2021 Honda Talon 1000R SE / Talon 1000X-4 SE Features & Benefits

  • Talon 1000R Special Edition
  • Talon 1000X-4 Special Edition

Designed with off-road excitement, precision and quality in mind, the Talon 1000 platform is a fusion of Honda's experience in two- and four-wheel design and racing, pushing the envelope of what is possible in a production sport side-by-side. The Talon 1000 lineup also offers a variety of accessories that are significant enhancements to the customer experience. Now, Honda is offering Special Edition versions (SE—available for both the two-seat Talon 1000R and four-seat Talon 1000X-4) that come with many of the most common accessory upgrades equipped at the factory, ultimately saving customers time and money. Based on the FOX® Live Valve Talon versions, the SE trim level adds a front bumper, Warn 3,500-pound winch, full poly vented windscreen, 40-inch LED light bar, rear-view mirror, accessory switch plate and lower door panels, improving what are already extremely capable machines. These SE versions also stand out from the crowd, thanks to exclusive TimberTech® Viper™ Urban Camo graphics, and there's even an available matching clothing collection, which can be found at www.truetimber.com/honda


Like all Talons, the SE versions are powered by a 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 oversquare 92x75.2 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. A dedicated cylinder head delivers increased performance.

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 and 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 utilizing four rubber mounts.

Valve Train: 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 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 achieve a satisfying driving experience; three resonators—each tuned for a different frequency—deliver a strong, exciting air-intake sound, and a connector between the twin exhaust headers tunes the exhaust note for a richer tone.

Lubrication: 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.

Cooling: To keep the engine operating within its optimum temperature range, the cooling system was tested and proven in the hottest, harshest conditions and uses the highest-capacity cooling fan and radiator of any Honda ATV or side-by-side; 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.

Driveshaft: All Talons 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 product, a spiral bevel gear is used at the rear, for reduced whine compared to a straight-cut gear.

DCT: Honda debuted the Dual Clutch Transmission for production powersports use on the 2010 VFR1200F sport-touring motorcycle, and in the decade since, has offered it on adventure bikes, touring machines, ATVs and side-by-sides, accumulating experience and improving the technology along the way. 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. 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.


As is the case with all Talons, the SE versions feature a frame and suspension components that were engineered and developed at Honda R&D America'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.

Frame: 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.

On the four-seat Talon 1000X-4 SE, the frame is 28.6 inches longer, but it still features a one-piece construction with optimum rigidity characteristics—attributes that result in exceptional handling in high-speed, rough terrain. Designed with optimal levels of stiffness and compliance to ensure consistent geometry—including camber, caster and wheel toe alignment—the frame delivers a precise driving experience.

On both SE versions, a color-matched frame and rollover protection structure (ROPS) complement the Talon's aggressive, sporty design.

Suspension: The front suspension is a double-wishbone design with a balance of rigidity and tuned flex for maximum precision. The 1000X-4 SE has 14.4 inches of front-wheel travel; the 3 Link rear system has a high-positioned trailing arm for improved ground clearance and provides 15.5 inches of travel. The double-wishbone front-suspension system of the Talon 1000R SE provides 17.7 inches of front-wheel travel; at the rear, a 4+ Link suspension design limits toe change to only 0.3 degrees through the entire 20.1 inches of stroke, for excellent alignment control.

Shocks: Both Talon SE versions are equipped with the FOX Live Valve system, a proprietary control system that can go through the shock's entire adjustment range in 20 milliseconds 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.

Both the two-seat and the four-seat SE versions have FOX Podium Quick Switch shocks with 2.5 inch shock bodies at all four corners, but with version-specific tuning. In both cases, a Suspension Mode switch has both Sport and Normal settings and enables the driver to bias the FOX Live Valve system for the planned style of driving.

Tires: The 28x9-15 front and 28x11-15 rear tires are specific to the Talon and the result of a joint effort between Honda and Maxxis to develop ideal traction, damping, feel and wear characteristics.

Brakes: With all Talons, endless well-thought-out details result in a satisfying driving experience, and that approach extends to the braking system. Bringing unmatched braking performance to the sport side-by-side market, particularly with regards to vehicle handling under braking, the Talon utilizes 34 mm twin-piston 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.

Technology: 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 models. 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.

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.

As a separate feature, when the driver brakes aggressively, the vehicle holds gears longer for real engine braking.

Protection: As with all Talons, the SE versions 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, 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.


Designed in Honda R&D America's Torrance, California, office, 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 has 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 minimization of bulk was a focus during development. (Approximately 25% of the vehicle's mass was shed during the design evolution.) Knowing the rigors through which customers would put the Talon vehicles, designers prioritized efficient engine cooling, 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 the Talon, 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.

The headlights are LED for long life and bright, uniform illumination, and feature high and low beam. The Talon comes standard with full side nets that feature rigidly mounted buckles to make latching 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.

Interior: Inside, the design target was to provide 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. They also have three-point seatbelts and 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, but the dash has a symmetrical layout that allows easy viewing of information by not just the driver, but the passenger as well. Colorful accents are an indicator of the level of thought put into the interior's design.

For the Talon 1000X-4 SE, 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 while wearing bulky winter gear, and the elimination of sharp edges or protrusions that could snag clothing; grab points are provided. The four-seat version also elevates 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 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.

The steering wheel is infinitely adjustable for tilt (electric power steering is standard). The passenger gets a door armrest and grab handle, along with a rattle-free "handlebar," complete with a quick-release adjustment lever that allows it to be easily and quickly telescoped in and out to accommodate varying physiques. There's also a center footrest area for relaxed riding comfort, and floor drains simplify the process of 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 ROPS.

WARRANTY: Transferable one-year limited warranty. Extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan; excludes accessories.

  • Meets current EPA and CARB off-road emissions standards
  • Recommended for drivers 16 years of age and older