While the new Honda Talon 1000X and 1000R have a phenomenal engine and dual-clutch transmission and many other sport UTV innovations, the suspension settings Honda chose leave a lot of room for improvement. Lumpy’s first time in the 1000R was the demo ride at Moab’s Rally on the Rocks, where Honda chose to debut the all-new Talons to the public. Lump drove the 1000X first, then the 1000R, which had the three-position Fox QS3 shocks set on the stiffest setting. The ride over dried-up clay strewn with deep mud ruts was so harsh that there was considerable throttle-pedal flutter, and it was impossible to bottom out. The Shock Therapy guys pre-ran Baja for 1500 miles and didn’t bottom it once. We got a chance to drive Shock Therapy’s Talon 1000R in the early stages of Dual-Rate Spring (DRS) and Ride Improvement System (RIS) testing, and they’re also developing sway bars, links, radius rods, limit straps and more. We’ve also got suspension improvements to report from Fox Racing, Weller Racing, Eibach and HCR Racing.
We’ve learned that Honda does three times the durability testing as Polaris or Can-Am, so maybe Honda went with such stiff valving to have a better ride quality at 2000 miles. Stock, the Talon 1000X has 14.6 inches of front and 15.1 inches of rear travel, while the 1000R has 17.7 inches of front and 20.1 inches of rear travel. Both sport Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 shocks. We compared the 1000X to the Yamaha YXZ1000R Sport Shift SE in the September 2019 issue and the Yamaha won. We compared the Yamaha to the 1000R in the November 2019 issue, and the Yamaha beat it, too, despite the Honda having more travel. We could do desert whoops 10-mph faster in the Yamaha; the aftermarket companies featured here can fix that.
SHOCK THERAPY TALON UPGRADES
First off, the 1000X has short top-out springs and no cross-over rings like the Polaris XP1000, while the 1000R has longer secondary springs and cross-overs. Shock Therapy’s 1000X DRS kit delivers true dual-rate spring action with silent cross-overs for $650. ST has longer 1000R springs with better rates for $600. The next step is ST’s RIS internal shock mods and re-valving. When we drove ST’s Talon 1000R in Arizona, ride quality was night-and-day different and improved immensely, but it will never be as good as ST’s Can-Am X3 X rs or RZP Turbo S.
ST can also upgrade the Fox 2.5s to LSC 24-position adjusters like the new Teryx KRX has, RC2 dual-rate compression or even iQS adjusters ($2,075). ST has finalized its front and rear sway bars, which are $295 each, and links will be $175 a pair. ST’s goal is to have the Talon float over hideous Arizona desert terrain but be hooked up via improved sway bars. Chromoly racing radius rods are $550 per set, while billet radius rods are $600. ST is also working on double-shear adapters for the upper radius-rod mount, which duners have been breaking. Limit straps are also in development.
FOX RACING & EIBACH UPGRADES
Hans Ada is the first person to race the Talon 1000R in short-course racing. His Lucas Oil Talon uses the stock suspension arms but with an Eibach sway bar, which upgrades to a 25mm bar with three-position tuning for $276.95, and the adjustable Eibach links are $250. Ada also upgrades to Fox Racing 2.5 Podium RC2 shocks with dual-rate compression and rebound adjustments. Fox doesn’t have prices for the Talon yet, but 2.5 Podium RC2 for the RZR XP 1000 are $1,745 for the front and $2,250 a pair for the rear. These Fox Factory shocks have many upgrades over the QS3s like Kashima coating and bottom-out control. These prices are with springs, but Ada uses Eibach Stage 3 springs on his 1000R, which are $998.89.
While Shock Therapy can upgrade the piggyback-reservoir QS3s to LSC, RC2 or iQS, Fox wants to sell the whole shocks. Fox 2.5 Podium IBP shocks are $2,245 per front pair and $3,050 per rear pair for a 64-inch X3.
WELLER RACING TALON UPGRADES
Weller Racing sells a 1000R dual-rate four-spring kits for $300 per pair or $600 for all four. Springs and a Weller Racing re-valve is $1,400 for all four shocks, and that includes internal shock mods and four Weller Racing shock covers. Weller will customize the spring and damping rates for short-course, desert, dunes and weight of your Talon. Weller also sells Eibach’s sway bar for $267.67 has brackets to double-shear the outer top radius-rod mount for $25.
HCR RACING 72-INCH TALONS
We’ve been concentrating on the Talon 1000R suspension, but 1000X two-seat owners can save money on the initial buy, then upgrade to the 72-inch HCR Racing Dual-Sport kit. This kit includes the four front A-arms, trailing arms, longer axle bars, the upper rear Y-link arms, and longer radius rods and tie-rods for $5,500. The HCR boxed arms have internal ribs and honeycomb chromoly construction for a huge jump in strength. HCR’s front arms move the spindles forward an inch, and the boxed trailing arms are 2 inches longer for a 3-inch-longer wheelbase (95.7 versus the 1000R’s 92.7 inches). They use the stock 1000R shocks and increase travel about an inch. We’ll test the HCR Talon 1000R soon.
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