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by Nick Olson

Chupacabra Offroad was invited to the release of the new Honda Talon in Los Angeles. After checking it out, here is how we think this new machine stacks up against the RZR, X3, and Wildcat.


so we've seen the Honda Talon the real question is is it gonna be a hit for the Southwest everybody's dominated chupacabra off-road grad Honda's and baling of their new sports side-by-side their introduction in sports side-by-side market and we just got done learning about two new models to bring into the world the 1000r and what's behind me excited to be here at this event let's take a walk around this event space let's take a walk around these cars most importantly you know something really good, great. so thanks Honda for havin s those are just some sights and sounds if you haven't seen the stats on the vehicles yet you've got two models the R and the X starting off with the our the our model has seventeen point seven inches of travel on the front twenty inches of travel in the rear one hundred and four horsepower the our model has a four plus link rear suspension system while the X model has a more traditional three link setup the  first thing when you look at the specifications I really think Honda did well with with the our model is the 92 inch wheelbase and 68 and a half inch width those are great numbers start off with for a twosie vehicle for the temperature rain we have down here in the southwest the X model gets the fourteen point six inches a front will travel 15 inches of rear travel a little bit shorter wheelbase by about five inches and both models feature the six-speed DCT transmission which is something that we expected and of course are not delivered on that now this isn't the exact same transmission that's in the Pioneer it actually shifts about 50% quicker the engineers told us so should be better for a high performance situation I drove the Pioneer I felt like it was a little bit sluggish but to be expected it's not really a high performance vehicle first and foremost a lot of a lot of comments that of course this didn't doesn't have as much horsepower as an x3 or razor turbo I'm not really surprised I think it's a great first effort I personally didn't expect them to come out with a game changer or something with a 150 160 horsepower I hoped it would come stock with a turbo but you know they've pretty much exceeded my expectations come stock with 28 inch tires on 15 inch rims I was really hoping it was gonna come stock with 30 inch just because when we're gonna go upgrade to 32 inch tires of course all of us run 32 inch tires I was really hoping it comes talked with 30 so that way you could put them on with that not too much of an issue with the gearing change Oh a couple of interesting facts both the X and the our model have essentially the same chassis suspension components that make up for the differences in wheel travel in wheelbase and the X model comes with a hill start assist feature which I think and that type of customer is really going to enjoy after getting to sit inside the vehicle take a look at it touch it feel it couple things definitely jump out I think quality wise we expect a very high level from Honda the doors and the seats are very high quality really nice to see that stock that the seats already cut out for harnesses the doors close with a secure latch nice fit and finish - thumbs up on those the biggest thing I think that really differentiates this model is the DCT now we've got another option of a side-by-side which you can shift and on paper the DCT is what everybody wants you've got six speeds you've got an automatic mode a manual mode a sport mode so if you're not really into shifting a lot of consumers maybe thought they would like it when the yxz was announced as it turns out a lot of side-by-side guys really enjoy having an automatic so one question I really have is will automatic mode perform as well as a automatic CVT set up like a can-am or a Polaris you know I'm a dirt biker so the thought of having a shifting side-by-side it sounds really appealing it can be fun just to be able to come in hot to a turn maybe bang down a couple gears keep the revs up accelerate hard the shifting transmission is really gonna add a whole new experience like the way eggsy did this is gonna be different get the paddle shifters it's gonna feel I'm assuming it's gonna be pretty fun you know being able to control that power Honda claims that even though it is 104 horsepower it's putting more power to the ground than the biggest competitor aka the razón 1000 because the efficiency of the transmission and being able to shift gears is just gonna make it that much more fun to be able to use that power as much as possible so being a dirt bike rider you know that having a lot of power isn't necessarily gonna make you faster there's guys on 125 they can blow by me on my 350 but they know how to ride them know how to use the power they have keep the momentum and have an overall more fun experience in a lot of regards so let's get into my short list of pros neutrals and cons love the 68 and a half inches wide really surprised Honda did this love the fact that you've got another player with a wider than sixty four inch option wider is better we don't have any restrictions with trail width out here it's more stable when you add that with a 92 and a half inch wheelbase a little bit longer than a two seat razor I think those are some really good numbers for the vehicle it's gonna be really stable once you start talking a little bit bigger tires the vehicle should handle really well nor is the awesome fit and finish I don't have to upgrade it maybe just get the little inserts to cover the bottom opening on the doors and call it a day the DCT transmission on paper sounds great I wasn't completely impressed when I've written it in the past and a honda pioneer 1000 but i'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt a 50% quicker shifts you kind of got all three modes something that's definitely unique to a CVT a lot of o-7 driving high-performance side-by-ides for a while or use the same old thing and this would be kind of a breath of fresh air so I'm excited for that a couple things I thought were neutral were while the suspension as a whole was wide and a great wheel base they did just go with the Fox qs3 shocks which I've just a couple clicks of adjustment there are some crossover rings but I was really hoping the shocks were going to respect similar to a cannon with high and low speed compression rebound adjustment and I was really hoping for some 3.0 s in the rear these are only 2.5 so while those shocks can be tuned to work quite well I was just a little disappointed when you talk about the great numbers of the width and the wheelbase one big con is we get all the height we get a new vehicle no price yet and it's not even releasing until spring so in this market in power sports people would get really excited it's very passionate driven purchase, purchase and people just don't want to wait I mean we're used to this iPhone culture they announced the iPhone we go buy it in the past Canon Polaris they come out with a new vehicle it usually ships within you know one two three weeks so the fact that Honda is not gonna have much going on in terms of having these in stock a dealers in a while it's a big bummer I think a lot of people gonna have some deposits it may be kind of just throw their hands up in the air and go with something else another con the aiya four-wheel drive system sounds good on paper a lot of technology but if it's not a true locking differential it's not gonna cut the mustard when you're in Moab when you're in hardcore rock crawling situation so now that km's got the smart lock they've finally got over their issues in terms of having a nice legit four-wheel drive setup with the front diff Polaris I think is definitely an industry standard the on-demand four-wheel drive works stellar so it needs to be on par with those two to be a great all-around vehicle and for guys only in the southwest but all around the country to buy this vehicle you've got to have real four-wheel drive ultimately if Hana won't sell a lot of units that four-wheel drives gonna have to work well anywhere the rear suspension even though I like the numbers I really don't like the added complexity looking at it it just doesn't look as beefy and burly doesn't look like a beefy race car you know it's obviously that race car but you know I like more they keep it simple in terms of just a big trailing arm minimal radius rides and make it all beef the sway bar looks a little flimsy to me Cano is hoping for something a little more simplistic on paper I think then the better geometry sounds good but whether or not that's gonna lead to better handling and that much better handling to potentially compromise reliability I'm a little skeptical and the last con which after speaking to some engineers at the show was they told us the shift points were really optimized for a twenty eight to thirty inch tire we're running at least thirty two inch tires it's all about 32s in the southwest everyone that rides knows what I'm talking about and if you can't put 32s on this vehicle doubt some type of rege ear which on this type of transmission is not gonna be cheap if available at all that could be a big letdown now the DCT does have a high and low and six speed so you would assume throw on thirty twos you'd still have a low enough gear for some real rock crawling but really we're not gonna know until the first customers get these things throw tires on them and get them out in the field as a whole I think Hana did great the real question is what surprise gonna be I think at 18, 19 thousand 1999 even this thing is gonna do well if Honda goes twenty-two 9.99 23 K one hundred for a horse it's gonna be really hard I mean obviously a lot of people are gonna buy it because it's a Honda because it's a transmission but after those first early adopters it's gonna be it's gonna be a big battle to see who's gonna win on the showroom floor so that's what I think let me know what you guys think in the comments what do you think you're interested in demoing it potentially buying it or there's no way you'd consider it whether you want to wait a year looks like on their website the first demo ride is rally on the rocks and Moab in May hopefully they will do something sooner just to kind of keep that hype like I mentioned that is a big deal in power sports and you don't want to lose it and today's world we're all used to getting things fast so hopefully Honda can do some demo rides or keeping the public eye as much as possible maybe give it a couple of these demos to some aftermarket brands let them accessorize them ride them get some real ride reports and hopefully get a chance to dry this thing soon and give you our honest feedback once we get some real time come on availing of the talent 1000x in Armagh thanks like always for tuning in we appreciate your support so until next time see that another Chupacabra sightings of their own oxygen-oxygen do you believe in the chupacabra.


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