Honda’s no stranger to either off-roading or powersports, which makes it weird the firm took so long to jump into the sport side-by-side market.

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Honda’s no stranger to one of two people off-roading or powersports, which renders it strange the agency took so lengthy to jump into the sports side-by-side market. But the Talon 1000X and also 1000R mark the brand’s entrance into the high-performance SxS sandbox for 2019, and also those equipments come v a segment first: a dual-clutch transmission. Indigenous the powertrain and also suspension come the styling and also durability, Honda wasted no time flexing the know-how in this fast-growing segment.

Buy Now: $19,999

The Good: The performance and balance indigenous the Talon 1000R’s suspension beggar belief. Plowing over washboard trails, skipping end dips and tiny jumps, a two-seater SxS need to feel an ext chaotic. A quick wheelbase can obtain swallowed up in between high-frequency crests in the tail, upsetting the entirety machine, however the flexible Fox Podium shocks soak up every little thing for a stable, planted ride.

Who It’s For:There’s extreme brand commitment in the SxS segment — in fact, it seems Honda’s banking on it v the Talon duo, betting many customers looking to buy a Talon won’t be first-time Honda buyers, whether that method past cars, motorcycles or any kind of other of the plenty of machines Honda manufactures. The Japanese brand’s an initial sport side-by-side is positioned to lure the faithful into the lifestyle, and also if they occur to persuade a couple of buyers away from Can-Am and also Polaris, all the better.

Watch out For: The slightly more affordable Talon 1000X starts at $19,999, which is a lot of money for what the Talon bring to the table. The likewise priced Polaris RZR Turbo and also Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo are, together their surname suggest, turbocharged and an ext powerful. Honda claims the competitors’ CVT belt transmissions bleed horsepower and their final figures aren’t accurate, but buyers who swear by the spec sheet might not be convinced, and also there’s no arguing with Honda’s sporadic interiors. Honda justifies that price sign by claiming their engineering and also architecture is more durable, but you’ll need to take an expensive plunge come prove them right.

Alternatives: Honda to be upfront that they benchmarked the Talon versus the Polaris RZR and also Can-Am Maverick. The turbo-powered devices are segment stalwarts; if there’s a crown to it is in stolen, it’s comes from among those two machines.


Review: In the people of side-by-sides it every comes under to weight, power and control. Style and also aesthetics take it a earlier seat: pond the very first three and also it doesn’t matter what the maker looks like. The Polaris RZR and also Can-Am Maverick arehideous handfuls of plastic, metal, and also rubber, yet expertly bolted together and some the the most qualified off-road equipments I’ve ever driven. As Honda’s very first foray into sport side-by-sides, the Talon demands to come packing heat. Luckily, Honda has a deep and also storied well of design expertise indigenous which come draw.

When Honda announced the Talon, the dual-clutch transmission got the headlines. A DCT is hardly a new invention — it’s been shifting automobile gears for years, and also Honda currently features the an innovation in that is utility-minded Pioneer side-by-side — but on the sport side of the SxS sector it’s a first, and a large deal.

For years, the continuously variable infection was the regulation of the floor in the segment. Numerous still swear through it, however it has its drawbacks. Indigenous a performance standpoint, the CVT uses a belt and also pulley mechanism that tends to on slide under difficult acceleration, i beg your pardon can cause power loss, overheating and, eventually, belt failure. Moreover, there’s no engine braking, so you can’t count on the compression that the engine under deceleration to aid slow girlfriend down. Lastly, without defined gears a CVT invariably imbues one engine with an unlovely droning sound. Therefore Honda’s DCT is rightfully seen as a game changer in the sports SxS market.

At crawling speeds the DCT is a tiny jerky, continually compensating because that the lack of strength input to save the engine indigenous stalling. However once approximately speed and clicking with the gears, it’s hard to imagine going earlier to a CVT and not dice of boredom. The transmission is specially tuned because that the Talon, adjusted for holding greater revs and shifting more aggressively than in the Pioneer from which it was pulled. Plus, there’s engine braking to help bringthe 1,545-pound maker to a fairly quick halt, also on loosened surfaces. Going into sweeping turns or medium speed corners, the brake pedal isn’t also needed; simply lifting off the throttle is sufficient to readjust the Talon’s speed.

The DCT may have been the story as soon as Honda first paraded the Talon about the EICMA and IMS shows, however the machines poise when hauling over dunes and also through turns is the real story. The 1000R it s okay a much longer wheelbase, wider stance, and more suspension travel over the X; it’s designed because that high-speed desert blasts. The narrower and lower (though barely) 1000X isn’t a lesser machine, it’s simply designed because that tight trails and also quick cornering. The 1000R has actually bigger, an ext impressive numbers, yet whether it’s a far better machine depends most on wherein you’ll it is in driving the thing.

You’ll have to trust Honda’s insurance claims of far better build quality and durability to justify, in addition to that DCT gearbox, a near-$20K price tag because that something the looks in ~ a glance to it is in a $16K machine. However it’s true the the Polaris and Can-Am rivals don’t come through as lot standard equipment, watch cheaper, and are plagued v breakdowns and also recalls (CVT belts are the most replaced parts on both machines). Honda’s deserved reputation for mechanically reliability and also longevity should reasonably use to the Talon as well — yet only time and also distance will tell.

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Verdict: Honda take it its sweet time involvement the sport SxS party, yet such a hold-up can have actually its advantages. If the Talons were under development, Can-Am and also Polaris dominated the space until Yamaha come out through the YXZ1000R and also its non-CVT sequential gearbox. Those devices may have actually had an ext time to acquire a call in the market, but Honda’s reputation method it has actually a foot up once it concerns establishing the Talon name — whether it’s your high school buddy’s ’95 Civic, her neighbor’s CB500X, or the gas generator your dad supplies to store the lamp on throughout a storm, Honda commodities are well-known to simply work, every time. Add an exciting application of DCT technology and it’s fair to say that while the Talon 1000R and 1000X aren’t necessarily video game changers, they’ve certain as hell raised the bar.

What Others are Saying:

“The brakes, seldom supplied due to far-ranging engine braking, are wonderfully grabby with numerous feel. The necessary takeaway right here is that as soon as you romp top top a Talon, v some room to play, there’s a deliciously seamless interplay in between steering, suspension, and power.” —Alex Kierstein, AutoBlog

“With both eyes open up we hit the whoops and pressed the pedal down until we reached our takeout and just a tap on the brakes got the former of the Talon in form to do the righthand turn… The FOX Podium 2.0 shocks wet up the access time well and also I was really impressed.” —Rick Sosebee,

2019 Honda Talon Specs

Powertrain: 999cc Paralell Twin, Six-speed dual Clutch TransmissionHorsepower: 104Ground Clearence: 13 in. (1000R)Weight: 1,545 lbsTop Speed: 74 MPH