The Honda Talon UTV is Sport Side-by-Side (SXS), and a relative newcomer to the booming industry. Though this model is a newby, the Honda Talon quickly claimed the #2 spot in Sport SXS overall sales.
Honda has been a leader synonymous with quality for many decades, but like all vehicles, the Talon UTV has its fair share of mechanical issues.
Some of the problems Honda Talon owners have experienced come from transmission complications, suspension issues, and even engine failure. A handful of owners have also experienced wiring issues as well. While not every owner of these Side-by-Sides will experience problems, and some will have other parts failures, these are the most common complaints.
Are you in the market for a Honda Talon Sport UTV? Did you just buy one and want to know what kind of complications may arise? Whatever the case, we got you, so keep reading to find out what the most common Honda Talon UTV problems are, and learn about troubleshooting them.
What is a Honda Talon UTV?
Honda Motor Company was founded way back in 1948, and their foray into the UTV/SXS market isn’t exactly new either. The Honda Odyssey 250, a single-seater UTV came out in 1976. The Honda Talon Sport Side-by-Side was introduced in 2019, back when the planet was gripped by the pandemic and people were looking for socially distanced activities.
Some UTVs can be used for recreation as well as work. There are models with dump beds, tow hitch options, and more accessories to help out with work applications. The Honda Talon isn’t a workhorse, it’s a full-on “party vehicle,” made for off-roading.
It packs a punch, delivering 104 horsepower, from a liquid-cooled, overhead cam, twin four-stroke engine, displacing 999CCs. Pair that with a 6-speed transmission available in automatic or manual shift via steering wheel paddles, and you have a high-powered trail “beast.”
Now for some more tech specifications.
Honda Talon UTV Specifications
|Honda Talon 1000R||Honda Talon 1000X|
|Engine||999CC liquid-cooled, longitudinally mounted, parallel-twin four-stroke||999CC liquid-cooled, longitudinally mounted, parallel-twin four-stroke|
|Transmission||Honda 6 Speed DCT with High/Low Sub transmission. Available in Auto or Manual Shift||Honda 6 Speed DCT with High/Low Sub transmission. Available in Auto or Manual Shift|
|Front Suspension||Double wishbone; 17.7 in. travel, Fox Podium 2.5 shocks w/ Quick Switch 3||Double wishbone; 14.6 in. travel, Fox Podium 2.0 shocks w/ Quick Switch 3|
|Rear Suspension||4+ Link trailing arm; 20.1 in. travel, Fox Podium shocks 2.5 w/ Quick Switch 3||3 Link trailing arm; 15.1 in. travel, Fox Podium 2.0 shocks w/ Quick Switch 3|
|Length||123.9 Inches||123.9 Inches|
|Width||68.4 Inches||64.0 Inches|
|Height||75.6 Inches||75.3 Inches|
|Ground Clearance||13.0 Inches||12.7 Inches|
|Weight||1545 Lbs||1490 Lbs|
|Horsepower||104 HP||104 HP|
What Are Some of the Problems that the Honda Talon UTV Can Have?
Even when you’re an automotive giant that has been creating quality vehicles for nearly 80 years, you can still have a few hiccups. Honda is no exception, and their Talon UTV models have their own unique set of problems that can occur.
Hopefully, if you have or are purchasing a Honda Talon, you never experience these issues. From a bolt falling into the engine compartment to battery weakness and wiring problems, here are the most common problems Honda Talon owners have experienced. These troubles have been seen with both the 1000R and 1000X models.
The Honda Talon Recall
Recently there was a recall for the Honda Talon 1000 UTV. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been looking into the problem. They have found that an intake funnel screw might loosen and fall into the engine.
When this happens, catastrophic engine failure can result. The engine and the vehicle can immediately stop, which can result in injury. So far, there has only been one report of minor bruising related to the engine failure.
Only about 16 reports of the intake funnel screw have been indicated, but Honda is recalling approximately 32,000 UTVs. The models include the Talon 1000R, and Talon 1000X both two and four-seaters (S2 and S4 respectively). Below is a comprehensive list of recalled units:
- 2019 Talon 1000 S2, VIN numbers range from 1HFVE05**K4000003 to 1HFVE05**K4003902
- 2020 Talon 1000 S2, VIN numbers range from 1HFVE05**L4100001 to 1HFVE05**L4102280
- 2021 Talon 1000 S2, VIN numbers range from 1HFVE05**M4200001 to 1HFVE05**M4202760
- 2020 Talon 1000 S4, VIN numbers range from 1HFVE06**L4000002 to 1HFVE06**L4003420
- 2021 Talon 1000 S4, VIN numbers range from 1HFVE06**M4100001 to 1HFVE06**M4102218
Honda Talon UTV Electrical Problems and Solutions
The Honda Talon has a lot of technology packed into a small package. With all the wiring, and how much of the vehicle is dependent on this power, when the battery gets weak, the vehicle could stop running altogether.
- Battery Weakness. Some UTV batteries are unable to keep up with the heavy power demands and weaken batteries quickly
- Blown Fuses. There are several fuses that can blow out. There are traditional and inline fuses that can burn out.
- Low Battery Voltage. When the Honda Talon doesn’t have enough voltage, shifting and transmission problems can occur, causing the vehicle to stall.
- Battery Weakness. Make sure your battery is completely charged and charged correctly. Often these vehicles sit in storage for weeks at a time, which can cause the battery to lose charge. When charging your battery, be sure not to overcharge, or undercharge it.
- Blown Fuses. Keep extra fuses on hand just in case they blow out while you’re riding. Check fuses whenever you do regular maintenance, and replace them when they burn out.
- Low Battery Voltage.You might want to think about keeping an extra battery on hand. UTV batteries tend to weaken and go bad quicker than car batteries because of the heavy load.
Honda Talon UTV Engine Problems and Solutions
The biggest problem these engines have faced so far is the bolt that can come loose and fall into the cylinder. This causes irreversible engine failure and has been addressed in the recall.
- Engine Failure. Honda has issued a recall because of this problem. During factory assembly, there is an issue with a funnel bolt. During driving, the bolt can come loose and fall into the cylinder causing engine failure.
- Power Loss. Some owners report a significant loss of power when accelerating or climbing hills. This can cause trouble on rough terrain.
- Engine Failure. Check the recall information to find out if you own a model Honda Talon that needs to be repaired. If you do, contact your local Honda UTV retailer. They should be able to either get your Talon fixed or point you in the right direction.
- Power Loss. Often, clogged or damaged spark plugs or spark plug wires are the culprit resulting in power loss. Be sure to check all of them and replace them as necessary.
- Clogged air filters are another power loss culprit. Be sure to inspect them regularly and replace them whenever they get dirty.
Honda Talon UTV Transmission Problems and Solutions
Though the Honda Talon offers a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), as opposed to a belt-driven Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) (like Massimo UTVs), it still has its issues. While there isn’t a belt that can loosen or stretch over time, there can be shifting trouble, and clutch overheating problems.
- Hard Shifting. The Honda Talon UTV can be prone to issues with shifting over time. Some owners report a jarring feeling when the transmission shifts after some time. Eventually, this hard shifting can wear out, or strip gears.
- Shifting Problems. Occasionally you may not be able to shift into low gear. This can be caused by loose or improperly positioned shifter cables.
- Overheating Clutch. When driving slowly over rough trails or rock climbing, the clutch doesn’t get enough air movement over it and can quickly overheat it.
- Hard Shifting. Be sure to check the transmission fluid regularly. Servicing the transmission when it’s recommended is another way to lengthen the life of the transmission.
- Shifting Problems. You may have to replace the shifter cable. Check it to make sure it hasn’t come loose or driving over branches, rocks, or other hazards has not loosened it.
- Overheating Clutch. When the clutch starts to overheat, pull over, and put the vehicle in Neutral, or Park. Leave the engine running so the fan and coolant can help to reduce the temperature. You can also have the stock clutch replaced with something more durable.
Honda Talon UTV Suspension Problems and Solutions
When taking your Honda Talon off-road, you need the proper suspension to keep all four wheels on the ground. You also don’t want a ride that’s going to leave your joints aching for days afterward. Some Honda Talon owners have reported either a too stiff or too soft suspension, but fortunately, this can be fixed.
- Stiff Rear Suspension. Not only will a stiff suspension jolt you around like you’re riding a bucking bull, but it will make you feel stiff later. It’s also not the best for safety when riding along a rough trail.
- Too Soft Suspension. A suspension that is too soft can be problematic when driving at high speeds. Take a turn too sharp on a soft suspension and you could be in trouble.
- Stiff Rear Suspension. If you know how to adjust the suspension on a UTV, then you can easily set it to your personal needs. If you’re not that mechanically inclined, take it to a dealer or trained professional who can do it for you.
- Too Soft Suspension. Again, you can adjust this yourself or get a dealership to fix it. You can also replace the stock shocks with high-performance shocks if you so desire.
The Honda Talon Sport UTV/SXS overall is a great vehicle. Owners across the country love the ride and the thrill of speeding across the sand dunes, even though it can have a fair share of issues.
Honda Talon owners have reported problems with engine failure, suspension issues, clutch and transmission troubles, and a few more. Most of these can be remedied easily enough, or repaired through Honda’s warranty.
Even though they may face a few issues, the Honda Talon is a popular selling Side-by-Side, and a thrill to ride. Just be sure you’re informed before purchasing such an expensive toy.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.