I posted 3 videos of Moab rock crawling with the Honda Talon, and will just provide the link in at the bottom of this post.
My thoughts so far:
I have now done several 8, and 9 out of 10 level rides in Moab with the Honda Talon. I was pitted against a heavily modified RZR Rock&Trails machine, for comparison. I found the Talon to far exceed my expectations in really hard stuff. There may be some advantages to the 55% clutch reduction in the RZR, but on this level of difficulty the Talon kept up or did better. I have also owned a SXS with a Diff-Lock, and I can tell you, for 95% of tough terrain in Moab, the Talon i4wheel drive absolutely kills a locking diff. Whether that's Pritchett Canyon or Cliff hanger, I will take a i4wheel drive that I can turn with, accurately, any day over a Diff-Loc. A locking diff can cause serious problems and mechanical issues unless you know when and when not to use it. Lots of failures on X3 turbos with a Diff locks if you punch it. Bad breaks in very bad places.
I also loved the instant throttle of the Talon that some feel is jerky. I hate belt driven delay. I've come from a motocross racing background and nothing feels more unsafe than a belt slipping when I want to know where the power is and I have a 1400 foot drop next to me. Another factor, at least in Moab, is we got way ahead of many groups, because we could go 2mph to 60mph, without EVER needing to shift between low and High. After doing that a hundred times, you get way, way ahead of any machine that has to keep stop and starting to go in and out of Low/High. Only a YXZ can keep that pace up. The 6 speed manual lets you hit up to 67 mph plus with 32" tires in LOW range. Regarding, fire-roads and easy stuff, in high range, we cruised thru stuff doing 75mph feeling like it was 40mph in another SXS. Just amazing travel and handling on the Talon.
The gear box is so underrated in the reviews!!!
The 6 speed manual transmission with a magical auto clutch, really can not be compared to any Rubber-Band (belt) machine. It is where all the fun is at. You just have to drive it hard and you will be sold instantly in the fun department. It's like shifting a two stroke dirt bike down a loamy trail, but the machine is shifting up and down perfectly. So FUN!!! I was able to get up a dune hill that not even turbo X'3s were making in Moab, because they were worried about burning a belt, and I could manually control the shifting with, and once again, the elegant i4wheel drive the Honda has.
The moral implication of a Polaris:
The 900 machine you are coming off of, is a reliable Polaris for the most part, but stepping into a turbo or just a 1000 you need to accept the lack of quality and things you will invest to keep it going. I am beginning to feel people are in the dark, and EVERY SINGLE Polaris RZR should ship with an honesty statement; maybe as two giant flags. FLAG 1 is the Mexican Flag, saying, " I bought this assembled RZR to support open borders and unfair labor practices," and FLAG 2 saying, " I proudly support Communism, don't value human rights, and LOVE Polaris for selling out American Jobs." Keep in mind that both Honda and Yamaha have American Factories their SXS's come out from. I owned a YXZ and was blown away with how much labor and parts where coming out of the USA plant. The Talon is also coming out of a USA plant in limited american parts/labor, but its miles beyond what Polaris is doing. That may not be a factor at all for you, but having USA alternatives that support American jobs did factor in for me. Plus, not paying import fees, and getting one at $19K, leaves me money for fun stuff, and with the Polaris, for real rock climbing, you will invest in axels, drivelines, replace the crap china made copies of the walker evan springs, suspension, linkage, clutch mods, sway bar, a ton of belts if you get a turbo, not for fun but to replace the poor fabricated parts. I know this because I've spent hours helping my friends install all that crap.
Working on it:
The Honda is a dream to work on. Things are insanely easy to access and the machine is over built. The full shop manual is well written and accurate. Electrical, is well labeled, Oil changes are cake to do! All the plastic parts and snaps are perfect. Seam lines between plastic is the same all the way around. Look a RZR next to another RZR and they gap between the plastic panels is never the same. Look at the welds on a RZR, say on the linkage, and count the crappy bead marks, it won't be the same on the opposite side of the machine, and for sure those welds will differ on every machine. The Honda, is exactly the same on each side, exactly the same on each different machine. Why pay more, for a machine that's built like junk? Honda is quality all the way down to the washers they use.
I feel the valving is stiff a bit, with the Talon, but not really the springs. There is too much hype about being stiff on the Talon and most people don't understand it's the fluid dynamics at hand that need to be altered for rock crawling. However, the 4 seater is probably not a comparison here, and has that issue solved due to the difference in suspension.
Last thing, is one of our group members , on the last day of our Moab trip, was so impressed with ours easing thru Moab Rim, they rented a Talon that had been heavily used only in Moab, with 5,000 miles on it. We took them on Behind The Rocks/Pritchett. The Rental Talon looked as though it had even been rolled. I drove it, and there was not one squeak or noise. It was so solid, it handled and felt new. It was well abused. That if anything, that heavily rented Talon was a huge statement to me. Rent an X3, or an XP turbo and you need headphones to drown out the rattles and squeaks.
Scottymac excellent review. I was just wondering about the i4wheel in Moab. I don’t think Honda, or at least Honda marketing knows what they have
View attachment 267