HONDA ANNOUNCES 2020 TALON 4-SEAT & TURBO OPTIONS
Honda continues to impress us with their aggressive fight to gain share in the Sport UTV category. On the heals of both Talon 2-seat models, Honda, today, announced that 2020 with have two 4-seat Talons available and an accessory turbo kit that can be installed on any Talon X or Talon R.
TALON FOUR SEATERS
While, 28.6 inches longer, the four seaters are only available in the 64” Talon X configuration. On the goodside, those two cars will differ in the suspension department. The design and wheel travel numbers will remain the same, but the action will be dramatically different. Honda tapped Fox to add their Live Valve technology (similar to Polaris’ Dynamix) on the version shown with the orange frame.
According to Honda, the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features advanced electronic suspension that incorporates all facets of the driving experience into a unified system that elevates performance. The system constantly monitors variables including compression speed, steering, braking, throttle position, rpm, vehicle weight, selected gear, vehicle speed and vehicle orientation (via a five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, or IMU). Leveraging advanced algorithms and a sophisticated IMU with offering class-leading communication speed through enhanced signal quality, the system electronically adjusts the individual shocks accordingly, delivering optimal handling and performance that is appropriate for the selected drive mode.
Thanks to the new collaboration between FOX and Bosch, the system makes adjustments every 60 milliseconds (less than one-fifth the blink of an eye!) resulting in exceptional ride quality with reduced lateral roll and longitudinal pitch—but with no need for a ride-compromising stabilizer bar, and improved tracking and steering response. Two suspension modes—Normal and Sport—are operated independent of the Talon’s selectable engine drive modes and vary in terms of characteristics. In Normal, the shocks stay subtler to absorb small irregularities, while in Sport the shocks ride higher in the travel to keep more stroke in reserve for big impacts. The “sting” of deep whoop sections and bottoming out (g-outs) is reduced, yet the ride is plush and smooth in uneven, rocky or rooted terrain.
Like the Talon 1000X two-seater, the 1000X-4 utilizes 2.0-inch FOX Podium Quick Shift 3 front shocks, whereas the rear shocks have 2.5-inch bodies; all feature dual-rate springs to provide a responsive, progressive ride. Each shock has simple-to-use, three-position adjusters for Normal, Sport and Aggressive/Loaded settings, and each position changes the compression damping by 20%, for a total adjustment range of 40%. The large, easy-turn dials provide a quick visual check that all ends of the vehicle are on the same setting. Shock bodies are 2.5 inches front and rear on the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve, whereas the Talon 1000X-4 has 2.0 inch shock bodies on the front.
Polaris puts a $3,000-$5,000 premium on this technology, we don’t know how Honda will price the different models just yet.
As for the Talon 1000R, there will only be a 2-seat version for the foreseeable future. However, remember the chassis/suspension pick up points are identical so adding long travel to the X model is pretty simple for the 2 or 4-seat options.
The Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features a new Launch Mode—a side-by-side first with an automatic transmission. Activated via a dash-mounted switch and a simple sequence of shift-paddle and accelerator-pedal movements, Launch Control enables wide-open-throttle starts from a dead stop, significantly reducing acceleration time and with less stress on the driver thanks to the automatic transmission managing upshifts. Once forward movement is initiated, a control program monitors the sensors at all four wheels and automatically reduces torque to low-traction wheels to minimize yaw and keep the vehicle tracking straight even in surfaces with uneven traction to the left and right tires. Uniquely, the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve can continue for extended periods while in the Launch Mode.
Honda states, a great deal of engineering went into integrating rear passengers in the riding experience. Considerations for rear ingress/egress include an opening that is wide enough even while wearing bulky winter gear, free of sharp edges or protrusions that could snag clothing, and grab points are provided.
Honda states, both Talon 1000X-4 models elevate the level of performance, refinement, comfort and quality, thanks to a “stadium seating” layout that offsets the rear seats 50mm inboard and 75mm higher compared to the front seats, giving rear passengers improved visibility and a more engaged experience and situating them away from tire spray. The backs of the front seats slope so as to provide rear passengers with best-in-class legroom and knee space, and there’s a full-length rear-grab bar that has an incorporated guard to protect fingers from pinches by the rear of the front seat. Rear drink holders, an accessory power socket and inboard door handles are provided as well.
The driver and front passenger get the innovative cockpit-style interior first presented in the two-seat Talon models, including fully adjustable, wide, weather-resistant sport seats separated by a full center console. The driver has a steering wheel that is infinitely adjustable for tilt, while the front passenger has a rattle-free grab handle with quick-release telescoping adjustment, plus a floor with foot platforms to brace against during aggressive driving.
The standard roof completely covers the full driver-passenger area, and a front lip prevents water from pouring onto occupants, even under braking in heavy rain. Standard front and rear side nets provide protection, and all seats include three-point seat belts and come ready to accept four-point restraints.
Another big question the world has had since knowing about the Talon was turbo charging. Honda answered today with a turbo kit developed by Jackson Racing an expert in small engine horsepower. The kit will increase horsepower numbers by 60-percent and will fit on any Talon 2 or 4 seater. The kit will be similar to Yamaha’s GYTR Turbo Kit. This kit will be available in all 50 states and legal for racing.
We expect to see Live Valve to make its way to the two seaters soon as well as a 4-seat version of the Talon 1000R. If we don’t see it from Honda, customers will make their own, that we can say for certain.
If you would like to see the growing list of accessories available for the Talon through the aftermarket we have that buyers guide HERE.
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On the opening evening of Power Lab 2019, Honda’s dealer experiential event at TexPlex Park, American Honda announced Team Honda Talon Racing, a new professional off-road racing effort to promote the Talon 1000R sport side-by-side.
With direct technical and engineering support from American Honda’s Powersports Division, Team Honda Talon Racing is managed by Proctor Racing Group; Proctor also operates and drives Honda’s Baja Off Road Ridgeline, which has won its first three races of 2019, including this past weekend’s SCORE International Baja 500. To develop turbo technology for this project, Proctor is collaborating with Jackson Racing, the Oscar Jackson-owned firm that is a world leader in high-performance products for the sport-compact automotive market.
Team Honda Talon Racing will devote the remainder of this year to designing, engineering and testing the Talon 1000R before launching a two-vehicle race effort in selected events beginning 2020. Although no drivers have yet been named, planned events include:
- Ultra4 Racing King of the Hammers
- Mint 400
- UTV World Championship
- Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno
- SCORE International Baja 500
- SCORE International Baja 1000
In addition to its racing activities, Team Honda Talon Racing will provide trackside support for Talon drivers at non-SCORE events it campaigns.
Released in March, the Talon introduced technology like a Dual Clutch Transmission and I-4WD to the sport side-by-side market.
“As a team owner, I’m humbled to have the opportunity to represent Honda’s Powersports Division with the new Talon,” said Proctor Racing Group Team Principal Jeff Proctor. “Honda has a rich racing heritage, particularly in Baja, and I’m thrilled to build this side-by-side racing program and take it to the top.”
“It’s exciting to kick off the Team Honda Talon Racing side-by-side racing program,” said Brandon Wilson, Advertising & Motorcycle Sports Manager at American Honda. “The Talon has been a big hit in media evaluations and on showroom floors, and it deserves a quality racing project. Considering Proctor Racing’s history with Honda’s Automotive Division, and the success of their Ridgeline racing program, they’re a great choice as a partner for this project. We’re looking forward to seeing the Talon in competition.”
For more details as the program progresses toward its first race, visit www.hondaoff-road.com