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If you have not done it yet clean and then spray with penetrating oil all of the shift mechanism. I have to do that from time to time and I hope that helps. I know the biggest negative with our Talons is the shift from hi to low. I hope Honda comes up with a better shifter at some point, I know I would buy one. I have tried other shift plates as well.
 

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I'd suggest taking it back to your dealership and demanding that they fix the problem before your's ends up in the service department for the next half a year like mine with chewed up transmission! I'm just hoping Honda will fix it since its just 11 months old. They said it would take over a month just to get a response from honda when they turn it in to them to make a decision! Meanwhile its the best time of the year to ride and me and my wife.....we're walking after paying $20K 11 months ago! I own a big farm and fix equipment everyday and I can tell you first hand that everything built these days is trash compared to what it was 20 years ago and that includes HONDA PRODUCTS! My industrial equipment used to last 20-30 years and now your lucky to get 1-2 years out of it if that! Some of it don't last 6 months! So if you are having trouble, you better take it in now before you are walking like me! At this point I'm wishing I would have bought a Polaris or Yamaha! I own a Polaris sportsman 850 and a Yamaha Grizzly 700 and they've never given us a seconds trouble! I don't believe for one second that Honda is any better quality these days than any of the rest of them. I own all of them and right now I have 3 broken honda's and none of the others have broke yet! I'm sure they will at some point! Just my experience after owning all this stuff for the past 35 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I adjusted my shifter cable and oiled all parts of the cable. All is good I"ve got over 3000 miles on it and like it. There are a few things I changed on it to better things.
 

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I adjusted my shifter cable and oiled all parts of the cable. All is good I"ve got over 3000 miles on it and like it. There are a few things I changed on it to better things.
First, I want you to know that we love our talon, its been fun to drive and we really don't have any regrets as long as they'll pay for the repairs.

We adjusted our shifter twice and the dealership adjusted it and its still kicked in and out of gear. I think it never was all the way in low and eventually it ate the gearing up inside. However the display would always say it was in low and when you started putting stress on it, it would pop in and out of engagement. It wouldn't just come out and stay out, if you were going up a steep hill and it popped out, the engine would start revving, you would momentarily stop moving forward and suddenly a huge bang and slamming together of gears where it went back in and up the hill you'd go. This did not happen all the time, just here and there so you really never knew when to expect it. And you could think you had it fixed and ride 2-3 times with no issues, then on the 4th ride, boom, here we go again. I've always loved honda, but in my honest opinion there stuff just isn't bullet proof like it used to be.
 

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Ok here is a look at how small the contact area is on the engager in this case look for the edge that is rounded. It does not take much and it will not engage. To quote one of the sources I contacted the sub transmission is built like a Switch Watch, and sacrifices strength. If you get just one or two rough shifts -- the loud band -- that is enough to round of the contact area and damage it. This is true for High, Low and Reverse. Look closely and there were metal particles in the case just had to look closely. You will not find huge chunks of metal just flakes where the edge is worn off. I am considering my options now. If I replace just the one part and low it will work again but for how lone?

In any case take a look. I left the pictures fairly large. Should be a nice square and it is rounded. You can also see some small metal flakes -- that is all it takes to prevent low from engaging. I am doing the work by myself and going slow. And if you can turn a wrench you can do this. It takes a lot of time and patience. Time, if I had decided to get to the dealer they would not have started yet ant the price to get this far would be astronomical. If you don't know the sub trans a maintenance will help you find the part and the damage.

1486
1488
 

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I don't mind changing a belt every few years, but a transmission? I don't think so! Thanks for the pics, but Honda is gonna have to step up and do the work and pay for it. I already threw down $20,000 11 months ago! Once mine is repaired I'm gonna sell it and get a Yamaha RMAX or a Polaris General XP.
 

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I don't mind changing a belt every few years, but a transmission? I don't think so! Thanks for the pics, but Honda is gonna have to step up and do the work and pay for it. I already threw down $20,000 11 months ago! Once mine is repaired I'm gonna sell it and get a Yamaha RMAX or a Polaris General XP.
This is just the sub transmission and I am in the process of sending it off to COPS to have it bullet proofed and add reduction to just low gear. About 2 grand for the work. If I only fixed the bare minimum I could get by with about $600 but then nothing heat treated no new cut gears... I figured I would spend the money now. That is with me doing all of the removal and installation. Have a dealer do it and it would be sky high.
 

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This is just the sub transmission and I am in the process of sending it off to COPS to have it bullet proofed and add reduction to just low gear. About 2 grand for the work. If I only fixed the bare minimum I could get by with about $600 but then nothing heat treated no new cut gears... I figured I would spend the money now. That is with me doing all of the removal and installation. Have a dealer do it and it would be sky high.
Hey man, I hope you get it fixed and it gives you years of enjoyment. I put my trust in Honda and they really let me down on this deal. I can't believe with their reputation that they'd put a cheap badly designed tranny in their most expensive machines. My wife and I bought this thing last year for our 31st wedding anniversary. We were gonna get a pioneer 1000 but I looked across the lot and said, lets go sit in one of those and see how it feels ( we are 50). After sitting in it and driving it, I looked at my wife who was in love with the machine and I said, oh what the heck, we always buy machines for work, lets just buy something once in our life that we can just have fun in. We had considered Yamaha and Polaris but we felt that Honda was more reliable with the transmission and we'd be able to ride this thing on our 50th anniversary! Now I don't know what to do with it. I'm afraid honda will do the bare minimum to get it rolling and eventually it'll go out again and there will be no warranty to cover it. So I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place on this deal. I have a lot more trust in Yamaha and Polaris than I used too since we've owned some of their 4 wheeler's the past 2 years with zero problems and no repairs. We don't abuse our machines so a belt is gonna last us a lot longer than it will the young wild rider who thinks their machine can go through anything. While they are stuck in 4 feet of mud, my wife and I just shake our heads and "Go Around" the mud holes that require wenches to make it through. I don't mean to sound so negative in these post, but its hard for me to explain how frustrated I am with Honda going cheap in these expensive machines.
 

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With those non heat treated parts those transmission problems are only going to get worse as time goes on.
Polaris had a problem for about 3 years with their transmissions randomly not going in gear but it is rare to hear of one shelling out like these Honda's do after a few bad shifts. I have a '15 model that has the problem but it still works fine once it gets in gear. My guess is Polaris uses hard heat treated parts.
Trade it for a Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 1000.
 

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After talking with COPS and a few other owners, I did not want to just repair the damage and be back here again. I rock crawl and run in deep mud as well. I hope Honda fixes the sub transmission shifting for future buyers!
 

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The problem I have with all these sub transmission problems is that it can all be avoided. It is not going to give you a problem if the cable was adjusted properly from the get-go and stays in proper adjustment then that sub transmission will last you for thousands and thousands of miles. Longer than other brands. The problem is is some peoples came from the dealership not adjusted properly and then most people never adjusted it until they had the bang. That is too late to adjust it. Yes it may not be able to handle very many bangs but it can handle anything you throw at it if you've never had it bang. There are people with 20,000 mi of off-road use on their Honda Talon with zero problems. There are not other brands that I've ever heard you can say that about. Every machine has its issues but Honda and Yamaha are still the best in my opinion. And in my experience.

It does stink for people that have had this problem and didn't realize how important it is to have their cable adjusted properly. But the fact is you won't have a problem if you keep it adjusted right.
 

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The problem I have with all these sub transmission problems is that it can all be avoided. It is not going to give you a problem if the cable was adjusted properly from the get-go and stays in proper adjustment then that sub transmission will last you for thousands and thousands of miles. Longer than other brands. The problem is is some peoples came from the dealership not adjusted properly and then most people never adjusted it until they had the bang. That is too late to adjust it. Yes it may not be able to handle very many bangs but it can handle anything you throw at it if you've never had it bang. There are people with 20,000 mi of off-road use on their Honda Talon with zero problems. There are not other brands that I've ever heard you can say that about. Every machine has its issues but Honda and Yamaha are still the best in my opinion. And in my experience.

It does stink for people that have had this problem and didn't realize how important it is to have their cable adjusted properly. But the fact is you won't have a problem if you keep it adjusted right.

It's not my responsibility to adjust that cable! This is totally Honda's fault. I can stand on the edge of a cliff all day long too as long as I don't fall! How is the customer to know to adjust the cable? The first indication people have that anythings wrong is the bang you talked about. Its inexcusable on Honda and their dealers! Ours did that crap 2 minutes after we rolled it off the trailer brand new. At the 120 mile service, I told them what was going on. They said they adjusted it but apparently they didn't get it done right. I then tried adjusting it and it was better for a while. But it was on its way to the grave yard at that point, I just didn't know it yet. As for other machines not lasting, well I know farmers around here who have run Polaris rangers for 10 years and have not even changed belts! Is Polaris as good as Honda, no, not as a whole! But what this proves is that if you take care of them they'll last. In the end, they are all made like crap these days and I suppose I rolled the dice and lost a 20 thousand dollar bet! I have a 2002 Jeep TJ wrangler X with 132,000 miles. Got it used for $8,500. It goes just about anywhere the talon will. 18 years old and going strong! Talon bought new for $20,000, made it to 1,200 miles. 11 months old...already in the nursing home! At the end of the day you have to understand my position. I'm 50, I work hard as a farmer, I don't need extra things to work on especially something we strictly bought as a toy to ride trails and enjoy what little time off we have. I am not an enthusiast and I don't generally make upgrades unless it has some personal benefit like adding a half windshield to keep the wind and dust out of your face. We just bought a reliable brand to have for years of take it easy , crusie around in the mountain trails and just have a good relaxing time. We bought this thing last year on our 31st wedding anniversary and we won't even be able to ride it on our anniversary this year.....LOL.....So yeah, I'm kinda pissed over it. I've always loved Honda, overall they are great. But just like my own kids, when they do wrong you can bet I'm gonna call them on it. Maybe if I complain loudly enough and don't give Honda pass on this deal like so many on these forums are, maybe, just maybe I'll stir the hornets nest up enough to get a few folks stung and realize there's a problem! None of this is aimed at you Hometeam, One last note. People have beat on Polaris and Can Am for reliability, but the truth is not starting to come out. All that time, they were building very expensive complex machines while Honda skipped by on 4 wheeler reputation or a simple design like the Big Red side by side. Now they have entered the world of complexity along with Polaris and Can Am. So we will now see if Honda really is better. So far, it looks like Honda is going to have the same troubles as all other brands. When you build something like this, people are gonna find a way to tear it up and not matter what they do, its always going to be Honda, Polaris, Can Am's fault, never the driver. Now in my case, it was Honda and it happens, but I don't like it. I have friend with a Can Am commander with over 7,000 miles and he has never changed the belt yet. He said he checked it at 1,000, then 3,000 forgot about it til 6,000 and said it still looked pretty much new. But he don't put the machine is ridiculous amounts of water and mud. My point is if you maintenance them and don't abuse them, just about any of them can and will last. Now do I want a Can Am, NO WAY! Polaris, Maybe, not afraid of their 4 wheelers, we have a 2018 850 sportsman and never a lick of trouble. Yamaha? 20 year, 5,000 Hour, 100,000 Mile engine, 10,000 Mile Belt Warranties! So yeah, I'd probably rather have the Yamaha RMAX 1000 at this point!
 

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I am on the major brands forums almost every day and my opinion of the Talons reliability and quality is much different than yours. Pretty much like the other brands really, nothing special. Only thing is that transmission problem costs big time for someone that can't do the work themself.
There are other much maligned brands that have more trouble free miles than the 20,000 on that Talon.
 

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The problem I have with all these sub transmission problems is that it can all be avoided. It is not going to give you a problem if the cable was adjusted properly from the get-go and stays in proper adjustment then that sub transmission will last you for thousands and thousands of miles. Longer than other brands. The problem is is some peoples came from the dealership not adjusted properly and then most people never adjusted it until they had the bang. That is too late to adjust it. Yes it may not be able to handle very many bangs but it can handle anything you throw at it if you've never had it bang. There are people with 20,000 mi of off-road use on their Honda Talon with zero problems. There are not other brands that I've ever heard you can say that about. Every machine has its issues but Honda and Yamaha are still the best in my opinion. And in my experience.

It does stink for people that have had this problem and didn't realize how important it is to have their cable adjusted properly. But the fact is you won't have a problem if you keep it adjusted right.
Good idea to check I did and no problem, but it can happen anyway. I drive hard and rock crawl as well. No excuses from me just that I have not found a cure all other than upgrading the sub transmission, I will see. By the way even with an upgraded sub transmission it is still very important to make sure the shifter is adjusted properly. If in doubt remove the shift cable and shift manually on the sub transmission leaver, eliminate any guess work and also allows you to set for neutral, hook it back up and adjust with neutral in the center of the slot. I rock crawl and that is a bit taxing on all of the running gear as well. When it comes back I expect to find the next point of failure! :)
 

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It's not my responsibility to adjust that cable! Don't make excuses, this is totally Honda's fault. I can stand on the edge of a cliff all day long too as long as I don't fall! Their reputation is ruined with me after this. How is the customer to know to adjust the cable? The first indication most people have that anything is wrong is the bang you talk about. Inexcusable on Honda and their dealers! Ours did that shit 2 minutes after we rolled it off the trailer brand new. At the 120 mile service, I told them what was going on. They said they adjusted it but apparently they didn't get it done right. I then tried adjusting it and it was better for a while. But it was on its way to the grave yard at that point, I just didn't know it yet. As for other machines not lasting, well I know farmers around here who have run Polaris rangers for 10 years and have not even changed belts! Is Polaris as good as Honda, no, not as a whole! But what this proves is that if you take care of them they'll last. In the end, they are all made like crap these days and I suppose I rolled the dice and lost a 20 thousand dollar bet! I have a 2002 Jeep TJ wrangler X with 132,000 miles. Got it used for $8,500. It goes just about anywhere the talon will. 18 years old and going strong! Talon bought new for $20,000, made it to 1,200 miles. 11 months old...already in the nursing home!
actually it is your responsibility to check the cable. If you read the manual it even says that. do you never check the oil in your car and if the oil runs out before an oil change do you blame the oil change guy for not coming to your house and checking the oil every thousand miles to make sure that you have the proper lever level of oil? The answer that is no. Honda put in the manual to check the cable and if you do check it you will not have a problem. I am sorry that you are having problems but the reason Honda is not willing to replace the sub transmission is because it's not a problem for people following their directions and adjusting the cable. That is why after thousands of miles of abusive testing that they did they didn't have a problem because they adjusted the cable. They put that in the manual and if you choose to not follow it then that is your own ignorance and it is not Hondas ignorance. Yes I believe the shift cable should have been a rod like Polaris does use but that does not make it weak It just makes it needing adjustment to keep it within its working operation zone. This is not an excuse this is just the facts. And I have off-roaded Jeeps most of my life and I can tell you that my Honda Talon can go places and take abuse that my Jeep could never take.

And the farmer analogy. Seriously farmers do not abuse their machines they do use them but that is nothing like what off-roading does do to a machine. I know a guy with a Honda Pioneer with 40,000 miles on it and it has been off-roaded majority of its life. Like I said no other brand has done that and if so please can you bring me an example of it. A farmer using his machine for 10 years and having less than 5,000 mi on it is nothing in comparison.
The problem is is that everybody who has had a sub transmission problem wants to blame Honda and act like they should not have to have adjusted their cable. But people with lots of miles on their Honda Talon and have properly adjusted their cable do not use that excuse. They just make sure their cable is adjusted properly and drive with smiles on their face. Actually I'm one of those guys! :)
 

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@jman I I do understand your position of being frustrated with what happened and I am sorry that it did! I am100% sure that if get it fixed and keep your cable adjusted you be enjoying it for all your other anniversaries! I hope you get it fixed and figured out!! It's to much fun of a machine to not be out enjoying it! ;)
 

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The first indication people have that anythings wrong is the bang you talked about. Its inexcusable on Honda and their dealers! Ours did that crap 2 minutes after we rolled it off the trailer brand new.
You just keep on drinking that koolaid Hometeam.
Not everyone uses those Honda blinders.
 

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You just keep on drinking that koolaid Hometeam.
Not everyone uses those Honda blinders.
Lol! The funny thing is is I own right now 2 other brands and have owned other brands also. So unlike you (I am assuming) I've tasted most every other brand of Kool-Aid and it tastes like crap. My Polaris that I own doesn't leave a weekend of off-roading without needing to be fixed. Every Polaris that we ride with I have either towed it for 45 minutes to an hour out of the trails or I have gone and picked up the truck to help them. Once again not Kool-Aid but real life experiences. I currently own a Honda, Yamaha, and Polaris.... I also run the living piss out of my Honda. I hit every black that I can find and I hit them hard. It has been on its side, on its roof and buried in mud and water. I also did that with my 2 Honda pioneers that I owned before this and the only thing that ruined a pioneer was hitting a tree at 60 mph. So I guess you can say the Kool-Aid does taste good and it's always been there when I wanted to drink it. And I can't say that for the other brands. Actually two weeks ago in West Virginia I spent six hours getting the Yamaha out of the trail. Both the Hondas will still running strong. There are people with blinders on I'm just not one of them. I actually was a fan of the other brands until I finally bought a Honda and quit fixing it. To each there own!
 
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