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With first test drives of the Talon happening over the past few weeks and lots of technical information to analyze, we’re beginning to get a clear picture of what this new arrival means for the segment. The 2019 Talon is looking like the exact product that Honda needed to develop in order to establish a foothold in this new market. One question that is continuously raised, is how it compares to the Polaris RZR.

While we will have to wait for official reviews to determine the actual differences in driving dynamics and performance between the two, we can look at how they compare on paper. The Polaris has long since dominated the market since it was first introduced, but being late to the party has allowed Honda to explore missed opportunities and establish the benchmarks to meet.

The RZR uses a 999cc ProStar twin-cylinder four stroke, engine that delivers 110 horsepower. This is mated to a CVT transmission that has a high and low range. With plenty of usable power, the drivetrain in the RZR makes it simply a blast to drive. Honda’s 999cc Unicam Parallel twin motor has slightly fewer ponies on tap, coming in at 104 horsepower. The main advantage it has however is the 6-speed DCT, which can be run in both an automatic and manual mode via paddle shifters. Being a dual clutch transmission, there will also be no CVT lag.

The Polaris RZR XP 1000 runs on independent dual A-arms at the front and trailing arms in the rear. The Walker Evans Racing shocks provide 16 inches of travel up front and 18 inches of travel out back. On the 1000X, the Talon has 14.6 inches of travel in the Fox QS3 shocks and 15.1 inches of travel in the rear. Stepping up to the 1000R increases front travel to 17.7 inches and the rear has an incredible 20 inches of travel.

In terms of price these two, sport side by sides only differ by a few thousand dollars. With the RZR starting at $17,999 it will cost around $2,000 more to get into the Talon 1000X. From what we’ve seen that price is easily justified by its performance.
 

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The Talon seems to be a lot less fussy imo, with much less needed handholding when out on the trails or rock climbing. The ability to just hop in and go, is exactly what buyers have been looking for in this segment.
 

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Something should also be said for the Talon's styling, which is very bold especially from an automaker like Honda. You're probably right that a lot of owners are going to spend most of their time in Sports mode and let the machine do most of the work for them.
 
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