Is the Honda Talon Faster Than the Polaris RZR?

Only a couple of years ago, Honda released the Honda Talon. It has a place in the competitive UTV and side-by-side market alongside others like the Polaris RZR and Yamaha YXZ1000R. But is the Honda Talon faster than the Polaris RZR? 

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

The UTV and side-by-side industry was already a growing market then. However, with lockdown restrictions and social distancing in effect to various degrees over the last year, we’ve seen an explosion in the sale of recreational vehicles. Shoppers with a need for speed will probably want to know which recreational off-road vehicle has the most power. 

The Honda Talon vs. the Polaris RZR

a red Polaris RZR UTV driving off-road in the forest
2021 Polaris RZR XP 1000 | Polaris

The Polaris RZR XP 1000 is a longstanding bestseller in the UTV world. Virtually every other side-by-side is compared with this particular unit in some way or another. The Honda Talon 1000X has the same size 64” chassis, according to The engine layout of both of these side-by-side UTV models is very similar.

However, the Honda Talon 1000X and 1000R get power from a 999cc 106 hp engine. The twin cylinder engine that the Polaris RZR employs makes up to 110 horsepower. This isn’t such a vast difference, but on paper the Polaris UTV takes the win here. 

That said, Honda’s UTV side-by-side features a dual clutch transmission (DCT) like that we see in the Honda Africa Twin. The Polaris RZR XP1000, on the other hand, has a belt-driven continuously variable transmission (CVT) unit. The power from the dual clutch system is more direct and will give the Honda Talon an edge in certain off-road driving situations. 

Are these side-by-side UTV models nice in the cab? 

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

The interior of the Honda is more refined.’s comparison tells us that the stock seats in the Honda Talon unit are nicer than what we find inside the cab of a stock Polaris RZR XP 1000. In fact, if you’ve ever been inside the cab of a Honda Talon it’s easy to see that Honda ensured this unit earned its iconic badge of powersport wings in more ways than just performance and reliability. 

Each of these machines are made with a dynamic chassis that’s entirely designated to take on any off-road situation. Cabin comfort is fun and comfortable at virtually any speed. When it comes down to the driving experience, expect comfort and fun in both of these side-by-side UTV models. Even when pushed to the limit, both the Honda Talon and the Polaris RZR are in their element no matter what you throw at them. 

Is the Honda Talon Faster than the Polaris RZR? 

a blue and orange Polaris RZR XP 1000 driving off-road in the forest
2021 Polaris RZR XP 1000 | Polaris

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With almost the same horsepower and attention to detail in terms of balance and capability, a race between these two side-by-sides would be ridiculously fun to put on. But who would win? Is the Honda Talon faster than the Polaris RZR?  

Honda sets the top speed of the Talon at 75 mph, while (depending on the model) a Polaris RZR generally gets cut off at 80 mph. Still, a winning race largely depends on the conditions and the individual drivers. In an actual race between the two, it could be anyone’s game.