out back, an IRS, three-link trailing arm setup allows for 15 inches of suspension travel. That wheel well is capable of clearing a much bigger tire than the stock 28s. We like 30s best for this car.
HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE
This is the exact same drivetrain that is in the two-seat X model with a shorter front driveshaft. It has a 115.4-inch wheelbase, so it handles the bumps as well or better than the two-seat R-model.

WHAT ENGINE DOES IT HAVE?

Honda gives this Talon an overhead-cam, parallel-twin-cylinder, 999cc engine with liquid-cooling. It’s fuel-injected using dual 46mm throttle bodies. The motor is snappy and quick. Having a six-speed transmission, the power band is always at peak levels if you have it floored. If you want a hammer ride, it will do that, too. Either way, the Talon tops out around 75 mph. The only thing it doesn’t do well is coast. If you are on a long downhill descent, the transmission keeps down shifting and trying to use its engine braking.

HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE
Space is at a premium in the cockpit of any Talon. It’s our only complaint with the machines.
HONDA TALON 1000X-4 LIVE VALVE
Dual A-arms move 14.4 inches, and huge axles add to the durability of this rig.

HOW’S THE TRANSMISSION?

However you wish to shift it, with manual paddles or automatically, the dual-clutch transmission is super fun and keeps the engine in the meat of its powerband at all times. There is no belt to break, and a sub-transmission gives you six lower gears as well; however, we have found instances where in low range and in first gear, the gearing was still not low enough. It’s a rare situation, but if you plan to do extreme rock crawling with any Honda Talon, this might be an issue.

The back passenger seats are higher and closer than the front so the passengers’ view isn’t blocked by helmets.
Unlike with early RZRs, we have yet to see a radius rod bend at the back of a Talon. There are a couple of companies making double shear plates for the outer rod connection points. HCR is one of them.

WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?

Live Valve is what makes this Talon unique. Fox 2.5 Podium shocks control 14.4 inches of travel up front and 15 inches in the back. In the cockpit, you can choose from soft or sport with a flip of a switch on the dash. Additionally, the on-board computer calculates data every 5 milliseconds, from a brake pressure sensor, steering angle sensor, gear position sensor and wheel speed sensor, to further manipulate the compression valve inside the piston. This helps with everything from unexpected bottom-outs to jumping or hitting ditches and smooths the ride in choppy slow-speed terrain. The suspension helps the harsh sensation you feel in standard Talons. It really helps back-seat comfort most of all.

A full-coverage plastic skid pate is found under the driver and passenger compartment. We wish the engine compartment was better protected because the oil pan is vulnerable.
2021 Honda Talon 1000X-4 FLV

HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?

Honda put big brakes on the Talon. This is the main reason the car uses 15-inch wheels. Fourteens won’t clear the 250mm rotors. The car weighs 1753 pounds, but the hydraulic system has no problem slowing things down. Thanks to the Live Valve system, there is very little dive when you are hard on the brakes. Engine braking is also heavy, no matter what gear you are in.

Six speeds of fun and power are controlled by the paddles fixed to the steering shaft. You can let the transmission shift for you, too. It actually does a better job than we can.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS?

Honda’s attention to detail has always been first-rate, and this car is no different. The Talon is the only sport UTV with side window nets as standard equipment. Within the car, it has great bolstered seats front and rear, storage opportunities and some room for accessories. If we had any complaints, it would be that leg room is on the low side and taller tires would improve handling even more. The good thing is that you can get used to your Talon wearing out your stock tires while choosing what to replace them with. It’s also good to note that a 30-inch-tall tire will fit under the Talon four-seaters.

The rear passengers have almost as much leg room as the guys up front. The seats are raised, as is the cage, so the back-seat riders can see great.

WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?

For the extra $2000, the Live Valve technology makes this car feel like its wider cousin, the R. It’s still narrow and can fit in tighter places, but the ride is plusher in the slow-speed chop and high-speed whoops. Additionally, we have seen guys put wider A-arms and trailing arms on Live Valve cars and not change the suspension one bit. The computer seems to stiffen the car with compression to where it needs to be. If you want a Japanese-built, long-wheel-base four-seater, the Talon is your only choice, and it’s a good one.

2021 Honda Talon 1000X-4 FLV

SPECS:

2021 HONDA TALON 1000X-4 FOX LIVE VALVE

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

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

4-stroke

Displacement 999cc

Bore x stroke 92mmX75.1mm

Compression ratio 10:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction 46mm EFI (x2)

Starting/backup 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 12.6”

Claimed wet weight 1753 lb.

Turning radius 21.3 ft.

Bed weight limit 299lb.

Hitch No

Towing limit N/A

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ e-adj. shocks/14.4

  Rear IRS 3-link trailing arms w/ e-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 Pearl White/Pearl Red

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $23,999

Contact www.powersports.honda.com

See UTV Action’s long term test on the Honda Talon here: IDAHO – PAYETTE NATIONAL FOREST – UTV Action Magazine

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