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2021 Talon X4, 32" BFG's and two car seats
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, I picked the wrong line on a simple obstacle on The Back Road To Crown King and ended up on my side. No shenanigans or reckless driving and no injuries. The flop occurred at 3mph. The right front tire was climbing and the left rear tire slid off a rock and into a hole. Over it went and landed hard on the drivers side upper portion of the roll cage.

Some of the door plastics and roof are scratched but not cracked. All doors open normally except the drivers side rear door. The door sticks a LITTLE BIT but certainly DOES NOT require a significant amount of effort or force to open (my 5yr old can still open it). The top of the cage is bent to the passenger side by about 1-1.5 inches. You can tell from the windshield alignment and the A&B pillar vertical alignment in the pictures below.

I checked all the welds on the entire cage and on the frame where the cage mounts (all Xpillars and crossbars). No welds appear cracked on the frame. No welds appear cracked on the cage, but some paint has flaked off the cage near the top welds of the B&C pillars and crossbars on each side. The passenger A-pillar/ top tube triangular gusset is bent (see picture) meaning that the cage is definitely bent. Overall, the damage is minimal but noticeable.

The cage did what it was supposed to. It bent and protected me. I do not think the cage structure is significantly compromised but I don't want to put in on its side again to find out. I am going to replace the cage because I want something stronger and it looks wonky.

The problem is that I cannot determine if the frame is tweaked. I called the dealer that I bought it from and they are three weeks out for a service appointment. I went ahead and booked it but my questions are:
How can I tell if the fame is tweaked?
Has anyone bought a 1000X-4 cage from a fabricator in the Phoenix area or Southwestern US? Who? Would you use them again?
 

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If it were me, I would start with all of the areas that line up on the frame - starting with the plastic. Do you see gaps from the plastic to the frame that vary side to side? Do you see paint cracking on the frame around gussets or joints? These would point to areas that may be tweaked, but that could also be pulled out of place by the roll bar being tweaked. If you unbolt the roll bar does this "correct" the frame tweaking? Keep in mind the roll bar may not bolt or line back up if you unbolt it, so you might want to clamp it if you do this. From the pictures I would believe the frame might be OK, but that would only a guess... good luck, glad no one was injured!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
If it were me, I would start with all of the areas that line up on the frame - starting with the plastic. Do you see gaps from the plastic to the frame that vary side to side? Do you see paint cracking on the frame around gussets or joints? These would point to areas that may be tweaked, but that could also be pulled out of place by the roll bar being tweaked. If you unbolt the roll bar does this "correct" the frame tweaking? Keep in mind the roll bar may not bolt or line back up if you unbolt it, so you might want to clamp it if you do this. From the pictures I would believe the frame might be OK, but that would only a guess... good luck, glad no one was injured!
Thanks for the ideas. I looked at the plastic gaps. I don't see any major differences from side to side, or at least nothing that cant be attributed to factory build quality.

All six frame pillar bolt flanges appear to be VERY VERY MILDLY tweaked to the passenger side. The C pillar is VERY slightly twisted. The B pillar is the most tweaked. The A pillar is VERY slightly tweaked. I unbolted the cage and the pillar flanges appeared to MOSTLY correct themselves except for the passenger C pillar. Honestly, I think that the C pillar flange twisting can mostly be attributed to factory build issue. The frame A&B pillar flanges are definitely VERY slightly bent but it is so slight of a bend that it may not be worth replacing the frame over (or maybe even worth repairing???)

Ive pulled all the plastics and looked at every weld on each pillar and found no cracks or paint chips. If the frame pillars did bend, the bend is probably in the factory bends and is VERY VERY Minor.

Update: The dealer will get me in tomorrow and try to do a damage assessment over the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update:

The dealer said that there is NO sign of frame damage. Now I am in search of a reputable fabricator in the Phoenix area to build me a cage. Here are my candidates:
Total Off-Road (TOR) Racing
Strictly UTV
Pro Motorsports AZ
SinFab Racing

Has anyone worked with any of these fabricators? What is their reputation?
 

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I have seen a few companies that build bolt on cages that look pretty bad ass... if I was in your situation I would definitely go that route. Not only do they look much stronger, they look much nicer than the Honda "cage"... (ROP???) and don't have issues for rear headroom that would affect the vast majority of passengers
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow, sorry to hear of your mishap, I'm in texas and got my cage from Home of the Cage Experts. very satisfied with the company and their customer support. only problem is they are in Texas up near D/FW
Ive heard of ABF and heard they make a great product! If I had an upcoming trip to Dallas soon, Id consider ABF. Given the current cost of fuel and shipping, anything outside of a few hour drive is not really within my budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
24 March Update:

I met with Dan Hern at SinFab yesterday. He is going to build a cage from 1.75" 0.095 wall chromoly. I am not an expert in metal work and fabrication but this seems to be the standard in aftermarket cages. Maybe someone here can confirm. We added some extra trusses at each pillar and inverted intrusion bars in the rear to protect against the cage bending sideways. The cage uses all nine frame mounting points.

Fab start time is about three weeks out with a 4 day build time and one week(ish) for powder coating. He has a jig so he does not need by machine. Will post pictures as soon as its is done...
 

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24 March Update:

I met with Dan Hern at SinFab yesterday. He is going to build a cage from 1.75" 0.095 wall chromoly. I am not an expert in metal work and fabrication but this seems to be the standard in aftermarket cages. Maybe someone here can confirm. We added some extra trusses at each pillar and inverted intrusion bars in the rear to protect against the cage bending sideways. The cage uses all nine frame mounting points.

Fab start time is about three weeks out with a 4 day build time and one week(ish) for powder coating. Will post pictures as soon as its is done...
Is this company in Phx? Do you have a picture of how it'll turn out?

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is this company in Phx? Do you have a picture of how it'll turn out?

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They are in North Phoenix at 35th Ave and Pinnacle Peak. Below are a few pictures of Dan's Talon cage. He uses VERY similar designs in his (non Honda) race machines. This cage is stronger than the frame (as are most aftermarket cages) and the frame will most likely bend before the cage does. I added trusses at the A & B pillars and inverted intrusion bars on the C pillars to reinforce it from bending sideways. I also removed the tailgate.

I chose to use Dan's design for a few reasons:
1) He uses this design in his race machines.
2) This cage is simple and clean. I prefer the non-chopped look and a rear roofline that is not negatively sloped but not so dramatically positively sloped as the factory cage.
3) To save money on custom fabrication since he already has the list of bends and cuts to make and does not need to charge extra for engineering.
4) It was easy and inexpensive to add a few trusses to tailor it to my riding style
5) He has a jig, so i can keep riding while he builds it!
 

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They are in North Phoenix at 35th Ave and Pinnacle Peak. Below are a few pictures of Dan's Talon cage. He uses VERY similar designs in his (non Honda) race machines. This cage is stronger than the frame (as are most aftermarket cages) and the frame will most likely bend before the cage does. I added trusses at the A & B pillars and inverted intrusion bars on the C pillars to reinforce it from bending sideways. I also removed the tailgate.

I chose to use Dan's design for a few reasons:
1) He uses this design in his race machines.
2) This cage is simple and clean. I prefer the non-chopped look and a rear roofline that is not negatively sloped but not so dramatically positively sloped as the factory cage.
3) To save money on custom fabrication since he already has the list of bends and cuts to make and does not need to charge extra for engineering.
4) It was easy and inexpensive to add a few trusses to tailor it to my riding style
5) He has a jig, so i can keep riding while he builds it!
Your cage is compromised. I wouldn’t drive it until you get your new ROPS. You need to pull your push pins, side plastic and check the whole side. Mine had one bent tab and one broken on side with two in front broken. Good luck and glad no one was injured!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The new roll cage is installed. Installation was quite a bit of work.

I read through a few RZR forums and discovered that when the roll cage is removed, the frame will sag in the middle and the new cage bungs will not line up with the frame.

To install the new cage, first, the car frame needs to flexed by jacking up the center of the frame. Then, ratchet straps must be used to force the pillars into place. This causes the cage to be preloaded or pre-tensioned. This makes the entire vehicle structure (frame and cage) more stiff and resistant to bending/flexing.

I jacked up the car from the center so that the frame flexed a little bit. In order to get each pillar to line up, I had to wrap a large ratchet strap around the vehicle at different points on the cage, to squish the cage down. I also had to run a ratchet strap between a few different pillars to get the bungs to line up. I bolted up the mounts in this order: A - C - rear - B - center. I dont know if there is a specific order that one is supposed to follow but this order worked. With the help of a friend the entire process took about an hour.
 

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The new roll cage is installed. Installation was quite a bit of work.

I read through a few RZR forums and discovered that when the roll cage is removed, the frame will sag in the middle and the new cage bungs will not line up with the frame.

To install the new cage, first, the car frame needs to flexed by jacking up the center of the frame. Then, ratchet straps must be used to force the pillars into place. This causes the cage to be preloaded or pre-tensioned. This makes the entire vehicle structure (frame and cage) more stiff and resistant to bending/flexing.

I jacked up the car from the center so that the frame flexed a little bit. In order to get each pillar to line up, I had to wrap a large ratchet strap around the vehicle at different points on the cage, to squish the cage down. I also had to run a ratchet strap between a few different pillars to get the bungs to line up. I bolted up the mounts in this order: A - C - rear - B - center. I dont know if there is a specific order that one is supposed to follow but this order worked. With the help of a friend the entire process took about an hour.
Looks great. I'm torn between investing in a cage, building my motor, or just saving for my next UTV.

Is your cage 1.75" DOM or 2"?

I hope I run into you sometime I'd like to see it in person.



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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Looks great. I'm torn between investing in a cage, building my motor, or just saving for my next UTV.

Is your cage 1.75" DOM or 2"?

I hope I run into you sometime I'd like to see it in person.



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All tube is 1.75" 0.095 DOM. Metal work and welding quality appears to be excellent.
Honestly, the pictures dont do it justice. It looks A LOT better in person. Looks less like a space ship and more like a purpose build machine.

If you are in AZ, we could plan a ride as soon as the weather cools or you are welcome to drop by. Otherwise, Ill be in Sand Hollow in mid October.
 
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