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Talon 240 Mile Review of My Talon X (long)

Discussion in 'General Talon 1000 Discussion' started by Ezgoin, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Ezgoin

    Ezgoin Member

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    So we took our shiny new blue Talon X out for the second time this weekend. It now has about 240 miles on the odometer. Below are my impressions... keeping in mind I come from a SXS history of a 2012 RZR 900 XP and currently a 2018 RZR 900 Trail along with the 2019 Talon X.

    First off, I really like the looks of the Talon and like the idea of losing the CVT belt. I looked long and hard at the RZR 1000 XP and just decided I didn’t want another belt driven machine… even though I’ve never experienced a belt failure in either of my RZRs, but then I don’t really abuse them.

    First, the ride in the Talon X:

    No way to get around it, the Talon X rides very stiff. It probably varies greatly depending on a lot of things like loaded weight, or the type of riding and riding surface, but last weekend we spent a lot of time on rough rocky trails, and it was uncomfortably stiff, even with the shocks set in their softest setting. One of the reasons I decided to buy another SXS is to get away from the stiff ride of the RZR 900 Trail which has very limited suspension and very stiff ride quality, and, to be able to run some of the rough rocky roads faster and smoother. But, after 2 days of riding in the Talon my wife said she’d rather ride in the RZR. She also said, and I have to agree to a point, that the seats in the RZR are better. This weekend we rode less rough rocky trails and more gravel roads and dirt trails. The ride is much more acceptable in those conditions for sure. If I keep it, I think Shock Therapy is in my future!

    Second, The DCT transmission:

    I love the concept of the DCT over the CVT for a lot of reasons; reliability, smooth engagement, sound, etc. I was surprised the first time I started the Talon and put it in reverse, eased into the accelerator and jumped 10 feet backwards. Say what you will about all of the work-arounds and ways to try and deal with the light-switch accelerator, but it’s about ten times more sensitive than it should be. I found that in the rough terrain I had to consciously press my right foot against the center console while working the accelerator to add enough resistance and keep from lurching back and forth with every bump in the road.

    I’m 61 years old and have driven and raced about everything on two or four wheels, and have never driven anything with a less user friendly throttle response. Having said that, under a lot of riding scenarios, most of which involve full throttle much of the time, the throttle control may not be as big a deal. I think I’ve gotten a better handle on the accelerator after the second weekend of driving it, but it still takes a conscious effort to keep it smooth. Put the touchy throttle response together with the DCT that often times shifts like an over aggressive shift kit in a 500 hp race car, and you can find yourself lurching back and forth with every upshift and downshift. This can really take away from the driving experience and, again, mama isn’t very happy about the potential for whiplash! Is it something I can get used to and better control over time? Probably, to a degree, but I don’t think it’s reasonable that the operator should have to try and learn new methods of driving in an effort overcome a poor design.

    Do I hate it? No! When driving hard and fast in the twisties it’s an absolute blast! The ability to drop a couple gears when coming into a tight corner and be right in the power zone exiting the corner is awesome. The Talon X corners flat and really shines in the high speed fun. It does take some getting used to the sometimes busy upshifts and downshifts, but that’s probably just something to get used to.

    That brings me to the other transmission issue, and this may just be specific to mine, but the transmission in my Talon absolutely howls with a high-pitched whine/screech that is near unbearable at speeds above about 35 mph, and whines at most any speed/rpm. It drowns out pretty much all engine sound and is loud enough to make my wife plug her ears as we ran down the road at 35 – 40 mph. She's no prude and loves the sound of a hot rod engine, but this is not a pleasant sound! This may be a deal breaker for me and reason enough to dump the Talon and go buy another RZR… it’s that bad.

    i4 wheel drive:

    This system has impressed me! Is it better than the RZR’s or CanAm’s 4-wheel drive system? I can’t say for sure but I did climb a very steep very long incline of baseball to football sized loose rock that my friend in his RZR XP with huge lugged tires and high clearance A-arms etc got stuck on and had to back down. In all fairness, we weren’t on exactly the same line going up, but basically side by side lines with identical surface. The i4 is seamless, and I never felt any of the power transfer from side to side etc. It is a very capable climbing machine for sure! I did discover that when climbing, it’s best to keep it in the Manual Transmission setting because with a little too much wheel speed etc it will sometimes upshift at the wrong moment.

    Comfort:

    I found the Talon to be very comfortable. As I mentioned before, I do think the RZR seats are just a little more comfortable for all day riding, largely because the Talon is a bit more upright in the seating position and the seat bottom seems a little bit shorter than the RZR, but seating comfort can be highly subjective and what one person loves, another may hate, but overall I don’t think the seats are comfortable enough to keep most people happy. Ergonomics are as good as any other SXS I’ve driven.

    The center mounted instruments aren’t ideal for me, largely because my 61 year old eyes don’t see as well as they used to so the busy small print text on the instrument panel is hard to see at a glance… sometimes even at a stare, and I think a larger panel located in front of the steering wheel, i.e. RZR XP/Pro XP, would be much better. I’m used to the center mounted instruments since that’s what my RZR has, so no big deal.

    Build Quality:

    I think Honda is well ahead of the pack in fit and finish. The doors and their latching mechanisms have a much more quality feel than my RZR, if you reach under the dash of the Talon you’ll find the underside of the dash finished with interior panels rather than an open void with exposed wiring bundles etc. Some may appreciate the finished panels, and others may hate the interference to the access for running accessory wiring etc, but I appreciate the effort to provide a more finished interior that one should expect in a $20,000 + machine.
    I have found that almost everything seems to leave a mark on the Talon whereas my RZR seems to be more forgiving of rub marks and scratches etc.

    Conclusion:
    I really like the Talon for all the things it does right! However, It does enough wrong… at least for my style of riding… that I really don’t know if I’ll be keeping it. I know I’ll take a beating if I sell it now with just a couple hundred miles on it, but the issues, as described, are serious enough “to me” to make me consider if it’s worth taking the hit and going back to the RZR! I’m thinking that maybe $650 to Shock Therapy and another $700 to Rugged Radio for a two-way radio system with headphones to stifle the transmission whine might be an option too.

    The next couple weeks will tell the story!
     
    Plumber32 and TerryH like this.
  2. TerryH

    TerryH Active Member
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  3. DuneFlyer

    DuneFlyer New Member

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    Nice write up.

    I wonder if the Fox live-valve will be a better ride.

    Also, there's been an issue with low sub-trans oil from the factory - could explain that loud noise you are getting at speed. Here's a link ICYMI
    Talon - Transmission noise
     
  4. HUCK

    HUCK Well-Known Member
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    Nice write up .
    I hope you checked your sub trans fluid as is spelled out in the owners manual . Mine has NO TRANS NOISE at all . You have a problem as it should be quiet . I just put 210.00 into Bandit UTV tension springs and it made a world of difference . I too have RZR 900 trail and these made it WAY smoother than the RZR . Get that trans noise addressed ASAP . Something is wrong . We have six Talons in our ride group and NONE have a tranny noise . In all of them so far we have had 2 axle boots leak and 1 front diff seal leak . All handled promptly under warranty .
     
  5. HondaTech

    HondaTech Working For Mother Honda!!
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    I can 2nd the sub trans oil check, this seems to be a common problem for whatever reason.
     
    Bobrhino likes this.
  6. HUCK

    HUCK Well-Known Member
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    Just did my 1200 mile service today and added 4 oz to my Sub trans . I new it was a little low but didn't think that much and still if you didn't feel it shift you wouldn't know it wasn't a :eek::eek::eek: belt drive . Sorry I used those words
     
  7. HondaTech

    HondaTech Working For Mother Honda!!
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    Everyone i've checked so far has been spot on, including the 2 i've serviced.
     
    HUCK likes this.
  8. hondabob

    hondabob Well-Known Member

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    I had to add 8oz of oil to the sub trans on 4 talons. None had any oil on the dip stick. Screwing it in and all 4 had oil on the bottom of the dip stick. Being 8 oz low shouldn't cause any problems or noise. One had 598 miles on it. If there is no oil there will be major sub trans damage and noise. The sub trans is assembled with lots of oil on all the moving parts so it will go several miles without noise. I think it holds about 43 oz.
     
    HUCK likes this.
  9. Ezgoin

    Ezgoin Member

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    Interesting info! When I checked my sub-trans it was below the dip stick. If I screwed in my dip stick the level just touched the bottom of the dip stick. Can’t say exactly how much I had to add to get the level right, but can say it made no difference in the loud howl coming from the trans. Just sitting at idle and reving the engine up and down I can hear the trans noise.
     
  10. cummins14

    cummins14 Member

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    I was kinda in the same opinion as you are with our Talons. The trans is never gonna be as smooth as a cvt which I don't like, but I'm willing to live with to dump the belt. The seats are nice, but I think some type of lumbar support would drastically improve that concern as my lower back became tired on our initial trip out. My Can Am felt better with the more leaned back seat position, but not as nice of materials in the cabin. The gauge cluster is definitely in a bad place and should have been over the steering column. The suspension is as stiff as riding in a go cart with no suspension, but it doesn't even think of leaning when it's thrown into a corner, so you can't have a super planted zero body lean suspension with a Cadillac plush ride I guess. I am also going to change my springs knowing that I will lose some of my planted feel in the corners, but the smoothness is gonna be worth it for the ole lower back and butt on an all day trip. The touchy throttle response is an obvious issue that should have never been an issue as Honda should have just used a "drive by wire" system and not an ole fashioned cable. It's not like they don't already use drive by wire in all of their automobiles and could've brought over from there. I know a lot of folks hate drive by wire, but it can be tuned to take care of things like this. Final word, if you really don't like the machine enough to keep, it I'd dump it and get what you want like I did with my previous machines after only a month or so to buy the Talons. No need to be miserable when when you buy these toys to enjoy your time getting away from the hustle & bustle of the world out on the trails. Good Luck with your decisions :)
     
  11. red124

    red124 New Member

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    My plan was to wait till used ones hit the marked for that exact reason. I did not want to buy a new machine and just throwing away the shocks and getting all new ones. They never ride soft enough for me from the factory. I also already have simpson suspension seats waiting to go into the next machine. So buying used is way better for me.
     
  12. PaulF

    PaulF Member

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    My initial impressions with my R were almost exactly as yours (except the high speed noise). I can tell you a couple things...
    • The ride will soften up over the first 500 miles. If that isn't enough to satisfy you, the Shock Therapy springs are excellent! I installed them and my R rides so much better.
    • You will get used to the throttle, it is just weird/different than most other machines. And as the suspension softens up, it gets better.
    • The clutches will engage much smoother after each oil change and as they wear in and starting off will be more predictable and smoother.
    • The higher speed noise is NOT normal. Like others have said, check you Sub-Transmission oil level.
     
    TerryH likes this.
  13. JimmyTalon

    JimmyTalon Active Member
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  14. Ezgoin

    Ezgoin Member

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    I only drove about 100 miles before realizing the sub-trans oil was low, and not sure if the level was low enough to hurt anything or not. It was off the dip stick when checking it according to the manual, but showed on the tip of the dip stick if I screwed it in. Bringing it up to the correct level didn’t quiet the howl!
    I am taking it to a local dealership today to have it evaluated. The dealership owner has already discussed the issue with Honda and they are very interested in the issue and have asked him to keep them in the loop! They said they are monitoring Talon issues very closely!
     
    TerryH and BeezrGeezr like this.
  15. JimmyTalon

    JimmyTalon Active Member
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  16. hondabob

    hondabob Well-Known Member

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    Your dealer should get it fixed and 8 oz low on sub trans won't cause any damage. My friends Talon was 8 oz low for 598 miles and it is as quiet as all the other ones in our riding group.
     
    HUCK and TerryH like this.
  17. Tbee

    Tbee Member

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    Sounds like the rest of us who are waiting for a 3rd year machine should have a sorted car by then.
     
  18. jonathannook

    jonathannook New Member

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    Great review, thanks! I'm finding the same issue with the touchy throttle, and I wish there were some way to mechanically dampen it. It's supposedly an actual throttle cable as opposed to some manufacturers that use fly-by-wire, which might be adjustable with software, but I'm guessing that the Talon won't be adjustable with anything but some kind of physical device. Foam rubber or something? Just thinking.

    Rough ride? Yes, and I've got my shocks on the softest setting as well. Some say the shocks get broken in after time, so we'll see... or maybe they're just getting used to it?

    Instrument panel. Yes, it's very hard to see... I'm about your age and I have to stop and put glasses on to read much of anything.

    All that said, there's a lot I like about it... but then this is your review ;)

    Thanks again.
     
    TerryH likes this.
  19. Ezgoin

    Ezgoin Member

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    Another realist!!
     
  20. fartsalot

    fartsalot Member

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    I have right at 1000 miles on my X and at this mileage point I noticed that the shocks softened up all at once. This weekend I will be at Waynoka OK for some sand riding and giving the shocks a good work out as compared to country roads.
     
    jonathannook likes this.

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