Serious off-road four-wheeling is now on the menu at Honda with the release of its first side-by-side sand throwers. The Talon 1000X and 1000R share a 104-hp, twin-cylinder engine and six-speed dual clutch transmission, but take different approaches to hardcore off-roading.

The 1000X is all about the tight, gnarly stuff. At 64 in (1,626 mm) wide it's considerably narrower than the R model, and has less suspension travel and ground clearance as well, with 14.6 in (371 mm) of travel at the front, 12.7 in (323 mm) of clearance and 15.1 in (384 mm) of travel at the rear on adjustable Fox performance shocks. Its 3 Link trailing arm suspension on the rear prioritizes tight turning, agility and manoeuvrability over the super quick stuff.

The 1000R, on the other hand, is all about high-speed thrills and rock crawling capability. it's 68.4 in (1,737 mm) wide, and offers longer travel suspension: 17.7 in (450 mm) up front, 20.1 in (511 mm) out back, and 13 in (330 mm) of overall ground clearance.

Both models use the same 999cc unicam 4-stroke parallel twin motor, cranking out 104 hp through a six-speed dual clutch auto transmission that can be set to standard, sport or manual shifting using paddles on the steering wheel. There's 4WD and 2WD drive modes, as well as a high/low speed subtransmission that lets you engage slow, high-torque crawling modes when you're rock crawling or tackling extreme terrain.

Both would appear to compete favorably on the spec sheet against the Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE, which we found an absolute hoot to punt around on our test drive last year. The Hondas appear to offer a bit more of everything, from horsepower to suspension travel and slightly larger wheels at 28 inches, while using a similar transmission.

Pricing and availability won't be announced until January. Check out a video of each below.

Source: Honda

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