No more leaks, spy photos, or guessing games: the 2019 Honda Talon has officially arrived.
Honda is getting into the pure sport side-by-side world with the new Talon, a two-seat machine that will be offered in two different variants: the 64-inch wide 1000X for precise handling and maneuverability or the 68-inch wide 1000R, designed for eating big whoops in the desert at high speeds.
Driving both models is the same powerplant, a 999cc liquid-cooled Unicam OHC longitudinally mounted parallel-twin four-stroke with four valves per cylinder making a full 104 horsepower. And though they are closely related, this isn’t just the same old 1000 from the Pioneer, packing a larger 46mm throttle body, larger injectors, a new intake port, new cylinder heads, and a more aggressive cam profile resulting in more power and torque throughout the entire rev range. Four rubber engine mounts are used to keep this powerplant in place.
Honda’s i-4WD system has been employed with the new machine, which means the Talon uses a locking differential in the rear along with a torque-biasing limited-slip differential in the front that uses brake-based traction control to direct power to the wheel that needs it most.
Stopping is handled by 34mm twin-piston front calipers and 34mm single-piston rear calipers.
Suspension is really where the differences emerge between the 1000R and 1000X, starting with the fact that the X is 64-inches wide while the R sits at 68.4-inches wide. The R gets a 4-link trailing arm in the rear, dual a-arms up front and FOX Podium 2.5 shocks, good for 20.1-inches of travel at the back and 17.7-inches in the front. The shocks use a progressive rate for the best bottom-out resistance and have three different adjustability settings controlled by clickers on the shocks.
Suspension on the X model is a 3-link trailing arm offering paired with FOX 2.0 shocks offering 15.1-inches of travel in the rear and a dual a-arm front with 14.6-inches of travel. Ground clearance measures in at 12.7-inches for the X model, while the R sits at 13-inches.
Weight is a little different between the models, thanks to all the suspension the R tips the scales at 1545 pounds while the X weighs in at 1490 pounds. The weight split is 44 percent front and 56 rear for good stability in bumps and while jumping.
Tires are specially designed Maxxis units, measuring in at 28x 9-15 in the front front and 28×11-15 out back.
On the interior, Honda included automotive style seats along with a tilting steering wheel, an adjustable passenger grab bar, ergonomic footrests, oversized cup holders, color-matched seats, painted interior panels and a centralized instrument configuration. A cargo bed is included on the back of the Talon that is rated to carry up to 299 pounds, and Honda says it can handle a large cooler.
Just like on the Pioneer, Honda has also included two systems it learned building cars: Electronic brakeforce distribution and hill-start assist. EBD works by varying the amount of brake pressure going from front-to-rear to keep all four wheels in better contact with the ground, while hill-start assist is activated at the push of a button and will hold the Talon on a hill to avoid rolling backwards.
A plastic roof comes standard, designed with special louvres for air flow control while towing, and full doors are also standard, though for more protection, you’ll have to see the accessory line. A full lineup of over 40 different accessories have already been designed for the Talon, including mirrors, a Bluetooth audio system, cargo bags, bumpers, trailing arm guards, a-arm guards, side skid plates, aluminum roof and more.
For competition, the Talon most squarely lines up with the Polaris RZR XP 1000, which makes just a little more power at 110hp and offers 16- and 18-inches of travel in the front and rear.
Pricing for the Talon has not yet been set and availability is supposed to begin in Spring of 2019.