UTV PROJECT: XTC POWER PRODUCTS 2019 HONDA TALON TURBO
First to fast By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Chris Leaming is a facilitator. He and his father Rob are partners in Gilbert, Arizona-based XTC Power Products. They moved there to grow their company that specializes in UTV electronic parts, such as street-legal turn-signal kits, and switch and wiring solutions. Rob and Chris have owned and built a large number of machines over the years. Despite not owning many Hondas lately, Leaming describes himself as a “Honda guy.” Among his current machines are a scratch-built, 450-horsepower, not-a-Polaris RZR-based, Suburu-engined monster and a race Polaris RZR, but when Honda introduced the Talon 1000R, Chris had to have one.
Buying one was the easy part, but in addition to being a fan, he is a business owner. XTC needs to stay up on the latest machines, and all of his mod machines are also calling cards for the company. Once he had his Talon, he determined that its build needed to be finished in time for the Sand Sports Super Show, and that didn’t leave a lot of time.
MAKING IT HAPPEN
Honda is working with Jackson Racing on a turbo kit, but upon researching it, he found that availability was months past when he needed his build completed. Instead of letting others do the R&D on a turbo, he worked with Silber Turbos, Agency Power and Dynojet to make sure that his Talon Turbo had all the thrills that he is accustomed to. Silber came up with the turbo system, Agency Power had an intercooler and an exhaust system. Leaming and crew installed the mix of products and relied on Dynojet to make sure the correct amount of fuel arrived when it was needed. Apparently, Chris was impressed with the work from Dynojet. In his notes he listed the cost of the Dynojet tuning as “priceless.”
Even if this Talon wasn’t destined to be a calling card that represents his company, we doubt that Rob and Chris would have allowed the look to remain stock. This car is driven—and driven hard—only in dirt and sand. That doesn’t matter. We get the idea that the Leamings don’t settle for ordinary, pedestrian or slovenly vehicles. Wolf Designs started by giving the car a coat of eye-searing red paint, and then it topped the car with an awesome but clean and classy wrap.
Establishing the whole profile of the car—and adding safety—is a quality roll cage constructed with drawn-over-mandrel seamless steel tubing. Each tube is precision-fitted and TIG-welded. Titan Fabrication makes the cage, but they are sold only through XTC.
That wasn’t enough, though, and a set of sweet Walker Evans 15-inch beadlock wheels and Milestar Patagonia 32-inch tires literally elevated the rolling stock. A stock Talon has 15-inch rims but with 28-inch tires.
We know this Talon is fast, but it is highly unlikely that it requires the downforce from that sweet-looking NRG Innovations carbon fiber wing! Joining the wing in making a visual statement are the cage-mounted speakers for the Rockford Fosgate stereo system and a variety of KC HiLiTES LED lights on the cage and the front bumper. Naturally, while the wing is for style and visual punch, the stereo and lights serve a definite purpose.
Following the theme of parts that look cool but also work are Simpson seats and harnesses in colors that complement the car. The seats are joined by a dash packed full of—no surprise—XTC Power Products switches and panels. XTC specializes in wiring solutions that allow you to add electrical components without having to chop into the wiring harness. XTC has wiring solutions that match up with stock wiring loom plugs. In this case the new switches handle power for the stereo, the XTC street-legal lighting kit with turn signals, the Rugged Radios car-to-car radio and passenger-topassenger intercom, as well as a Rugged Radios clean air system that mates to a Simpson carbon fiber air helmet. Finally, one of the switches controls the KFI winch mounted behind the front bumper. All of the installation and switches look like they could have come from the factory.
THE LITTLE THINGS
There are a lot of detail items that make a big difference in the look, comfort, safety and longevity of a build. A lot of the details here come from Assault and Axia Alloys. In the com-fort column there’s the Assault steering wheel and mounting hub. In the convenience and safety area are the Axia mirrors and fire extinguisher kit. Labeled as safety and longevity are the Assault tie-rods and radius rods. Both types of rods are heavy-duty, but they also look great.
HOW IT ROLLS
Those who have followed Dirt Wheels know that we love the control of the interesting Honda 4+-link rear suspension. We are not as enthused with the ride comfort, and Leaming agreed. He chose to ease the preload on the shocks and lowered the ride height of the machine. Between the suspension adjustment and the larger-diameter tires, the ride was vastly improved.
Never one to leave a project anywhere below the pinnacle of performance, XTC has added a long-travel kit and shocks since we drove and rode in the car. No doubt that is a welcome addition, but we were most pleased with the suspension we felt at the time.
Leaming’s Subaru Polaris rides tall and runs long, and especially compared to Leaming’s Talon “Type R.” One of the carbon fiber dash inserts features an authentic Honda Type R emblem. Like the Type R street car, the XTC Talon rides low and feels sporty, like a corner-carving street car would. And that is with the tall tires! Leaming claims that the Talon is a blast to drive, and it is extremely nimble compared to some of his other cars.
You would think that a car with a winch wouldn’t see much dune action when the monster power of the Subaru is on tap and ready to fly, but that is not the case. Leaming uses the car for trails and playing in the desert with those Milestar Patagonia tires mounted. He has a set of wheels with paddle tires for carving sand. With the 32-inch tires you might worry that the Talon is geared too tall, but with the added power output that is not the case. It pulls well in each gear and from gear to gear as a good turbo machine should. It sounds a little raw with a more wicked snarl than other turbo cars or even the Jackson Racing turbo kit.
So far the other unmodified parts of the car have held up to the added power and larger tires with no trouble at all. Clutch and transmission issues have not cropped up. Chris Leaming is a man who not only won’t take no for an answer, he won’t even stand for a delay. He wanted a trick Talon Turbo, he wanted it quickly, and he got what he was after.
PARTS AND SUPPLIERS
AGENCY POWER: (480) 921-7422, www.agencypower.com
Large core intercooler $550
Stainless exhaust $1300
ASSAULT INDUSTRIES: (714) 799-6711, www.assaultind.com
Steering wheel $164.99
Steering wheel hub $64.99
Tie-rod kit $289.99
Radius rod kit $459.99
AXIA ALLOYS: (480) 216-6266, www.axiaalloys.com
Billet mirrors $149.95 ea.
Fire extinguisher $349.95
DYNOJET RESEARCH: (800) 992-4993, www.dynojet.com
Power commander $395
KC HILITES: (888) 689-5955, www.kchilites.com
Pro 6 LED lights $459.99
2” Cyclone rock lights $199
G34 LED lights $344.99
KFI PRODUCTS: (877) 346-2050, www.kfiproducts.com
Assualt 5k winch system $549
MILESTAR TIRES: www.milestartires.com
Patagonia 32” tires $220
NRG INNOVATIONS: (626) 369-2668, www.getnrg.com
Carbon fiber wing $460
ROCKFORD FOSGATE: (800) 669-9899, www.rockfordfosgate.com
Stereo system $1650
RUGGED RADIOS: (888) 541-7223, www.ruggedradios.com
Car-to-car system $1626
Fresh air pumper $486
SILBER TURBOS: www.silberturbos.com
Turbo system $4000
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS: (800) 654-7223, www.simpsonraceproducts.com
Pro Sport seats $579.95 ea.
Harnesses $109.95 ea.
Carbon fiber air helmet $1129
WALKER EVANS RACING: (951) 784-7223, www.walkerevansracing.com
15” beadlock wheels $285 ea.
WOLF DESIGNS: (480) 888-0202, www.utvwrap.com
Clarity coat paint $1500
Custom wrap $700
XTC POWER PRODUCTS: (480) 558-8588, www.xtcpowerproducts.com
PCS-64-HT 6 switch plug & play
power control system $349.00
LED switches $19.95 ea.
ATS-Hon-S6 plug & play self-canceling turn signal system with horn/hazard $389
SP-5SWI-HT center switch plate $39.95
SP-3SW-HT 3 place switch plate $24.95
Hon-S6-stout power out for chase bar $34.95
PCS-S2-KBUS keyed 35-amp bus bar $59.95
Titan Fabrication custom DOM TIG welded cage $2400
(only available from XTC)