Coming less than a year after the groundbreaking launch of the Talon™ 1000X and Talon 1000R two-seat models, the Talon 1000X-4 and Talon 1000X-4 FOX® Live Valve advance off-road driving technology while opening the sport side-by-side experience to additional family and friends. Through superior engineering, thorough testing and exclusive collaborations with industry leaders, these two new four-seat models boast the durability, quality, reliability and refinement for which Honda is known, and deliver a thrilling drive experience in a wide range of conditions.
Ideal for adventurists and thrill seekers, the two X-4 models are based on the extremely popular Talon 1000X—for which they share an 88-percent commonality rate with–but with two additional seats, and they provide the amazing high-speed, rough terrain tractability that come with a longer wheelbase. Thanks to a new working arrangement with FOX and Bosch®, the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features high-tech electronic suspension that literally adjusts itself to terrain and driving input on the fly, for an incredible ride and unmatched handling. This vehicle also comes standard with electronic Launch Mode for lightning-quick getaways from a dead stop. Of course, favorite Talon elements are carried over to the four-seat models, including Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), multiple shifting modes, a full sub-transmission, I-4WD traction-aiding technology and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
Put it all together, and the Talon 1000X-4 and Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve make it clear that life really is better side-by-side—times two.
Like the two-seat Talon models, the X-4 versions were designed in Honda R&D America’s Torrance, California, office, and are inspired by the CRF Performance line of dirt bikes, with a high bodyline and a body side that has a continuous flow from front to rear. Aggressive-looking, stylish fenders add to the visual appeal and protect occupants from dirt, mud and water spray, and the lightweight body panels are painted to ensure long-lasting, high-quality good looks. LED headlights provide durability and a bright, uniform spread of illumination.
The headlights are LED for long life and bright, uniform illumination, and feature high and low beam. The door handles are inset for a tactile reference point, and the X-4 models come standard with full side nets front and rear 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 cover, and fuse box can all be opened without tools, simplifying checks and service.
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, free of sharp edges or protrusions that could snag clothing, and grab points are provided.
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 50mm inboard and 75mm higher compared to the front seats, giving rear passengers improved visibility and a more engaged experience and 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 pinches by the rear of the front seat. Rear drink holders, an accessory power socket and inboard door handles are provided as well.
The driver and front passenger get the innovative cockpit-style interior first presented in the two-seat Talon models, including fully adjustable, wide, weather-resistant sport seats separated by a full center console. The driver has a steering wheel that is infinitely adjustable for tilt, while the front passenger has a rattle-free grab handle with quick-release telescoping adjustment, plus a floor with foot platforms to brace against during aggressive driving.
The standard roof completely covers the full driver-passenger area, and a front lip prevents water from pouring onto occupants, even under braking in heavy rain. Standard front and rear side nets provide protection, and all seats include three-point seat belts and come ready to accept four-point restraints.
In adapting the Talon chassis to a four-seat application, Honda retained its high-performance characteristics and—in the case of the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve—introduced high-tech electronic suspension to the Talon family. The result of a new collaboration between category leaders FOX and Bosch, with significant input from Honda’s Powersports and Automotive divisions, the system is the most advanced on the sport side-by-side market, producing a dramatically improved, never-before-possible, no-compromise, thrill-ride experience.
Like the two-seat Talons, the four-seat models’ one-piece frame was developed incorporating knowhow and technology from Honda’s automotive division, and although it is 28.6 inches longer, and 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.
The Talon 1000X-4 and 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve feature double-wishbone front suspension with 14.6 and 14.4 inches of travel, respectively, while rear suspension comprises Honda’s 3 Link system, which incorporates a trailing arm for maximum ground clearance while providing 15.0 inches of wheel travel. Shock bodies are 2.5 inches front and rear on the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve, whereas the Talon 1000X-4 has 2.0 inch shock bodies on the front.
For the ultimate off-road ride, the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features advanced electronic suspension that incorporates all facets of the driving experience into a unified system that elevates performance. The system constantly monitors variables including compression speed, steering, braking, throttle position, rpm, vehicle weight, selected gear, vehicle speed and vehicle orientation (via a five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, or IMU). Leveraging advanced algorithms and a sophisticated IMU with offering class-leading communication speed through enhanced signal quality, the system electronically adjusts the individual shocks accordingly, delivering optimal handling and performance that is appropriate for the selected drive mode.
FOX Live Valve Shock
Thanks to the new collaboration between FOX and Bosch, the system makes adjustments every 60 milliseconds (less than one-fifth the blink of an eye!) resulting in 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 independent of the Talon’s selectable engine drive modes and vary in terms of 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 bottoming out (g-outs) is reduced, yet the ride is plush and smooth in uneven, rocky or rooted terrain.ike the Talon 1000X two-seater, the 1000X-4 utilizes 2.0-inch FOX Podium Quick Shift 3 front shocks, whereas the rear shocks have 2.5-inch bodies; all feature dual-rate springs to provide a responsive, progressive ride. Each shock has simple-to-use, three-position adjusters for Normal, Sport and Aggressive/Loaded settings, and each position changes the compression damping by 20%, for a total adjustment range of 40%. The large, easy-turn dials provide a quick visual check that all ends of the vehicle are on the same setting.
Wheels / Brakes
The 28-inch tires, mounted on 15-inch aluminum wheels, were developed through a joint effort between Honda and Maxxis for the ideal blend of traction, feel, impact damping and durability.
The braking system utilizes 34mm calipers (twin pistons in front, single piston in the rear), as well as 250mm rotors at all corners. For optimal braking feel and control a 4.6 ratio brake pedal actuates a 17mm master cylinder and delivers through low-expansion hoses. The brake-pedal pad is positioned 110mm beside and 32mm back from the accelerator pedal for seamless transition between controls. The brake-pad material was developed specifically for the Talon family, providing optimal performance without sacrificing durability, even in muddy or aggressive-driving conditions. To minimize distracting brake noise (a common complaint with side-by-sides), rubber shims are situated between the pads and pistons.
Thanks to Honda’s advanced Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), braking power is strategically applied to reduce rear-chassis lift and rear-wheel lockup under heavy deceleration.
ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN
Also used on the Africa Twin and Pioneer 1000, Honda’s proven 999cc water-cooled, parallel-twin engine features 92.0 x 75.15mm bore and stroke and is known for its performance and endurance. Thoroughly updated for the sport side-by-side application, and rubber-mounted to minimize vibration, the semi-dry-sump power plant brings a heightened excitement through its quick-revving character and thrilling exhaust note. With a focus on strong acceleration, smooth delivery and precise modulation of output, the Talon engine delivers a thrilling driving experience.
Featuring a 10mm cylinder offset for reduced friction, the engine has a four-valve-per-cylinder Unicam® valve train with shim-under-bucket direct-cam actuation on the intake valves and roller-rocker arms actuating the exhaust valves. This design, which comes from Honda’s legendary CRF450R motocrosser, allows for a compact engine with minimal reciprocating mass in the engine’s head.
Intake / Exhaust
Utilizing advanced simulation software, engineers designed the Talon models’ intake-port shape for ample airflow at the point of cylinder entry, simultaneously maximizing power and fuel economy. Coupled with large fuel-injection nozzles and throttle body, the reliable system produces performance-tuned power levels. The exhaust is tuned for a high output of smooth, usable power and strong torque at all rpm ranges. Frequency-tuned resonators on the intake create a powerful, exciting note as the powerplant pulls in air, and twin headers feed into an exhaust-resonance chamber.
The engine’s dry-sump design pulls oil from below the crank into an integrated tank, and oil flow remains consistent during all driving conditions, including climbs, descents, whoops and aggressive cornering. Oil is sprayed directly on the underside of each piston through two multi-point jets, efficiently lubricating and cooling the engine.
To keep the engine operating within its optimum temperature range, the cooling system has been 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. Increasing 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.
Historically, drivetrain strength has been a weakness for sport side-by-sides, but that’s not the case with the Talon models, which feature robust drive shafts and U-joints for improved impact survival and torsional strength and durability. Because of the four-seat models’ longer chassis, a cam damper is fitted to the driveshaft, smoothing torque delivery and minimizing spline chatter and drivetrain rattle noise. A spiral bevel gear is used at the rear for reduced whine compared to a straight-cut gear.
Driveshaft boots are a common weak point in the sport side-by-side world, but on the Talon they’re protected by a guard. The boots—and the drive system in general—are tucked up and out of the way for optimal ground clearance and protection from ground contact. Injection-molded skid plates serve to protect the underside from obstacles and also create a smooth bottom surface to help the Talon glide off of obstacles. A strong tow hook is incorporated into the rear skid plate, which allows access to (and provides identifying marks for) the engine and sub-transmission drain bolts for oil servicing.
DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION
Honda made industry history back in 2010 when it offered the powersports industry’s first automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), on the VRF1200F motorcycle. Since then, the innovative technology has been updated and adapted to motorcycles like the Gold Wing and Africa Twin, Honda multipurpose ATVs and the Pioneer 1000 multipurpose side-by-side. Now, the latest version of Honda’s DCT is standard on all Talon sport side-by-side models. The innovative, six-speed system keeps multiple gears simultaneously engaged and incorporates dual eight-plate clutches (one clutch controlling even-numbered gears, the other odd-numbered gears), which work alternately to connect only one gear to the crankshaft at a time.
This durable, geared, electronically actuated system uses no belts, and it achieves smooth, fast gear changes with maximum efficiency, providing a direct, connected feel and driving experience, and transferring more power to the wheels with maximum efficiency. DCT also allows true engine braking, which is useful on descents and corner entry.
Honda’s DCT is the side-by-side market’s only gear-driven transmission with a high/low sub-transmission, effectively doubling the number of gears; the Low range lowers final drive, maximizing engine torque and engine braking for precise control in technical conditions.
The DCT and its advanced features add a thrilling experience of racing through the gears with a visceral, audible climbing-speed sensation. As for durability, the transmission has been extensively tested in the harshest conditions, and there’s a warning light for clutch temperature.
In fully automatic mode the, transmission uses data provided from sensors measuring throttle position, throttle input, braking input, engine rpm, and vehicle speed to adapt to trail conditions or driving style. During relaxed driving, the transmission optimizes smoothness of shifts and keeps rpm lower, but when inputs are more aggressive, the DCT quickens each shift and keeps the engine in a higher rpm range for maximum acceleration and responsiveness. The system minimizes gear “hunting” during abbreviated throttle applications and implements engine braking by selecting lower gears when increased pedal force or descents are detected; during acceleration, the ignition feedback control system reduces torque, further speeding and smoothing shifts.
Honda’s DCT opens the door to multiple options: drivers can select between two fully automatic modes—Drive and Sport, which holds gear changes later for aggressive, higher-rpm driving. In addition, steering-column-mounted paddle shifters allow a full manual mode, or the driver can use the paddle shifters to manually override while driving in an automatic mode. (Automatic shifting resumes after several seconds.)
Honda’s two-seat Talon models boast a number of technological features—some of which they introduced to the sport side-by-side market—and these are carried over to the X-4 models.
Honda’s I-4WD, introduced on the Pioneer 1000 LE, 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. I-4WD and the DCT work together to allow a seamless, on-the-fly transition between two- and four-wheel drive, even during wheel-spin. The system manages the amount of slip between left and right front wheels, applying torque to the wheel 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 (EBD), which 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, a Hill Start Assist button (HSA) on the dash can be pressed, 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 effectively modulating the throttle to resume motion.
The Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features a new Launch Mode—a side-by-side first with an automatic transmission. 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 with less stress on the driver thanks to the automatic transmission managing 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 in surfaces with uneven traction to the left and right tires. Uniquely, the Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve can continue for extended periods while in the Launch Mode.
Electric power steering reduces steering effort while still allowing precise feedback and feel for optimum control, feel of front wheel traction, and driving experience.