UTV RALLY CLASS BUILD – PART 2

UTV RALLY CLASS BUILD

About a year ago we featured a fairly stock Honda Talon with parts from IMG, All Balls https://www.allballsracing.com/  and HMF built for WORCS racing, as well as the UTV Rally class for events like UTV World Championships and the Best in the Desert Series. During the first few races in the car, owner Donnie Bales quickly figured out the weak points on the Talon, which are mostly in the suspension department, and upgraded his UTV rally class build.

UTV RALLY CLASS BUILD
Long-travel hasn’t been added to the UTV rally class build yet. However, the stock arms took a beating in the first few races due to the added weight of the components and the punishment the new driver has given the Talon 1000R.
UTV RALLY CLASS BUILD
Some of Raceco’s first Honda Talon products were the passenger grab-handle and this trick steering wheel upgrade. The wheel itself is from MPI. Raceco added the buttons that operate the shifters, radio and horn. The complete setup is $935.
UTV RALLY CLASS BUILD
When you get your shocks working better than the factory setup, that energy has to go somewhere. On the front of the Talon, energy starts bending the shock mounts. This shock brace should help dissipate the energy and keep things from bending.

The constant pounding the car received at one race in Parker, Arizona, quickly started to bend the suspension arms at both ends of the car. To combat this, Donnie turned to Raceco to gusset all of the arms. The reinforcements were welded in place and then re-powdercoated to the factory red color. Raceco also supplied new radius rods and tie-rods, as well as a front bumper. The final Raceco product was their signature steering wheel upgrade. The wheel is actually an MPI product, but is outfitted with a bracket that houses four push buttons. Two are for shifting, one is for the horn and the other is a push-to-talk button for the Rugged Race radio. The cockpit was also outfitted with two new Sparco seats and a Lowrance HDS 7 GPS system.

UTV RALLY CLASS BUILD
The piece of angled steel running along the stock trailing arm should keep the arm from bending as it did from the severe side-loading the car goes through during a race. The sway bar has been replaced with an Eibach unit, and the shocks are totally redone by Race Tech.
Raceco made small reinforcing pieces that were welded on the top A-arms. The stock ones were bending, and this was the cheap fix at $350. The tie-rods are from RaceCo, too.

SUSPENSION SETTINGS

Along with strengthening the car, Bales wanted to add a few tweaks to make it handle better as well. Since the Race Tech re-valve he did initially wasn’t quite enough, he had them do a full shock build and added a 25-position adjuster. More suspension and control were handled by going with 32-inch-tall Tensor tires mounted on 5+1 Method wheels. This setup allows the car to roll over the larger bumps instead of having to slam through them.

A full Factory UTV skid plate protects the underside of this car. This is their new X-brace product, which sandwiches an aluminum plate between the frame and the UHMW at the rear section of the car. It’s a must, as the Honda’s oil pan hangs very low.
Taller tires are a huge improvement in comfort on any Talon. These 32s helped roll over bigger bumps, requiring the shocks to do less work.
Adjustable radius rods from RaceCo are stronger than stock, and a small brace ties them together on the bottom, while the bumper ties them together for strength up top. That bumper helps hold the spare tire in, too.

Factory UTV’s X-brace skid plate and a new USA-themed wrap finished off the list of new parts on the build. We had the chance to drive the Talon again at our local ride area in El Mirage. The suspension action was much improved, thanks to the shock, seat and tire upgrades. We like that the car is still exciting to drive. Being stock width and travel, there is no power loss, and the suspension does a great job pounding through the whoops or railing out of the tight corners. You don’t get that big, heavy marshmallow feeling like you do in some long-travel cars. Using the push-button shifters is fun, but we have to admit, the Honda computer still shifts better than we do, so we leave the tranny in auto mode most of the time, as does Donnie. However, it is still great to be able to downshift or upshift if we see something in the terrain that the computer can’t. We are also happy to report the HMF exhaust-equipped stock engine can still pull the taller 32-inch tires to the rev limiter in every gear (except sixth). We will keep you posted on the progress of this and other race builds as the next season gets underway.

See part 1 of the Talon racer build here: https://utvactionmag.com/img-talon-worcs-racer/

RALLY-CLASS TALON UPGRADES PRICE LIST

Raceco: (949) 874-5591

Upper and lower A-arm reinforced/modified: $350

Trailing arm reinforced: $550

Front shock tower brace: $129

Front bumper: $595

Radius rods: $695

Tie-rods: $489

Steering wheel w/ shifting, horn and PTT buttons on the wheel: $935

Passenger grab-handle and bars: $229

Other components:

Baja Designs 10” light bar: $599

Race Tech all-new shock setup with 25 position adjusters: $3300

Rugged Radio and intercom: $1750

5/1 offset Method wheels: $289 each

32” Tensor tires: $299 each

Lowrance HDS 7 Live Baja GPS: $1249

Sparco seats and seat belts: $850 apiece for two seats, $350 apiece for two sets of seat belts

Factory UTV X-brace skid plate: $710

USA-themed wrap: $650

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