2019 Honda Talon First Ride Adventure Trip
2019 Honda Talon First Ride Adventure Trip
It's a good day when there is yet another UTV being released in the off-road world, and it has been an even better couple of months because the Honda Talon was recently unveiled to the off-road world. We all know Honda as some of the most dependable vehicles on the planet, whether we are talking about motocross bikes, automobiles, generators, lawnmowers, or ATVs. It is without surprise that Honda has enjoyed a good chunk of side-by-side sales with the Pioneer lineup, especially with the Pioneer 1000. With a few tweaks to the powertrain setup and an all-new platform engineered especially for the sport market, the all-new Talon was born.
A freshly-cleaned Honda Talon 1000R
Josh and I were thankfully able to experience the Talon at the media ride in southwest Utah, where we were able to drive both the 1000R and 1000X models. A full review will be able to be found in the March/April 2019 issue of ATV & UTV ESCAPE Magazine, but for now we'd like to go over some highlights on the Talon lineup, including a high level overview of what we liked and what we didn't like after our initial drive of each model.
Likes on the Talon:
- QUALITY - Honda quality is present everywhere in the 1000R. No rattles are ever found on this machine, whether we are looking at the powertrain or the overall build quality of the machine. This vehicle feels and drives like it is going to last a very, very long time.
- DCT transmission - belt drives may be the most popular, but I have a feeling transmissions are going to be even more popular in the coming years, especially with this excellent dual clutch unit from Honda. Take offs are buttery smooth each time, and full throttle upshifts are equally as smooth. Having a full automatic mode is a welcomed addition if you want to just cruise down the trail. Full manual mode is for those who really like to get with the program and fully control the vehicle's feel.
- Interior - the interior of this vehicle, again, has no rattles or loose plastics. Fit and finish is at the top of the industry. The seats are comfortable and there are several spots for storage.
- Rear cargo bed - plenty of room for all of your stuff with deep bed sides and no less than 6 tie down points make this bed a winner
- Chassis rigidity - you can feel how rigid this one-piece chassis is when you traverse terrain. It is truly a work of art and has one of the best driving feels in the industry
- Suspension - with the 1000R sporting a true dual rate setup front and rear, this suspension soaks up the big hits and is much better in the choppy, wash board terrain than the X model. The 1000X model is precise and extremely agile for trail riding while tracking in the direction you point it. The 3-position compression-adjustable QS3 FOX shocks offer easy ride adjustment.
Critiques of the Talon:
- Lack of interior technology - while it isn't necessarily a bad thing, this Talon has a fairly basic dash layout. We wish it had a dedicated number that told you the running coolant temperature of the vehicle instead of a bar graph.
- No full locking front differential - i4WD is a very cool and innovative traction control concept, but in practice it still doesn't work as well as a fully locking front differential.
- Not quite enough power for dune fanatics - while the manual transmission truly allows drivers to get the most out of these machines, you will find the end of the 104 horsepower fairly quickly in the big dunes. The aftermarket will have to take care of this.
- Single sheer suspension mounting points - the rear knuckle has single sheer radius rod mounting points. We didn't feel any movement in the rear and didn't experience any issues, but a double sheer setup would have given drivers more confidence over the long haul
- Tire/wheel package - 15" wheels were mandatory because of the large spindle size, but there is not enough sidewall present with a 28" tire. A 30" tire stock would have been much more ideal and the driving characteristics would have been greatly improved.
Be on the lookout for our full review in the March/April 2019 issue of ATV & UTV ESCAPE Magazine. Until then, check out more pictures from our first drive in Utah.
A row of Honda Talon 1000Xs before the ride
Casey and I geared up for our first ride in the Talon 1000X.
As a trail machine the Talon 1000X proved to be solid in every way.
Here is our ride on day one, which proved to be very muddy with snow melt and rain. It sure was fun though! It also reminded me why I hate doors with holes in them.
Here we are gearing up for our ride in the Talon 1000R. It would prove to be a very different day as far as terrain.
Day two aboard while aboard the Talon 1000R we took on rock crawling and open dunes. This showed the added stability and suspension travel on the 1000R
The extra width totally 68.4 inches on the 1000R can be seen well in this shot.
Here is our train of Talons and passengers working our way through the rocks. Though we like the red we also dig the green version of the Talon.
Casey and I at what is clearly the "Top Of The World" at Sand Hallow in Utah. What an incredible view don't you think?!!!
Our 1000R right on the edge of a massive drop-off.
What would a trip be without a photo of Casey's "signature" move!