Enthusiasts in the UTV industry have been hearing reports for months, of a Sport SxS from Honda that would allow them to gain a foothold in the market. Now that the 1000X and 1000R have finally debuted, we can start to get a picture of how it will compare to segment leaders like the Polaris RZR, Yamaha YXZ, and Can-Am Maverick X3.
As Honda is traditionally a fairly conservative brand, there were concerns that their first entry to the Sport UTV segment, wouldn’t hit quite as hard as what we saw with the original RZR. Luckily sitting on the sidelines has allowed them to determine the direction of the industry and key areas to focus on.
The drivetrain at the heart of this new machine is something that we are all familiar with. The RZR runs on a 999cc ProStar twin-cylinder four-stroke, high output motor that delivers an impressive 110 hp. Honda has come close with their 999cc Unicam Parallel twin motor that can be found in models like the Pioneer 1000 and Africa Twin. For the Talon this motor has been tuned to deliver 104 hp, and it’s mated to a sport-tuned version of their six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. There is even a manual mode for those who want to row their own gears via paddle shifters. The transmission gives you six high range and six low range gears, making it a capable rock crawler. Also, since it is a DCT transmission there is no pesky CVT lag.
The Polaris RZR XP 1000 runs on independent dual A-arms up front and trailing arms in the ear. The Walkers Evans Racing shocks have 16 inches of travel in the front and 18 inches of travel in the rear. Ground clearance sits at 14 inches and it rolls on 29-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires. Up front, the Talon 1000X has a dual wishbone independent suspension with 14.6 inches in travel in the Fox QS3 shocks. Honda has developed a three-link trailer arm setup for the rear on the 1000X, which provides 15.1 inches of travel and 12.7 inches of ground clearance. It will roll on 28-inch tires, mounted to 15-inch aluminum wheels.
You don’t become a segment leader by being uncomfortable and the Talon 1000X follows many of the traits found in the RZR. Expect high-back bolstered seats, comfortable seatbelts and easy to reach controls for the driver and passenger.
Honda’s new entry into the Sport SxS segment isn’t set to launch until sometime this spring. Pricing hasn't been disclosed, but we expect it will start just south of $18k. New details should emerge over the coming weeks.