Honda Talon 1000X or 1000R: Which UTV Do You Want?

The Honda Talon Debuted in 2019 as a side-by-side (SXS) UTV in order to directly compete with the Polaris RZR. The Honda Talon offers both the 1000X version and the 1000R model. Which UTV do you want? 

An orange Honda Talon side-by-side UTV model driving fast on a sandy off-road trail
2021 Honda Talon 1000X | Honda Powersports

What’s the difference between the Honda Talon 1000X and the Honda Talon 1000R?

The primary difference between the Honda Talon 1000X and the Honda Talon 1000R is that the 1000X is a SXS designed with maneuverability in mind while Honda engineered the 1000R for high-speed SXS scenarios.

Both the Honda Talon 1000X and 1000R have the same engine. In addition, the Honda Pioneer also runs this 999cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine that creates up to 104 horsepower. Sure, this may be a little less power on paper than the popular Polaris RZR, but the 1000X and 1000R Talon models also convey power through a dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This transmission provides power to the Honda Talon’s four wheels in a more direct way.

The two share the same DCT with a hi-low sub transmission. That means that, with the paddle shifters, the Honda Talon becomes a 12-speed machine. This enhances the driving experience for either speed or obstacles. 

What does the 1000X have that the 1000R doesn’t and vice versa?

The Honda Talon 1000X features designated suspension components for maneuverability. That gives drivers more tire grip as well as improved traction. The 1000X is your model of choice if climbing and crawling are your activities of choice. 

Additionally, Honda Talon 1000X side-by-side has a wishbone front suspension with 14.5 inches of travel, and featuring Fox shocks. Then in the rear you’ll see a 3 Link rear suspension that Dirt Legal reports “features a high clearance trailing arm” in addition to Fox shocks which together provide 15 inches of travel. 

On the other hand, the team behind the Powersports wings created the Honda Talon 1000R for hauling you-know-what in wide open spaces. Salt flats, or deserts, or pastures and open fields, for example. The 1000R suspension easily handles bumps and obstacles when speeds are high. This means that the true thrill seekers will want this model if maxing out air time over jumps is a priority. 

The Honda Talon 1000R side-by-side also has a double wishbone suspension up front. But you’ll find a 4+ Link trailing arm rear suspension equipped with a toe link. Both front and rear feature fox shocks, the setup allowing for 17.7 inches and 20.1 inches of travel, respectively. 

How much is a 2021 Honda Talon UTV? 

Honda Talon UTV in Black with lime green badging in a press photo against a white backdrop
2021 Honda Talon 1000X | Honda Powersports

Side-by-Sides Cost About as Much as the Truck to Tow Them

The 2021 Honda Talon UTV comes in several different versions. The one you want will depend on both your budget and your specific off-road needs. The cheapest new Honda Talon model is the 2021 Honda Talon 1000X with two seats, which starts at $19,999. The four-seater Talon 1000X-4 starts at $21,999, according to Honda Powersports

The cheapest new 1000R Talon model you can buy has two seats and starts at $20,999. Honda does not make a 1000R Honda Talon UTV with four seats. However, there are range-topping Special Edition models for both the 1000R and 1000X-4 versions. These each cost about $5,000 more than the base models. 

Additionally, there are now Fox Live Valve versions for all three versions of the 2021 Honda Talon UTV. Honda’s Talon lineup situates the Fox Live Valve Talons in the mid-range between the base and Special Edition models. Regardless of which model you decide to go with, a 2021 Honda Talon UTV isn’t likely to disappoint. From palm forest trails on the beaches of Tamarindo, Costa Rica to crisp and colorful autumn hunting trails in Michigan, USA, the Honda Talon has served us well.