Honda Talon 1000R-4 First Drive

Honda Talon 1000R-4 First Drive

Recently we had the chance to drive the Honda Talon 1000R-4 with the new updated live valve shock system. This is the first time that the Honda Talon gets the FOX live valve technology. The venue Honda selected for us was Mid-America Outdoors in Jay, Oklahoma. Mid-America Outdoors is a playground for off-road enthusiasts that spans over 1,600 acres. There are plenty of trail systems that cut through tight twisty wooded sections. Some of the trails have deep creeks. This was a perfect area to test the limits of Honda’s Talon 1000R-4.

FOX Live Valve technology is exactly what it sounds like. The shocks are constantly adjusting to the terrain you are traveling on in real-time. The damping on the shocks are changing to provide you with a smooth ride. We noticed this right away as we moved through the wooded sections of Mid America Outdoors at speed. The Talon has 17.6 inches of travel in the front and 18.1 inches of travel in the rear. Typically, a four-seat side-by-side would not be the best choice for navigating tight, twisty turns in the woods. Our ride had no problems navigating around the obstacles. The steering received an upgrade to help with tight trails and corners as well as the design improved the turning radius.

We mentioned fording creeks on the Mid America Outdoors Trail System. As we sunk deeper into the water, almost up to the wheel wells, water began filling the floorboards. The ground clearance on the Talon 1000R-4 is 12.2 inches. Just a second or two after we emerged from the creek bed, the water flowed right out the bottom thanks to a smart built in drainage system. The same is true if you are washing the Talon and spray water in the interior. You won’t have to deal with standing water in your side-by-side.

All four seats inside the Talon are comfy and designed with height in mind so each passenger and driver able to see the scenery around them. Even the kids would be able to have a great view. After all, driving a four-seat side-by-side means you take the family or a group of friends along for the ride.

While the Honda Talon doesn’t come with any turbocharged options, we still had enough power to climb the hills. One of the features we really liked on the Talon was the ability to click a switch and put it into manual mode. Paddle shifters smartly placed on the steering position allowed us to have control over the gearing at any angle we had the steering wheel. The powerplant features a 999-cc liquid cooled parallel twin engine that puts out 105 horsepower and 82 lb-ft of torque. Pair that with a six-speed dual clutch transmission.

Overall, we give the Honda Talon 1000R-4 high marks. It’s worth heading to your local Honda dealer for a look.

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