THE HONDA TALON IS A HOME RUN!
We finally got to run it hard
2019 Honda Talon 1000R
Dirt Wheels is in Hurricane, Utah at the 2019 Honda Talon introduction. Today we tested this significant new machine at the famed Sand Hollow State Park riding area. Sand Hollow combines red sand dunes with slick-rock crawling. In between these extremes are sand trails that get exceptionally rough and whooped. That was especially true today since the area has been pounded with rain. Compounding the situation, many of the sandy trails are just a thin layer of sand over ledged rock, so you are basically hitting rock whoops with a covering of sand.
We spent much of the day carving rough and fast trails, somewhat less chopping across the rock routes and, finally, some rock crawling. Honda has always claimed that the Talon had amazing high-speed manners in the rough, and we proved that was true. Because of the recent wet weather, many of the rough trails were also carved into ruts. Despite the challenge of the conditions, the Talon 1000R stayed calm and composed. The handling remains light and fun no matter what the conditions.
We swapped between the normal auto mode for the Dual Clutch Transmission, the sport auto mode and the manual mode. All work well and have advantages for certain conditions. We also spent a fair amount of time in low range for the technical climbs and steps.
As impressed as we were with the handling in the fast rough, and with the engine performance and cab comfort, it was the I4WD that somewhat stole the show. Honda employs I4WD rather than accept the negative traits of a locking front differential. It uses computerized smart braking to keep any of the four wheels from spinning. It measures the force required to freeze the spinning, low-traction wheel, then channels roughly four times that force to the wheel that has traction. We tackled rock steps that that were smeared with mud, greasy with rain and layered with sand. In addition, we often had mud on the tires as well. We expected the tires to slide, hop and smoke, but it pulled off amazingly difficult, vertical and cambered messes without a millimeter of drama.
For today we had only the Honda Talon 1000R. Tomorrow we put the somewhat more trail oriented Talon 1000X through its paces, but for today we are just pumped with the Talon 1000R. It is a great addition to the normally aspirated sport UTV field. It bring a product to the class that is completely different from anything else offered, and it works. Stay tuned for info on the X.