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Discussion Starter #1
So we took our shiny new blue Talon X out for the second time this weekend. It now has about 240 miles on the odometer. Below are my impressions... keeping in mind I come from a SXS history of a 2012 RZR 900 XP and currently a 2018 RZR 900 Trail along with the 2019 Talon X.
First off, I really like the looks of the Talon and like the idea of losing the CVT belt. I looked long and hard at the RZR 1000 XP and just decided I didn’t want another belt driven machine… even though I’ve never experienced a belt failure in either of my RZRs, but then I don’t really abuse them.
First, the ride in the Talon X:
No way to get around it, the Talon X rides very stiff. It probably varies greatly depending on a lot of things like loaded weight, or the type of riding and riding surface, but last weekend we spent a lot of time on rough rocky trails, and it was uncomfortably stiff, even with the shocks set in their softest setting. One of the reasons I decided to buy another SXS is to get away from the stiff ride of the RZR 900 Trail which has very limited suspension and very stiff ride quality, and, to be able to run some of the rough rocky roads faster and smoother. But, after 2 days of riding in the Talon my wife said she’d rather ride in the RZR. She also said, and I have to agree to a point, that the seats in the RZR are better. This weekend we rode less rough rocky trails and more gravel roads and dirt trails. The ride is much more acceptable in those conditions for sure. If I keep it, I think Shock Therapy is in my future!

Second, The DCT transmission:
I love the concept of the DCT over the CVT for a lot of reasons; reliability, smooth engagement, sound, etc. I was surprised the first time I started the Talon and put it in reverse, eased into the accelerator and jumped 10 feet backwards. Say what you will about all of the work-arounds and ways to try and deal with the light-switch accelerator, but it’s about ten times more sensitive than it should be. I found that in the rough terrain I had to consciously press my right foot against the center console while working the accelerator to add enough resistance and keep from lurching back and forth with every bump in the road. I’m 61 years old and have driven and raced about everything on two or four wheels, and have never driven anything with a less user friendly throttle response. Having said that, under a lot of riding scenarios, most of which involve full throttle much of the time, the throttle control may not be as big a deal. I think I’ve gotten a better handle on the accelerator after the second weekend of driving it, but it still takes a conscious effort to keep it smooth. Put the touchy throttle response together with the DCT that often times shifts like an over aggressive shift kit in a 500 hp race car, and you can find yourself lurching back and forth with every upshift and downshift. This can really take away from the driving experience and, again, mama isn’t very happy about the potential for whiplash! Is it something I can get used to and better control over time? Probably, to a degree, but I don’t think it’s reasonable that the operator should have to try and learn new methods of driving in an effort overcome a poor design. Do I hate it? No! When driving hard and fast in the twisties it’s an absolute blast! The ability to drop a couple gears when coming into a tight corner and be right in the power zone exiting the corner is awesome. The Talon X corners flat and really shines in the high speed fun. It does take some getting used to the sometimes busy upshifts and downshifts, but that’s probably just something to get used to.

That brings me to the other transmission issue, and this may just be specific to mine, but the transmission in my Talon absolutely howls with a high-pitched whine/screech that is near unbearable at speeds above about 35 mph, and whines at most any speed/rpm. It drowns out pretty much all engine sound and is loud enough to make my wife plug her ears as we ran down the road at 35 – 40 mph. She's no prude and loves the sound of a hot rod engine, but this is not a pleasant sound! This may be a deal breaker for me and reason enough to dump the Talon and go buy another RZR… it’s that bad.

i4 wheel drive:
This system has impressed me! Is it better than the RZR’s or CanAm’s 4-wheel drive system? I can’t say for sure but I did climb a very steep very long incline of baseball to football sized loose rock that my friend in his RZR XP with huge lugged tires and high clearance A-arms etc got stuck on and had to back down. In all fairness, we weren’t on exactly the same line going up, but basically side by side lines with identical surface. The i4 is seamless, and I never felt any of the power transfer from side to side etc. It is a very capable climbing machine for sure! I did discover that when climbing, it’s best to keep it in the Manual Transmission setting because with a little too much wheel speed etc it will sometimes upshift at the wrong moment.

Comfort:
I found the Talon to be very comfortable. As I mentioned before, I do think the RZR seats are just a little more comfortable for all day riding, largely because the Talon is a bit more upright in the seating position and the seat bottom seems a little bit shorter than the RZR, but seating comfort can be highly subjective and what one person loves, another may hate, but overall I don’t think the seats are comfortable enough to keep most people happy. Ergonomics are as good as any other SXS I’ve driven. The center mounted instruments aren’t idea for me, largely because my 61 year old eyes don’t see as well as they used to so the busy small print text on the instrument panel is hard to see at a glance… sometimes even at a stare, and I think a larger panel located in front of the steering wheel, i.e. RZR XP/Pro XP, would be much better. I’m used to the center mounted instruments since that’s what my RZR has, so no big deal.

Build Quality:
I think Honda is well ahead of the pack in fit and finish. The doors and their latching mechanisms have a much more quality feel than my RZR, if you reach under the dash of the Talon you’ll find the underside of the dash finished with interior panels rather than an open void with exposed wiring bundles etc. Some may appreciate the finished panels, and others may hate the interference to the access for running accessory wiring etc, but I appreciate the effort to provide a more finished interior that one should expect in a $20,000 + machine. I have found that almost everything seems to leave a mark on the Talon whereas my RZR seems to be more forgiving of rub marks and scratches etc.

Conclusion:
I really like the Talon for all the things it does right! However, It does enough wrong… at least for my style of riding… that I really don’t know if I’ll be keeping it. I know I’ll take a beating if I sell it now with just a couple hundred miles on it, but the issues, as described, are serious enough “to me” to make me consider if it’s worth taking the hit and going back to the RZR! I’m thinking that maybe $650 to shock Therapy and another $700 to Rugged Radio for a two-way radio system with headphones to stifle the transmission whine might be an option too. The next couple weeks will tell the story!
 

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I put spring kit from shock therapy on my R and it rides a lot softer. If your putting them on your self Dont use the you tube videos, it will have to chasing your tail . As they say to do one thing , show you another and yet again In the caption state yet another number ?
 

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So we took our shiny new blue Talon X out for the second time this weekend. It now has about 240 miles on the odometer. Below are my impressions... keeping in mind I come from a SXS history of a 2012 RZR 900 XP and currently a 2018 RZR 900 Trail along with the 2019 Talon X.
First off, I really like the looks of the Talon and like the idea of losing the CVT belt. I looked long and hard at the RZR 1000 XP and just decided I didn’t want another belt driven machine… even though I’ve never experienced a belt failure in either of my RZRs, but then I don’t really abuse them.
First, the ride in the Talon X:
No way to get around it, the Talon X rides very stiff. It probably varies greatly depending on a lot of things like loaded weight, or the type of riding and riding surface, but last weekend we spent a lot of time on rough rocky trails, and it was uncomfortably stiff, even with the shocks set in their softest setting. One of the reasons I decided to buy another SXS is to get away from the stiff ride of the RZR 900 Trail which has very limited suspension and very stiff ride quality, and, to be able to run some of the rough rocky roads faster and smoother. But, after 2 days of riding in the Talon my wife said she’d rather ride in the RZR. She also said, and I have to agree to a point, that the seats in the RZR are better. This weekend we rode less rough rocky trails and more gravel roads and dirt trails. The ride is much more acceptable in those conditions for sure. If I keep it, I think Shock Therapy is in my future!

Second, The DCT transmission:
I love the concept of the DCT over the CVT for a lot of reasons; reliability, smooth engagement, sound, etc. I was surprised the first time I started the Talon and put it in reverse, eased into the accelerator and jumped 10 feet backwards. Say what you will about all of the work-arounds and ways to try and deal with the light-switch accelerator, but it’s about ten times more sensitive than it should be. I found that in the rough terrain I had to consciously press my right foot against the center console while working the accelerator to add enough resistance and keep from lurching back and forth with every bump in the road. I’m 61 years old and have driven and raced about everything on two or four wheels, and have never driven anything with a less user friendly throttle response. Having said that, under a lot of riding scenarios, most of which involve full throttle much of the time, the throttle control may not be as big a deal. I think I’ve gotten a better handle on the accelerator after the second weekend of driving it, but it still takes a conscious effort to keep it smooth. Put the touchy throttle response together with the DCT that often times shifts like an over aggressive shift kit in a 500 hp race car, and you can find yourself lurching back and forth with every upshift and downshift. This can really take away from the driving experience and, again, mama isn’t very happy about the potential for whiplash! Is it something I can get used to and better control over time? Probably, to a degree, but I don’t think it’s reasonable that the operator should have to try and learn new methods of driving in an effort overcome a poor design. Do I hate it? No! When driving hard and fast in the twisties it’s an absolute blast! The ability to drop a couple gears when coming into a tight corner and be right in the power zone exiting the corner is awesome. The Talon X corners flat and really shines in the high speed fun. It does take some getting used to the sometimes busy upshifts and downshifts, but that’s probably just something to get used to.

That brings me to the other transmission issue, and this may just be specific to mine, but the transmission in my Talon absolutely howls with a high-pitched whine/screech that is near unbearable at speeds above about 35 mph, and whines at most any speed/rpm. It drowns out pretty much all engine sound and is loud enough to make my wife plug her ears as we ran down the road at 35 – 40 mph. She's no prude and loves the sound of a hot rod engine, but this is not a pleasant sound! This may be a deal breaker for me and reason enough to dump the Talon and go buy another RZR… it’s that bad.

i4 wheel drive:
This system has impressed me! Is it better than the RZR’s or CanAm’s 4-wheel drive system? I can’t say for sure but I did climb a very steep very long incline of baseball to football sized loose rock that my friend in his RZR XP with huge lugged tires and high clearance A-arms etc got stuck on and had to back down. In all fairness, we weren’t on exactly the same line going up, but basically side by side lines with identical surface. The i4 is seamless, and I never felt any of the power transfer from side to side etc. It is a very capable climbing machine for sure! I did discover that when climbing, it’s best to keep it in the Manual Transmission setting because with a little too much wheel speed etc it will sometimes upshift at the wrong moment.

Comfort:
I found the Talon to be very comfortable. As I mentioned before, I do think the RZR seats are just a little more comfortable for all day riding, largely because the Talon is a bit more upright in the seating position and the seat bottom seems a little bit shorter than the RZR, but seating comfort can be highly subjective and what one person loves, another may hate, but overall I don’t think the seats are comfortable enough to keep most people happy. Ergonomics are as good as any other SXS I’ve driven. The center mounted instruments aren’t idea for me, largely because my 61 year old eyes don’t see as well as they used to so the busy small print text on the instrument panel is hard to see at a glance… sometimes even at a stare, and I think a larger panel located in front of the steering wheel, i.e. RZR XP/Pro XP, would be much better. I’m used to the center mounted instruments since that’s what my RZR has, so no big deal.

Build Quality:
I think Honda is well ahead of the pack in fit and finish. The doors and their latching mechanisms have a much more quality feel than my RZR, if you reach under the dash of the Talon you’ll find the underside of the dash finished with interior panels rather than an open void with exposed wiring bundles etc. Some may appreciate the finished panels, and others may hate the interference to the access for running accessory wiring etc, but I appreciate the effort to provide a more finished interior that one should expect in a $20,000 + machine. I have found that almost everything seems to leave a mark on the Talon whereas my RZR seems to be more forgiving of rub marks and scratches etc.

Conclusion:
I really like the Talon for all the things it does right! However, It does enough wrong… at least for my style of riding… that I really don’t know if I’ll be keeping it. I know I’ll take a beating if I sell it now with just a couple hundred miles on it, but the issues, as described, are serious enough “to me” to make me consider if it’s worth taking the hit and going back to the RZR! I’m thinking that maybe $650 to shock Therapy and another $700 to Rugged Radio for a two-way radio system with headphones to stifle the transmission whine might be an option too. The next couple of weeks will tell the story!

This is a very good review coming from your riding style perspective.

Suspension:
It seems that the Shock Therapy kit would solve your ride quality issues. If that is your biggest complaint I think that would be a better choice than losing you losing your butt on the used sale price you would get. You mentioned you don't run super hard and fast and that is where the suspension on the Talon shines but also the only place it shines. I think Honda cheaped out on their suspension setup because we have very few options for compression and rebound adjustment and the springs were chosen for HARD running at high speeds but that choice hurts the machine EVERYWHERE else.

Engine/Trans:
For me, the engine-transmission whine is one of the best parts of the machine. Even when it was new the sound didn't bother me but after 200 miles it was much more smooth and quieter sounding. I have never noticed the sound being ear piercing but then again women and men have different optimal hearing ranges and I think higher-pitched sounds are easier for women to hear so maybe they hear something we do not. My wife has great hearing and has never said anything about the whine so I will take her for a ride and get her to focus on that sound and what she thinks of it as I am now curious to know.... maybe she just never said anything to me.

Display:
100% agree about the display it is poorly placed and not very legible unless you make a strong effort to lean over and in and are not bouncing around in just the right lighting conditions to be able to read the damn thing. The worst part of the cluster is Honda's bullshit excuse as to why it is where it is. They say it is because SxS are meant to be driven together so the passenger needs to be able to see it as well. that is the dumbest most ill-contrived excuse for cost-saving I have ever heard in my life. The reason it is where it is is that they didn't want to develop a new display that deviates from what they already designed on the Honda Pioneer. This was a cost-saving measure pure and simple and it was a poor choice.

i4wd:
100% agree it's great. I also think it will save axels from snapping in the front, time will tell...

Build Quality:
100% agree it's excellent. Although I don't have and marks that I can see on my machine from driving through brush and I have the R. Now, I think maybe the Green R would hide light scuffs better than your matt black with blue would so that maybe the difference here. I believe the Polaris machines are just black plastic whereas the black plastic body panels on the Talon X are painted so might not be as durable long term due to the paint being marred and damaged. The Talons look good but the pain over time might be a liability that will not hold up very well in the looks department.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I totally agree that my riding style may not be exactly suited to the Talon X, however, unless I am mistaken, the X model is advertised as the “Trail” model and trail riding is what I do most of. Having said that, I do understand the word “Trail” can mean a whole lot of different things!
As for the transmission whine, it may be just my machine and might have something to do with the fact my Talon came with a Sub-Trans reservoir oil level below the dip stick and I put the first 100 miles on it before I realized it. But, there is no ignoring the howl coming out of that thing! It’s way more than a particular frequency sensitivity, it hurts your ears!

The Talon is an interesting combination of painted blue, painted grey, decals and matte grey surfaces. My RZR is also a combo of decals and painted and matte plastic. Just seems like everything that touches the Talon, even the roll bars etc leaves a scuff, scratch, or rub mark.
 

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Any news? Have you considered the extra sidewall a 30" will provide on the 15" wheels? The right tire, at the right pressure, will soak up a lot bumps...especially if you don't push hard enough to pinch flat.
 
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