The 2019 Honda Talon is the first pure sport side-by-side to come from the brand, so the question is, how does it stack up to the competition?
Honda says it benchmarked the naturally aspirated competition for the Honda Talon which means the competitive set is made up of the Polaris RZR XP 1000, Yamaha YXZ and the Textron Wildcat XX. The Can-Am Maverick X3 is turbocharged in all forms now, but the base Maverick model isn’t far off from the Honda, so lets run down the specs.
The new Honda Talon is powered by a 999cc twin cylinder engine that makes 104 horsepower. Two models are available, the 1000R and 1000X, the first of which is all about high-speed running while the X is all about maneuverability and precise handling. Suspension travel for the R is superior thanks to FOX 2.5 shocks, good for 20.1-inches of travel in the back and 17.7-inches up front. The X model gets a little less travel from FOX 2.0 shocks, measuring 15.1-inches of travel in the rear and 14.6-inches in the front.
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.
The wheelbase comes in at 92.7-inches for the R model and 87.6-inches for the X.
So, how do the competitors stack up? Let’s take a look.
The Polaris RZR XP1000 is powered by a 999cc four-stroke DOHC twin cylinder that makes 110 horsepower, outgunning the Honda by a little bit. Wheel travel comes in the middle between the two Honda models, with the RZR getting 16-inches of travel in the front and 18-inches in the back. Weight for the RZR comes in at 1,448 pounds. Ground clearance is 14-inches, the best of the bunch, and the wheelbase is 90 inches.
Next up, the Yamaha YXZ. The YXZ 1000R model comes in at 112 horsepower from its 998cc inline three-cylinder engine. Suspension travel comes in at 16.2-inches in the front and 17-inches in the rear, while the YXZ’s weight measures in at 1521 pounds. Ground clearance measures in at 13.2 inches and the wheelbase is 90.5-inches.
The entry from Textron is the most powerful naturally aspirated machine in the sport segment, with the Wildcat XX offering 130 horsepower from its 998cc engine. Ground clearance measures in at 14 inches, while wheel travel measures 18-inches in the front and rear. Wheelbase sits at 95 inches and curb weight comes in at 1,868 pounds.
Though it’s not really supposed to be compared to turbocharged models, we have to take a look don’t we? The Can-Am Maverick X3 packs 120 horsepower from the base model and comes with 20-inches of suspension travel. It’s also bigger than everything else here with a wheelbase of 102 inches. Ground clearance is 14 inches and curb weight is 1470 pounds.
So it looks like the Honda Talon is quite competitive, though it’s a little down on power compared to everything else here. The Talon’s dual-clutch transmission is unique in the segment which will set it apart, but the most important aspect will be how the price fits into the segment.