Upgrades to 2022 Honda Talons Improve Driving Experience
- Talon 1000R
- Talon 1000R FOX Live Valve
- Talon 1000X
- Talon 1000X FOX Live Valve
- Talon 1000X-4
- Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve
Since entering the sport side-by-side market just four years ago, the Honda Talon family has already established itself among the top entrants in the segment, quickly growing and evolving to address the needs of drivers in different regions and with varying driving preferences. The Talon platform has been a hit in the marketplace and even in competition, with Jeff Proctor’s Honda Talon Factory Racing squad having taken the Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated class win in the 2021 SCORE International Baja 1000, as well as the UTV Stock Normally Aspirated win at the 2022 King of the Hammers and the UTV Pro Normally Aspirated win in the 2022 Mint 400.
Even so, Honda continues to improve its sport side-by-side lineup, as made clear by the six-member family of 2022 Talon offerings. With updates to the styling, interior, driver interface and more, the Honda Talon maximizes enjoyment for driver and passengers alike, proving that Life is Better Side-by-Side.
NEW FOR 2022
For the new model year, Honda engineers focused on improving the drive experience through updates in a number of areas, particularly the driver/passenger cabin:
- Relocated Meter: For improved visibility, the meter is now relocated directly behind the steering wheel, and an extended sun visor reduces glare. The background color is now different as well.
- Switch Panel: To facilitate integration of electric accessories, a new pre-wired switch panel now resides in the meter’s old location.
- Under-seat Storage: On both four-seat versions, a convenient new storage space is added under the driver seat – ideal for items like tools, jackets, snacks, beverage bottles and more. A cargo net keeps contents in place during rough driving.
- Reshaped Paddle Shifters: To facilitate manual gear-changes during dynamic steering maneuvers, the steering-column-mounted shift paddles have been extended by over half an inch on top and by more than an inch on the bottom, while matching the contours of the previous outer edge. As a result, access is greatly facilitated, regardless of where the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel.
- Improved Mud Protection: By adding rubber sealing to the floor area around all seats, engineers have better isolated the driver and passengers from mud and water.
- Revised Ignition Timing: To deliver smoother transitions from deceleration to acceleration, ignition is momentarily retarded to reduce engine torque and shock.
- i-4WD Upgrade: To speed up reaction time and improve performance with larger aftermarket tires, Honda retuned its high-tech i-4WD system for a more-aggressive torque transfer.
- Launch Control: Previously only available on certain trim levels, launch control is now standard on all Talon versions.
- Updated Styling: The front fascia and bumper have been updated for a bold new look, and new graphics round out the aesthetic improvements.
Honda offers the Talon 1000 in four two-seat versions and a pair of four-seat iterations. All six of these sport side-by-sides are designed with off-road excitement, precision and quality in mind, and all share Honda’s 999cc parallel-twin engine. However, each is developed to specialize in a particular application.
- Talon 1000R: With a 68.4-inch width and a 92.7-inch wheelbase, the R is appropriate for when bump absorption and more rugged, wide-open terrain are the priority. Front and rear wheel-travel figures are 17.7 inches and 20.1 inches, respectively.
- Talon 1000R FOX Live Valve: While its width, wheelbase and suspension configuration are identical to the standard R, this Talon version features technology garnered from Honda’s close working relationship with Fox and Bosch®, both leaders in their respective categories. The FOX Live Valve system automatically adjusts damping on each shock independently, for reduced bottoming, pitch and roll. The headlights are LED on this trim level.
- Talon 1000X: Though it shares the same one-piece frame as the 1000R two-seaters, this version has a different width and wheelbase – 64.0 inches and 87.6 inches, respectively – making it maneuverable and precise, great for tackling narrow, technical trails that include frequent changes of direction. Also helping in that regard is the suspension configuration, which has front and rear wheel-travel of 14.6 and 15.1 inches.
- Talon 1000X FOX Live Valve: As one would expect, this version has the same dimensions and suspension arrangement as the standard X, but benefits from FOX Live Valve self-adjusting suspension.
- Talon 1000X-4: Start with the two-seat Talon 1000X, then open the experience up to two more passengers, and the result is this Talon four-seater. It has the same 64.0-inch width as the standard X, but its wheelbase is 116.4 inches. Front and rear wheel-travel figures are 14.6 inches and 15.0 inches, respectively.
- Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve: Adding FOX Live Valve shock absorbers to the standard X-4, this version brings self-adjusting suspension technology to Honda’s four-seater sport side-by-side platform.
DESIGN / STYLING
Already known for its advanced design and unmatched fit and finish (a Honda hallmark), the Talon 1000 family receives updates for the 2022 model year, including new front fascia and bumper, as well as stylish new graphics. Meanwhile, the interior receives upgrades to the dash, controls and seating area.
Designed in American Honda Development Division in Raymond, Ohio, the Talon’s body style represents the purest blending of function and form, an advanced, performance-based look that exudes capability. Inspired by the CRF Performance line of dirt bikes, the vehicle is dominated by a high bodyline and a body side that has a continuous flow from front to rear. The design lends the look of a serious machine, but it also serves the practical purpose of providing lateral support to the driver and passenger, for a feeling of security inside the vehicle. A pronounced, strong stance was created by placing the four wheels at the extreme corners of the vehicle, and aggressive fenders and wheel wells appear eager for speed while effectively keeping mud and debris off the vehicle and its occupants.
The Talon’s silhouette is low, and bulk is minimized. Efficient engine cooling is prioritized with motorcycle-inspired shrouds and four side vents, all of which are unique to the side-by-side world. The roof, which comes standard on all Talon versions, incorporates a front lip to keep moisture from reaching the interior (even when braking in rainy conditions), and a horizontal pass-through slit both creates a functional spoiler (providing downforce at higher speeds) and allows appropriate aerodynamics when the vehicle is towed on a trailer, whether it’s facing forward or backward.
On FOX Live Valve versions, the headlights are LED for long life and bright, uniform illumination, and feature high and low beam. Door handles are inset for a tactile reference point, and the Talon comes standard with full side nets on all doors, with rigidly mounted latches to make securing them simple and quick, even with one hand. For a positive owner experience, the lids on the hood, bed cover, battery compartment and fuse box can all be opened without tools, simplifying checks and service.
The lightweight plastic body panels are coated with automotive-grade paint for a long-lasting, top-quality look.
The design provides a comfortable driving experience for body types from the fifth to the 95th percentiles. The sport seats are wide and weather-resistant, and the driver side is adjustable via an automobile-grade slide mechanism with high-grade bearings. For 2022, added rubber sealing to the floor area better protects the driver and passengers from mud and water, and both four-seat Talons feature a new storage area under the driver seat. Three-point seatbelts are standard, but the seats come ready for a four-point belt system, for racing. A full center console separates the driver and passenger compartments for a high-tech, cockpit-like feel.
With the two four-seat versions, a great deal of engineering went into integrating rear passengers in the riding experience. Considerations for rear ingress/egress include an opening that is wide enough even for passengers wearing bulky winter gear, and the elimination of sharp edges or protrusions that could snag clothing; grab points are provided.
The steering wheel is infinitely adjustable for tilt (electric power steering is standard). For 2022, the modernized meter is located directly behind the steering wheel, and the visor has been extended, improving visibility and reducing glare. In the meter’s old location is a new pre-wired switch panel, simplifying integration of electric accessories.
An armrest and grab handle are provided in the passenger door, and there’s a rattle-free “handlebar,” complete with a quick-release adjustment lever that allows it to be easily telescoped in and out to accommodate varying physiques. There’s also a center footrest area for relaxed riding comfort, and floor drains simplify washing the vehicle. A 12V accessory adapter is standard, and even the cup holders are designed to securely hold containers of varying diameters and will accept most insulated tumblers. The bed is large enough to accept a large cooler, and six integrated tie-down points allow items to be secured for aggressive driving. A flag mount is incorporated into the rollover protection system.
Both Talon 1000X-4 models elevate the level of performance, refinement, comfort and quality, thanks to a “stadium seating” layout that offsets the rear seats 50 mm inboard and 75 mm higher compared to the front seats, improving visibility and enabling a more engaged experience for rear passengers, while also situating them away from tire spray. The backs of the front seats slope so as to provide rear passengers with best-in-class legroom and knee space, and there’s a full-length rear grab bar that has an incorporated guard to protect fingers from being pinched by the rear of the front seat. Rear drink holders, an accessory power socket and inboard door handles are provided as well.
All versions of the Talon feature a frame and suspension components that were engineered and developed at American Honda Development Division’s Raymond, Ohio, campus, for a plush ride, maximum ground clearance and precise steering response. A 44% front-end weight bias is ideal for handling and a balanced feel, and automotive-industry design concepts bring an unmatched level of engineering to the category. The frame itself is identical in all four two-seaters, and whereas the two Talon 1000X two-seat versions’ suspension and wheelbase are intended to emphasize maneuverability and precise handling, the two Talon 1000R two-seaters are intended more for high-speed tracking and large-bump absorption; all are suitable for a broad range of terrain types.
The Talon’s one-piece frame was designed and developed incorporating Honda’s vast off-road design knowledge to achieve optimum handling properties by maintaining appropriate levels of stiffness and compliance to retain consistent geometry even when pushed under the hardest loads. As a result, the vehicle behaves and responds predictability for a controlled, confidence-inspiring ride. In addition, the frame undergoes a state-of-the-art process (including an e-coat dip, oven baking, powdercoat spraying and another oven bake) that guarantees the paint quality and ensures that rust-prevention needs are met.
The front suspension is a double-wishbone design with a balance of rigidity and tuned flex for maximum precision. The two standard 1000X versions have 14.6 inches of front-wheel travel; front travel is 14.4 inches on the two FOX Live Valve 1000X versions. The 1000X versions’ Multi Link rear system has a high-positioned trailing arm for improved ground clearance and provides 15.0 inches of travel (15.1 inches on the Talon 1000X two-seater).
The double-wishbone front-suspension system of the two Talon 1000R versions provides 17.7 inches of front-wheel travel; at the rear, the Multi Link suspension design limits toe change to only 0.3 degrees through the entire 20.1 inches of stroke, for excellent alignment control.
All six Talon 1000 versions are equipped with Fox Podium shock absorbers, developed and tuned through rigorous testing in extreme terrain. Each version’s suspension is designed with its specific performance mission in mind.
On the three standard Talons, the Quick Switch 3 adjustment system offers tool-less selection between three significantly different damping settings (comfort, sport and aggressive/loaded). This simplified tuning system encourages adjustment for changing conditions and also allows a quick visual check to ensure all corners are running the same settings.
Of course, the three FOX Live Valve Talons deliver even quicker, automatic adjustment via a proprietary control system that can go through the shocks’ entire adjustment range in 20 milliseconds (less than one-fifth the blink of an eye!) and has a sample rate of 200 times per second, maximizing versatility by determining the best compression-damping setting for each shock based on vehicle conditions and behavior. The system constantly monitors variables including compression speed, steering, braking, throttle position, rpm, vehicle weight, selected gear, vehicle speed and vehicle orientation. Leveraging advanced algorithms and a sophisticated five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) offering ultra-fast communication speed through enhanced signal quality, the system electronically adjusts the individual shock absorbers accordingly.
The system delivers exceptional ride quality with reduced lateral roll and longitudinal pitch – but with no need for a ride-compromising stabilizer bar, and improved tracking and steering response. Two suspension modes – Normal and Sport – are operated independently of the Talon’s selectable engine drive modes and have different characteristics. In Normal, the shocks stay subtler to absorb small irregularities, while in Sport the shocks ride higher in the travel to keep more stroke in reserve for big impacts. The “sting” of deep whoop sections and g-outs is reduced, yet the ride is plush and smooth in uneven, rocky or rooted terrain.
- Talon 1000X: For quick response over rocks and other obstacles, shock bodies are 2.0 inches in diameter, and shock shafts are 5/8 inches.
- Talon 1000X FOX Live Valve: Shock absorbers are larger on this version, at 2.5 inch bodies and 7/8-inch shafts.
- Talon 1000X-4: The standard four-seat version features a mix of shock sizes, with 2.0-inch bodies in front and 2.5-inch bodies at the rear.
- Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve: This four-seat version of the Talon 1000 has 2.5-inch bodies at all four corners.
- Talon 1000R: For minimal fade despite the high loads of driving wide-open through rough terrain, shock bodies are 2.5 inches and shock shafts are 7/8 inches. The shocks use dual-rate springs for a progressive suspension feel, with plushness at the beginning of the stroke and strong holdup and stability as more travel is used up.
- Talon 1000R FOX Live Valve: Again, this two-seat version of the Talon 1000 has 2.5-inch bodies at all four corners.
The 28×9-15 front and 28×11-15 rear tires are specific to the Talon models and the result of a joint effort between Honda and Maxxis to develop ideal traction, damping, feel and wear characteristics.
Endless well-thought-out details result in a satisfying driving experience, and that approach extends to the braking system, which delivers excellent vehicle handling under braking. All six Talon trim levels utilize 34 mm twin-piston hydraulic front calipers and 34 mm single-piston rear calipers, with 250 mm brake rotors at all corners. The system uses low-expansion brake hoses and a 17 mm master cylinder, resulting in precise braking feel so that drivers can effectively modulate force to suit the conditions.
The brake-pad compound was developed to achieve performance-level friction and feel, along with excellent wear life. Brake noise is minimized through the placement of rubber shims between the brake pads and calipers/pistons. The brake pedal has a trapezoid shape and a position that is 4.3 inches to the side of and 1.3 inches back from the accelerator pedal, for seamless transitioning between the foot controls.
All six trim levels of Talon come with integrated, injection-molded skid plates to protect components and help the vehicle glide off of obstacles. The rear skid plate has labeled access holes for the tow hook and engine-drain bolts, so removal of the plate isn’t necessary during oil changes.
The driveshaft boots, traditionally components that are susceptible to damage in off-road driving, are well-protected on the Talon, as outboard guards provide maximum coverage, even during turning and through the full range of suspension travel, whereas inboard boots are positioned behind the suspension A-arms.
A number of protective parts are available as Honda Accessories, including a choice of aluminum or steel front and rear bumpers; steel nerf bars, rubber floor mats. The available rear A-arm guards, trailing-arm guards, frame and skid plates are all made in high-molecular-weight polyethylene, known for its high impact strength.
ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN
All six Talons share the same performance-tuned 999cc four-valve Unicam® parallel-twin engine. Developed in Japan by Honda Motor, and produced at the Kumamoto plant, the water-cooled engine features a 270-degree cross-plane crankshaft.
Bore-and-stroke specifications are an over-square 92.0 x 75.2 mm, and a “spiny sleeve” cylinder has small protrusions on its outer surface, enhancing the adhesion between the steel sleeve and the aluminum barrel. This leads to improved cooling and a reduction in the bore distortion commonly caused by the dissimilar expansion rates of the two materials, so blow-by gas and oil consumption are minimized.
The engine is mounted longitudinally in the frame, eliminating unnecessary right angles in the driveline so that an efficient transfer of power to the rear wheels is possible, resulting in strong acceleration. The Talon can be switched between two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive on the fly – and even during situations of wheel spin – via a dash-mounted switch.
To reduce engine vibration transmitted to the chassis, yet also withstand the rigors of spirited driving, the engine is attached to the frame using four rubber mounts.
Utilizing the latest simulation engineering software, an intake-port shape was developed for optimum airflow at the point of cylinder entry, resulting in both strong, performance-tuned power, along with reliability and good fuel economy.
To minimize reciprocating mass in the cylinder head, the engine employs an arrangement similar to that of the CRF450R motocrosser, with a Unicam valve-train configuration and four valves per cylinder. Roller rocker arms have friction-reducing bearings where they contact their own cam lobes. Valve adjustment is via a shim-under-bucket arrangement.
Intake / Exhaust
The engine intake scoop is positioned behind the front passenger door for effective reduction of dust reaching the air filter, allowing stronger performance, improved durability and reduced maintenance.
The engine sound was carefully considered to deliver a satisfying driving experience; three resonators—each tuned for a different frequency—provide a strong, exciting air-intake sound, and a connector between the twin exhaust headers tunes the exhaust note for a rich tone.
The dry-sump engine design pulls oil from below the crank and into an integrated tank and is engineered to circulate oil at a consistent rate even during aggressive cornering, jumping, climbing, descending and in rough conditions. In addition to the valve-train oil injectors, the engine incorporates two multi-point oil jets, one beneath each piston, to spray four-stream jets of oil. This maximizes power and durability by lowering piston temperatures.
To keep the engine operating within its optimum temperature range, the cooling system was tested and proven in hot, harsh conditions, and it uses the highest-capacity cooling fan and radiator of any Honda four-wheel powersports product; the radiator is 1.1 inches thick, and its face measures 15.7 inches by 14.2 inches. Maximizing efficiency at the low speeds common in technical sport side-by-side driving, a 13.4 inch, eight-blade fan pulls air through the radiator.
All Talon versions are ready for the grueling conditions typical of sport side-by-side driving, with a largest-in-class driveshaft and robust U-joints for excellent impact survival and torsional strength. The driveshaft components have been positioned up high in the chassis, maximizing ground clearance and reducing susceptibility to damage. A first in a Honda powersports vehicle, a spiral bevel gear is used at the rear, for reduced whine compared to a straight-cut gear.
DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION
Honda debuted the Dual Clutch Transmission for production powersports use on the 2010 VFR1200F sport-touring motorcycle, and in the subsequent dozen years, the technology has been offered on Honda adventure bikes, touring machines, ATVs and side-by-sides. Honda has accumulated experience and improved the technology along the way, and while similar systems can be found in a number of high-performance sports cars, DCT remains a Honda exclusive in powersports.
As the name indicates, DCT uses two clutches that are controlled by sophisticated electronics and hydraulics. One clutch, which rides on a hollow outer shaft, controls odd-numbered gear sets (1, 3, 5); the other clutch rides on an inner shaft and controls even-numbered gear sets (2, 4, 6). Multiple gears are engaged simultaneously so that the transmission is constantly prepared for the next shift. Data, collected by a series of sensors, is processed by the ECU, which uses an advanced algorithm to determine when the shift-control motor should electronically trigger gear-changes. At those moments, one clutch disengages and the other engages, resulting in shifts that are quick, smooth and seamless. A geared transmission that shifts automatically, DCT enables a direct, connected feeling between the foot pedal and the wheels, as well as an efficient transfer of power. It also boasts durability, flexibility, true engine braking and quick, smooth gear changes.
The Talon’s six-speed DCT offers two fully automatic modes: Drive and Sport. The former allows the engine to operate at a lower rpm, for relaxed driving or in situations where reducing load on the drivetrain results in smoother driving over rough terrain, and the latter holds gears longer, shifting up or down at higher rpm for more aggressive driving.
There’s also a Manual mode that gives the driver full control over the transmission, enabling him or her to change gears up or down via a pair of easily reachable, steering-column-mounted paddles, for heads-up driving. For 2022, the paddles have been lengthened to make them easier to reach during dynamic steering maneuvers. Even when driving in either of the two automatic modes, the system can be overridden via use of these paddles, with the transmission returning to automatic mode several seconds after each shift.
During acceleration, the Talon’s DCT provides the visceral and audible thrill of running through the gears with a sport-oriented feel and sound, no matter the selected mode. In addition, the Ignition Feedback Control system allows for quick torque reduction during shifting, for fast, precise gear changes.
The Talon’s DCT has high oil flow to the clutch to minimize heat, and the dash has a clutch-temperature indicator. The Talon also has a sub-transmission that provides a full range, effectively doubling the number of gears.
Even the reverse gear has been optimized for Sport use, to ease exiting from tight situations.
Leveraging the technological capability and know-how of its auto division, Honda equips the Talon family with industry-leading cutting-edge features that greatly enhance the driving experience.
Honda’s i-4WD is the powersports industry’s first and only off-road brake traction control system (BTCS), and it has been specifically adapted to sport side-by-side use for the Talon. The system manages the amount of slip between left and right front wheels, applying torque to the one with greater grip. The result is excellent traction and tracking performance in tough off-road conditions, with reduced steer effort and kickback compared to a standard differential lock.
The system also incorporates an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system that strategically applies braking force to optimize stability under braking, minimizing rear-chassis lift when in two-wheel drive.
Hill Start Assist
To simplify re-starting after stops on ascents, the driver has the option of pressing a Hill Start Assist button (HSA) on the dash, thereby temporarily holding the vehicle in place without the need to apply pressure on the brake pedal. As a result, more mental bandwidth can be dedicated to modulating the throttle to resume motion.
For 2022, all Talon versions come standard with an electronic Launch Mode. Activated via a dash-mounted switch and a simple sequence of shift-paddle and accelerator-pedal movements, Launch Control enables wide-open-throttle starts from a dead stop, significantly reducing acceleration time and minimizing work for the driver since the automatic transmission manages upshifts. Once forward movement is initiated, a control program monitors the sensors at all four wheels and automatically reduces torque to low-traction wheels to minimize yaw and keep the vehicle tracking straight even on surfaces with uneven traction between the left and right tires.
Catering to side-by-side enthusiasts’ penchant for vehicle customization, Honda offers a wide array of accessories for the Talon 1000 family, including new items for 2022. In all, over 60 accessories are available.
WARRANTY: Transferable one-year limited warranty; extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan
- Meets current EPA and CARB off-road emissions standards
- Recommended for drivers 16 years of age and older