Automotive

Honda debuts two new four-seater side-by-side UTVs, one with semi-active suspension

Honda debuts two new four-seat...
Honda's extension to its Talon line offers rock crawling with the whole family ... as long as it's a small family
Honda's extension to its Talon line offers rock crawling with the whole family ... as long as it's a small family
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The Talon 1000X-4 from the rear
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The Talon 1000X-4 from the rear
Grey/red color scheme denotes the non Live Valve version, which still uses quality Fox suspension
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Grey/red color scheme denotes the non Live Valve version, which still uses quality Fox suspension
Simple cabin with paddle-shift transmission
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Simple cabin with paddle-shift transmission
Both models offer a huge 15 inches of rear suspension travel
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Both models offer a huge 15 inches of rear suspension travel
Orange and black denotes the Fox Live Valve version
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Orange and black denotes the Fox Live Valve version
These things can take a decent beating
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These things can take a decent beating
An extended frame allows the two rear seats to be fitted
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An extended frame allows the two rear seats to be fitted
The suspension constantly self-adjusts for excellent comfort, handling and control
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The suspension constantly self-adjusts for excellent comfort, handling and control
AWD powertrain makes it ludicrously easy and controllable to get these things sideways and keep them under control
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AWD powertrain makes it ludicrously easy and controllable to get these things sideways and keep them under control
UTVs have spectacular go-aywhere capabilities
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UTVs have spectacular go-aywhere capabilities
The new Talon 1000X-4 UTVs now offer stadium seating in the rear
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The new Talon 1000X-4 UTVs now offer stadium seating in the rear
Honda's extension to its Talon line offers rock crawling with the whole family ... as long as it's a small family
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Honda's extension to its Talon line offers rock crawling with the whole family ... as long as it's a small family

Less than a year after sliding into the market, Honda has extended its Talon range of high-performance side-by-side UTVs with a pair of four-seater go-anywhere adventure machines you can take the whole (small) family rock hopping in.

If you're lucky enough to live in the sort of place where you can actually use one of these things, your list in UTV choices just got a bit longer. As a category, they're absolutely hysterical fun to drive, with truly incredible go-anywhere capabilities that turn just about any terrain into a playground. But since there's very few places where they're road-legal, side-by-sides are very much niche machines for racers, desert dwellers, big land owners and folks with the patience and towing capability to move them around.

No matter, we're of the opinion that everyone should get to experience these mad vehicles, with their long-travel suspension, go-anywhere tires and stripped-back sideways driving experience. And these two new Hondas make it easy to squeeze two more passengers in the back for a carful of hootin' and hollerin'.

The Talon 1000X-4 comes in two flavors: plain and Fox Live Valve. In essence, both are extended versions of the Talon 1000X, which is more focused on tight, gnarly work than the higher-speed 1000R. The extended frame allows a pair of stadium-style rear seats, which lift the passengers in the back up higher for better visibility.

The new Talon 1000X-4 UTVs now offer stadium seating in the rear
The new Talon 1000X-4 UTVs now offer stadium seating in the rear

Both four-seaters appear to share the same inline twin 999cc engine and dual-clutch paddle-shift auto transmission as the two-seaters, putting them at around 104 hp if nothing's changed. The drive train is AWD, naturally, and there's a high/low ratio subtransmission so you can drop the gearing way down and lug them over nasty rock formations or up super-steep climbs. Electronic brake force distribution helps keep individual wheels from slipping on tricky downhills, and there's hill start assist and i-4WD "traction aiding technology" to keep things in line when you're not enjoying getting super loose.

The vanilla model gets Fox Podium Quick Switch 3 shocks, with 14.6 in (370 mm) of front wheel travel and 15 (380 mm) at the rear. These let you jump out and quickly switch the damping into three different modes to suit what you're up to that day.

The suspension constantly self-adjusts for excellent comfort, handling and control
The suspension constantly self-adjusts for excellent comfort, handling and control

But the far saucier Fox Live Valve version offers self-tuning semi-active suspension that as you go reads the terrain, your speed, driver inputs and a ton of information from a five-axis IMU, to constantly tune and refine your suspension settings for the best possible control, comfort and grip. There are two modes you can use to give the suspension a general idea of what you need – Normal and Sport – but otherwise, you'll just sit back and let the shocks tweak themselves 16 times per second and enjoy the ride. This model also gets launch control, but since you're unlikely to be racing a four-seater, that seems to be mainly for giggle factor.

Both of these four-seaters will hit the showrooms sometime in the US Fall of 2019, and you'll be able to tell 'em apart visually by looking for the orange/black paint job that designates the Live Valve version. No prices are available as yet.

Check out a promo video below that shows how much of a laugh these things would be.

Source: Honda

Honda Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve

2 comments
guzmanchinky
These are SO much fun. I had a Rhino for years and loved it, but got tired of being told where I couldn't use it. I love the idea of the new active suspension systems...
lbeck37
Did you mean 6-axis IMU? I know about 6 and 9-axis IMU's but not 5. What axis is missing?