Honda’s new Talon 1000R, 1000X and the two 1000X-4s are loaded with innovations, like the dual-clutch and dual-range six-speed transmission, potent inline-twin Unicam engine with CRF450-inspired cooling system, one-piece frame, I-4WD system with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and many durability-enhancing upgrades. During the development process and testing, Honda actually reduced the weight of the Talon by 25 percent while beefing up the driveshaft and axles. We’ve only had trouble with a diff-seal mechanically, but racers and duners have broken the rear hub at the top radius-rod mount. Honda did a great job of making the Talon easy to work on. The shocks are the easiest to pull off on any sport UTV, which is important.


Performance-wise, Honda went with very stiff shock settings to deliver a sporty ride at the cost of slow-speed ride quality. The Talon 1000X sports 2.0 Fox Podium QS3 shocks and has 14.6 inches of front and 15.1 inches of rear travel. The shocks also lack true dual-rate springs (DRS) with cross-overs. The Talon 1000R has 2.5 Fox Podium QS3s with cross-over rings; front travel is 17.7 inches and rear travel is 20.1 inches.

First, ST set out to modify the Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 shock performance with its DRS and RIS services, greatly improving ride quality while retaining bottoming resistance.

We reported on early Talon suspension upgrades by Shock Therapy, Eibach, Fox, Weller Racing and HCR Racing in the January 2020 issue. Shock Therapy (ST) was in the middle of its Talon RX program at the time, but we had a chance to check out the ST Talon 1000R towards the end of testing. The Shock Therapy Talon 1000R shows what ST has for the 1000X and 1000R so far.

Here’s the Fox DSC-upgraded ST shocks. ST frees up flow through the Fox assemblies, and the dual-speed compression adjusters allow more fine-tuning—so does the ST Talon rear torsion bar. It’s set on the softest of three settings here for rock crawling.


Shock Therapy’s 1000X DRS kit delivers true dual-rate spring action with silent cross-overs for $649.95, and ST has longer 1000R springs with better rates for $599.60 using the Fox/Honda X-rings. The next step is ST’s RIS internal shock mods and re-valving, which are $749.95. ST frees up flow in the pistons and goes to a much more progressive valving stack to get plusher low-speed ride quality while still resisting bottoming.

By massaging the Talon 1000R spring rates and Fox Podium internals and valving, Shock Therapy increases both trail speeds in deep whoops and ride quality.

When we first drove ST’s Talon 1000R in Arizona, ride quality was night-and-day different and improved immensely. ST also upgrades to RC2 dual-speed compression (DSC) and iQS adjusters ($2,070). We recently met ST at the Boulders, a popular testing area for desert racers, and ST had upgraded the Fox Podiums to DSC adjuster assemblies. Ride quality is improved even more, and the DSC assemblies allow you to further fine-tune ride quality and bottoming resistance with the dual-rate adjusters. Going to DSC is $100 per shock, plus $125 installation (per shock) if you’re not going for the ST RIS service. ST also frees up flow in the Fox DSC assemblies.

Shock Therapy vastly improves ride quality with its Talon 1000R dual-rate spring and ride improvement system services, and its new rear sway bar flattens the Talon during hard cornering.

ST has finalized its rear sway bar; it has three linkage mounts and sells for $200 using the OEM bushings. 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. They’re much like the Can-Am X3’s limiter with billet mounts for $269 a pair.

Limit straps are good insurance for racers and duners that like to go big, as they reduce stress on the CVs and shocks while in the air at full top out.


Shock Therapy pre-ran the Baja 1000 course with the Talon 1000R to get a feel for the new sport UTV, and they never bottomed the shocks on the hardest QS3 setting. Going to full soft, they dragged the rear end due to the weight of the spare tire and tools. It never developed a rattle in 1,500 miles of testing. For Baja, the 1000R was fitted with Tensor 32x10R15 tires ($299.50 each) on Method 401-R beadlock wheels (from $186.15 each).

PRP was called on for its GT3 Suspension seats, which are $1,297 a pair. These third-generation seats have a removable seat bottom with more cushion, much more containment than stock, and a more laid-back seating position. They also have top and side ports for harnesses and a slot for 5-point harnesses; the PRP 5.3 harnesses are $139 each. PRP also increases storage with the Talon Overhead ($120) and Truss ($120) bag pairs.

PCI Race Radios supplied its Builder 2 package with a Kenwood TK-7360 radio and Four-Link Pro Elite intercom for in-car and out-car communications. The 50-watt Kenwood has 128 preset channels, and the kit comes with an antenna and coaxial cable for $1,099.95. ST also went with PCI’s RaceAir Boost dual clean-air pumper, which we reviewed in September 2019. It’s $399.95 without the optional cable controller.

We’re going to try ST’s Talon 1000R iQS upgrade next and will report on that soon. 


Shock Therapy

23011 N. 16th Lane

Phoenix, AZ 85027

(623) 217-4959

PRP Seats, Inc.

27555 Commerce Center Dr.

Temecula, CA 92590

(800) 317-6253

See the 2021 Honda Talon 1000R Live Valve here:

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