Polaris Covid-19 Response

Polaris PRO XD 400D AWD utility Vehicle
Sales of the new PRO XD 400D AWD from Polaris Commercial is likely feeling the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

Polaris Covid-19: Operations & Dealer Response

The Polaris Covid-19 response is wide ranging and impactful. The management is suspending operations at eight plants across the United States, Mexico and Poland for a week. As part of the suspension the company is providing US employees with up to 10 days of pay. For dealers, they are allowing home delivery of products, providing product flooring support and covering flooring interest payments for off-road vehicles and motorcycles through May 31st.

Polaris Covid-19: Financial Response

On the financial side Polaris management announced a:

  • Drawing down of cash from their revolving credit facility
  • Reduction in capital expenditures
  • Suspension of share repurchases.

They have also withdrawn their financial guidance for the first quarter and full year.

SVR’s Take

This is not surprising given the current economic conditions brought on by the Covid virus. Similarly, BRP, maker of Can-Am products, withdrew their financial guidance for the year, suspended their dividend and drew down their $700 million revolving credit line. They are also considering reducing shifts and possibly suspending some plant operations.

Since the powersports industry in general is reliant on discretionary income, particularly in the recreational segment, they will be hard hit by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 virus. Polaris is more diversified than BRP with more commercial customers and products like Taylor-Dunn, Goupil, GEM and military vehicles. In addition, they have a large installed base and customers may choose to fix existing vehicles rather than purchase new ones. On the bright side Polaris points to the ability to maintain social distancing while still enjoying off-road vehicles.

Furthermore, the companies will be hit by sharply lower oil prices in important oil producing states and farmers still feeling the effects of the tariff wars. Several years ago these two sub-segments helped restrain growth in the side-by-side market. Oil prices were lower but not quite this low and farm income was low as well.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

BRP Earnings Call: Q4 2020

Can-Am Defender 6x6 DPS is a new addition for 2020.
New product introductions like the Can-Am Defender 6×6 DPS has helped BRP grow their side-by-side market share.

The BRP earnings call for Q4 and the full year for FY2020 revealed continued strong growth. Annual revenue increased 15% to $6,053 million (CA$) primarily driven by shipments of Year-Round products which includes side-by-sides. Net income increased by 63% and North American BRP retail sales for Seasonal Products and Year-Round Products increased 15%. BRP retail sales outpaced the industry in North America and International markets. For Q4 2020 total revenues improved 7.3% to $1,615.9 and net income jumped 57.1% to $118.2. Management stated that they met key five-year revenue and earnings goals a year ahead of schedule.

BRP Earnings Call Highlights

The following are some of the highlights of the Q4 2020 BRP earnings call that relate to side-by-sides.

  • BRP North American powersports retail sales increased 15% for FY2020 compared to mid-single digits for the industry
  • Side-by-side vehicle retail sales increased low thirty % compared to high-single digit %
  • International side-by-side retail sales increased by over 30%
  • Powersports Parts & Accessories revenue increased double digit %
  • Management anticipates line speed reductions or temporary closures to adapt to demand during the current crisis
  • The company is not issuing financial guidance for FY2021 because of uncertainty driven by the COVID-19 virus
  • About 20% of Can-Am’s US sales are in seven key oil states, which will be hit by the steep drop in oil prices

Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

SVR’s Take

BRP continued their long streak of strong quarters as they continue to gain market share in the side-by-side market. They have emerged as the number one rival to Polaris. In large part this is because of a steady introduction of new models that meet customer needs. They are the only company that has come close to matching Polaris’ pace of new model introductions.

However, both companies are going to be challenged by the corona virus crisis as well as the sharp drop in oil prices. The oil rich states were a drag on the market several years ago when there was a less severe drop in oil prices. Tariff and flooding troubles in the farming states only adds to the problem. The effects of the corona virus are unclear at this point but are likely to be severe. Furthermore, products like side-by-sides that significantly rely on discretionary income are likely to be disproportionately affected.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris Earnings Call: Strong Annual Sales; Low 4Q Growth

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 utility vehicle
Models like the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 helped drive ORV sales.

Polaris Earnings Overview

In their recent earnings call Polaris management reported strong annual sales despite relatively low fourth quarter growth. Overall sales increased to $6.78 billion for the full year, an increase of 12% from last year. All segments grew with the ORV/Snow segment increasing by 7%. For the fourth quarter sales increased 7% to $1.74 billion despite North American powersports retail sales increasing by only 2%.  There was strength in Ranger/General side-by-sides, full-size ATVs and Indian Motorcycles unit sales. In addition, PG&A sales outside of the TAP business performed very well, up 22%. The company continues to be hampered somewhat by tariffs, a $90 million cost in FY2019. However, the management has been able to receive some exemptions and managed to pass some of the cost on to suppliers.

Polaris Earnings Call

The following are highlights related to small, task-oriented vehicles from the recent Polaris earnings call for fiscal year 2019 fourth quarter.

  • ORV segment (UTVs & ATVs) sales increased by 13%
  • ORV retail increased mid-single digits %
  • Side-by-sides retail up low single digits percent
  • ATV retail up mid-single digits
  • Management reports that the ramp up of 2020 side-by-side retail sales were slightly below expectations and dealer inventory increased as a result
  • They named a top executive from their ORV business head-up their electrification strategy
  • Company-wide average selling price (ASP) jumped by 8% on the strength of ORV and motorcycles
  • ORV ASP increased 10% with more unit sales and more side-by-side sales
  • The company boosted prices 3% to 3.5% on many models earlier in the year
  • Recently they reduced prices substantially on select RZR models
  • Global Adjacent Markets decreased 1% to $120 million with vehicle sales declining but PG&A increasing

Full Year Sales Guidance

  • Full year sales are expected to improve 2% to 4%
  • ORV/Snow segment is expected to increase low single digits percent with ORV up low single digits percent
  • The Global Adjacent Markets segment is expected to increase high single digits percent as all product lines should show growth
  • Side-by-side shipments to dealers should decline in the first quarter as management tries to reduce dealer inventory that increased slightly the last two quarters.

Learn more: Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

SVR’s Take

One of the most interesting pieces of information coming out of the earnings call was the appointment of a Senior Vice President for electrification strategy. Management noted that the powersports industry tends to lag the auto industry by 5 – 10 years. They think there is currently an inflection point in the market with regards to electrification. In addition, they talked about making investments and see a need to become more competitive in their core powersports business as it relates to electrification.

While Ranger sales continued to drive growth, RZR sales were not as impressive. This is likely where the higher dealer inventory levels originated. The price reduction of some of their RZR S models is likely a reflection of increased competition in the market segment. Kawasaki and Honda are the last two entrants into the high performance segment which has now become quite crowded. In addition, Polaris lowered RZR XP Turbo prices. This reduction may be to remain competitive as well as an effort to create pricing differentiation between the XP Turbo and their higher priced Pro XP models.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com


Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 Reviews

The new Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 UTV
The new Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000

Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 Reviews Summary

The Teryx KRX 1000 is Kawasaki’s long awaited entry into the high performance recreational UTV segment. SVR analyzed several Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 reviews and the two-seater appears to be worth the wait as the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The Teryx KRX 1000 is in the same class as the Honda Talon 1000R, Yamaha YKZ1000SE and Polaris RZR XP 1000.

Positive Comments

  • Very good suspension that soaks up bumps, holds a straight line and handles turns well with controlled body roll
  • Smooth power curve
  • Low power mode provides smooth and precise throttle response and helps make the KRZ 1000 excellent for rock crawling
  • Excellent engine braking
  • Speed-sensitive EPS works really well especially at low speeds but some riders might want more feedback at higher speeds
  • Good nightlines to driver side front wheel
  • Very good approach and departure angles
  • Roomy cab and adjustable seats can accommodate larger riders well
  • Easy cab ingress and egress
  • Looks to be well built and durable
  • Large cargo bed

Reviewers noted some other positive features including the styling of the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000, several easy maintenance aspects, the 31″ Maxxis Carnivore tires and the digital gauge with CVT temperature reading.

Negative Comments

Some reviewers had negative comments, but they were relatively minor and most were not consistently noted across all of the reviews.

  • The Teryx KRX 1000 is heavier than comparable vehicles from competitors, about 350 lbs heavier
  • The vehicle’s initial acceleration was slow
  • Some drivers might find the steering wheel too far away when the seat is slid back
  • Some front end push in turns at high speed
  • Engine noise

Key Vehicle Specs

  • 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 999cc engine with EFI
  • Automatic CVT with centrifugal clutch
  • Selectable 2WD/4WD with locking front differential
  • Engine braking
  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, and 24-position adjustable compression damping
  • 18.6″/21.1″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 31″ Maxxis Carnivore tires on 15″ alloy beadlock wheels
  • 14.4″ of ground clearance
  • Speed sensitive EPS
  • Dual hydraulic disc brakes
  • LED lighting
  • Digital gauge
  • Full skid plate
  • Curb weight: 1,896 lbs

SVR’s Overall Take

The industry trade publications are overwhelmingly positive about Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000. The machine appears to be well thought out with attention to details. If you had to pick one aspect of the vehicle that stands out the most it would be the suspension and next up would be the powertrain. The engine is not the most powerful but more than adequate and paired with a good performing drivetrain. The durability of the chassis and other components foretells more powerful engine options in the future as the product line expands. The Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 is slightly more expensive and heavier than comparable vehicles but should be competitive in the market.

Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 Reviews

The following highlights are from the reviews we analyzed to assess the vehicle. The reviews are based on a Kawasaki sponsored riding event at Moab, Utah. The vehicles were tested in a variety of terrains.

TFLoffroad Video Review

  • Big cargo bed
  • 31″ tires and beadlock wheels
  • High intakes CVT and engine
  • Factory half doors
  • Nice styling
  • EPS – more feedback and heavier wheel at speed needed, better at slower speeds
  • 4WD works well
  • Good sight line to driver side front wheel
  • EPS and low power mode good for low speeds, smooth and precise throttle
  • Easy cab egress and ingress
  • Plenty of seat adjustment, 6″
  • Digital gauge moves with steering wheel
  • Roof accessory has sunroof – lets sun in but allows for scenic views
  • Centrifugal clutch smooths out power delivery but not superfast off the line
  • Suspension smooth
  • Little noisy and engine noise not appealing – “droney”
  • Beauty of the machine is the suspension; swallows whoops; flat and straight and minimum work at wheel; better than Honda Talon
  • Incredible engine braking on steep rocky downhills
  • Pricing $500 less than the Honda Talon 1000R; $1,500 more than Yamaha YXZ1000 and $2,000 more than Polaris RZR XP 1000
  • Weight an issue – heavier than comparable models

Rocky Mountain ATV MC Video Review

  • Good at rock crawling in low power mode
  • Smooth drivetrain
  • Excellent engine braking
  • Easy to drive for average person
  • Very stable in fast turns
  • A little slow acceleration at the beginning
  • Good speed and stability

Overview Video with Kawasaki Product Manager

This video explores many of the Teryx KRX 1000 details.

UTV Guide Video Review by Joe Crowley

  • Straight, soaked up bumps, well planted
  • Really impressed by the suspension
  • Lot of leg room in cab
  • Steering wheel a little farther away than I like
  • Really liked rock crawling
  • Low range is “spot on”
  • Approach and departure angles great
  • Comes with steel skid plate but HMWPE option available
  • Smooth throttle
  • Bed can hold 32″ tire

UTV On Demand Video Review

  • Only high end gem with automatic CVT
  • Belts look durable with centrifugal clutch
  • Sight window for oil check
  • Powertrain has surge on the bottom, flat in the middle and surge again at top end power
  • Top speed restricted around 68 mph
  • More endurance than drag racer because of weight
  • Low power mode removes unwanted throttle inputs and slippage on steep rocky terrain
  • Plastic and steel skid plates
  • Beefy components
  • Fun to drive hard
  • Chassis and suspension step above engine output
  • Suspension soaked up bumps
  • Chassis sounded and felt solid, no noises or lose stuff, felt tight and solid
  • Very little body roll
  • Some front end push at higher speed in turns but suspension adjustments can be made to improve
  • Good brakes
  • Plenty of room for ingress and exit
  • Lot of seat adjustment but more bolstering would be better
  • Good sight lines out driver side to front wheel
  • Highest cargo bed capacity for this vehicle class
  • Great candidate for building a race machine

ATV and SxS Illustrated Review

  • Extremely smooth engine
  • Smooth suspension over whoops
  • Body roll is controlled
  • KRX carries extra weight
  • Good sight lines over the hood
  • Roomy cabin and higher sitting seats
  • Smooth transmission and deceivingly fast
  • Awesome digital gauge
  • Low power mode for rock crawling gives smooth throttle control
  • Easy maintenance with oil sight glass, oversized fill hole, accessible oil filter, accessible CVT cover and coolant reservoir window
  • CVT temperature readout on digital guage
  • Perfect EPS steering input and feel but could use a quicker steering ratio
  • Beefy and clean chassis should be durable
  • 31″ Maxxis Carnivore tires a good all-around choice

John Deere XUV835 Gator UTV Recall

John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicle
These variants of the John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicle are part of the recall.

John Deere XUV835 Recall Summary

John Deere is recalling nearly 20,000 XUV835 Gator utility vehicles because the plastic sheathing on the throttle cable can melt and cause the throttle to stick. The underlying issue is improperly routed throttle cables. The recall covers models sold from November 2017 through July, 2019. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact their local John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair. The following recall details are from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Name of product: John Deere XUV835 Gator utility vehicles

Hazard: The plastic sheathing on the throttle cable can melt due to improper routing, causing the throttle to stick. This could result in the operator not being able to stop the vehicle, posing a crash hazard.

Recall date: September 4, 2019

Units: About 19,730 (In addition, about 840 were sold in Canada)

Description: This recall involves John Deere Gator utility vehicles with model number “XUV835” printed on the hood. “John Deere” and “Gator” are printed on the cargo box. The serial number is located on the frame directly above right front tire and begins with 1M0835 and falls within the ranges on the chart below. The recalled utility vehicles were sold in green and yellow, olive drab and camouflage and have side-by-side seating for two or three people, depending on the seat option.

Serial Number Range

1M0835ExxxM010001 – 1M0835ExxxM020413

1M0835MxxxM010001 – 1M0835MxxxM022741

1M0835RxxxM010001 – 1M0835RxxxM023115

1M0835EAPMM560107

1M0835MECLM544103

1M0835MAPMM560108

1M0835RBCLM544102

1M0835RATMM560102

1M0835RAPMM560103

1M0835RAKMM560104

1M0835RAJMM560105 

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized John Deere dealer for a free inspection and repair of improperly routed throttle cables. John Deere is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: John Deere has received reports of nine incidents. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: John Deere dealers nationwide from November 2017 through July 2019 for between $13,860 and $22,930.

Manufacturer(s): Deere & Company, of Moline, Ill.

Manufactured In: U.S.

Recall number: 19-776

Report an Incident Involving this Product

SVR’s Take

This is a large recall relative to the total sales of John Deere gator utility vehicles, even though the sales stretch over nearly two years. There have been a number of throttle related recalls in the industry the last year including a smaller Gator XUV590 recall. This and other recalls continues the disturbing trend of a relatively high number of recalled vehicles in relation to annual industry sales. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.

Kawasaki Recalls Teryx UTVs

Kawasaki Teryx utility vehicle
Kawasaki Teryx utility vehicle being recalled

Kawasaki is recalling approximately 2,625 model year 2019 and 2020 Teryx 800 4×4 two seat and Teryx4 750 4×4 four seat utility vehicles. Dealers sold the recalled UTVs in non-EPS, EPS and LE trim levels. The left side upper knuckle joint nut could have been improperly tightened, potentially affecting steering control and posing a crash hazard. Consumers should stop using the vehicles immediately and contact a Kawasaki dealer for a free repair. The following are the recall details from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Teryx Recall Details

Name of product: Teryx® and Teryx4™ recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs)

Hazard: Incorrect joint assembly can cause steering control loss, posing crash and injury hazards.

Recall date: September 4, 2019

Units: About 2,600

Description: This recall involves model year 2019 and 2020 Teryx and Teryx4 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), models KRF800FKF/L, KRF800GKF/A/AL/L, KRF800HKF/L, KRT800FKF/L, KRT800GKF/A/AL/L, KRT800HKF/L, KRF800FLF/L, KRF800GLF/L, KRF800HLF/L, KRT800FLF/L, KRT800GLF/A/AL/L and KRT800HLF/L. The recalled vehicles were sold in various colors including: black, camo, gray, green, orange and white; and in three different styles: Non-EPS, EPS and EPS LE. The vehicles have either two or four seats, automotive style controls and a rear box. Kawasaki is printed on the vehicle’s hood and rear box. Teryx or Teryx4 is printed on the right and left front fender. 

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair. Kawasaki is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At:  Kawasaki dealers nationwide from March 2019 through August 2019 from between $13,000 and $17,000.

Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. U.S.A., Lincoln, Neb.

Manufactured In: United States

Recall number: 19-777

Report an Incident Involving this Product

Consumer Contact: Kawasaki toll-free at 866-802-9381 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.kawasaki.com and click on Recalls at the bottom of the homepage for more information.

Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.

Honda Pioneer 1000 Recall Very Large

Honda Pioneer 1000-5
2016 to 2019 Honda Pioneer 1000 five and three passenger models being recalled.

Pioneer 1000 Recall Overview

Honda announced the recall of approximately 82,000 Pioneer 1000 side-by-sides covering model years 2016 to 2019. The throttle pedal can stick in the open position, potentially causing a crash. The Pioneer 1000 recall involves both three and five person models.

Pioneer 1000 Recall Details

The following recall details are from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Hazard

The throttle pedal can stick in the open position, posing crash and injury hazards.

Remedy

Repair

Recall date

June 13, 2019

Units

About 82,000

Description

This recall involves all model year 2016 through 2019 Honda Pioneer 1000 side-by-side vehicles. The recalled vehicles were sold in various colors including: red, blue, green, gray and yellow. The name “HONDA” is on the front, sides and the rear of the vehicle. The model name Pioneer 1000 is printed on a label located on both sides of the vehicle, near the rear.  The serial number (VIN #) is stamped in the frame at the left rear, below the tilt-up bed/seat. The following model numbers and serial number ranges are being recalled:

MY
Model
2016SXS10M3*
2016SXS10M5*
2017SXS10M3*
2017SXS10M5*
2018SXS10M3*
2018SXS10M5*
2019SXS10M3*
2019SXS10M5*

Consumer Contact

American Honda toll-free at 866-784-1870 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at http://powersports.honda.com/ and click on “Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Incidents/Injuries

The firm has received 15 reports of the throttle pedal sticking in the open position, including six crashes, resulting in a report of a concussion and a broken nose. 

Sold At

Authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide from August 2015 through March 2019 for between $14,000 and $22,000.

Manufacturer(s)

American Honda Motor Company Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Manufactured In

United States

Recall number

19-753

SVR’s Take

This is a large recall and not what Honda wants as they are trying to generate some momentum in the high performance sport segment with their Talon vehicles. Many of these same models were previously recalled for a throttle body issue and a muffler overheating issue. In SVR’s recent STOV market study we devote a section to analyzing the recalls in the UTV market. The bottom line is that the industry has had to recall too many vehicles. Since 2013, the percentage of annual unit sales for the entire North American UTV market that have been recalled averaged over 20%. Even if you remove the incredibly large Polaris recalls during the time period, the figures are still high for the rest of the market. This Honda Pioneer 1000 recall will only make those figures worse. Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.

Recent Polaris Recalls

Polaris Recalls Overview

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently detailed recalls for two different Polaris UTVs, the Ranger EV and the 2019 RZR XP 4 Turbo S. The Ranger EV recall covers model years 2015 to 2019. Polaris previously announced the RZR XP 4 Turbo S in January, 2019 during the government shutdown.

Ranger EV Recall Details

Polaris Ranger EV electric UTV.
Polaris is recalling model year 2015 to 2019 Ranger EVs, their electric powered UTV.

According to the CPSC recall information an incorrectly wired chassis harness on the Ranger EV can cause a bad throttle control signal. As a result, there can be an unexpected acceleration. The recall involves approximately 3,900 vehicles sold from February 2014 through January 2019. The 2015 to 2019 model year vehicles were available in avalanche gray and pursuit camo. There have been eight reports of unexpected accelerations including one incident resulting in injuries. Accordingly, consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer to schedule a free repair. In addition, Polaris is contacting registered owners directly.

RZR XP 4 Turbo S Recall Details

Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo S high performance sport UTV
Polaris is recalling the 2019 RZR XP 4 Turbo S because of brake issues.

The Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo S recall includes model year 2019 vehicles which were sold in blue and red. Potentially, the brakes can fail and cause a crash. To date, Polaris has received 11 reports of brake failures, resulting in one crash and one rollover incident. Accordingly, owners should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer to schedule a free repair. In addition, Polaris is contacting registered owners directly. The CPSC did not estimate how many vehicles are involved in the recall. Dealers sold the vehicles from December 2017 through January 2019.

Smallvehicleresource.com maintains a list of small, task-oriented vehicle recalls.

Honda 2020 UTV Lineup

Honda Talon 1000X-4 sport side-by-side
The new four-seat Honda Talon 1000X-4 for model year 2020.
Honda Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve with sensor suspension
The Honda Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features a sensor driven suspension.

Honda recently announced the addition of two four-seat Talon models to build out their sport lineup. For the rest of the Honda 2020 UTV lineup, which consists of Pioneer UTVs, there were only minor changes.

Honda 2020 UTV Lineup Changes

The most important changes are the addition of the two four-seat Talon models mentioned above. The two-seat Talons are back for 2020 but pricing information is not yet available. The Pioneer lineup changes primarily involves some price increases and a few color changes.

  • The Pioneer 500 models increased in price by $100 to $9,199, roughly 1%. They also removed the Active Yellow and Olive color options and added a new Moose Brown.
  • The Pioneer 700 and 700 Deluxe increased by $200, about 2%, to $10,999 and $12,499 respectively. Red and White color options have replaced Olive for the base model and Matte Silver has replaced Pearl Orange for the Deluxe model.
  • The Pioneer 700-4 maintains the same price at $12,399 but Metallic Silver replaces Red as the model color.
  • For the Pioneer 1000 models, the Pioneer 1000 EPS model from 2019 has become the new base Pioneer 1000 for 2020 with EPS standard across the line. Honda decreased the price by $100 to $15,799.
  • The Honda 2020 UTV lineup dropped the Pioneer 1000 LE and 2019’s non-EPS base model. Meanwhile, they added a Pioneer 1000 Deluxe version for $16,799 with LED headlights, 14″ blacked-out aluminum wheels and a Honda Phantom Camo paint option ($800 more).
  • For the crew versions the Pioneer 1000-5 increased in price by $300 or almost 2%, as did the Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe. The Deluxe swaps a new Reactor Blue color option for last year’s Black while maintaining the Red and Camo choices. The MSRP for this model increased by $300 as well. There was no price increase for the Pioneer 1000-5 LE model but Matte Green Metallic replaces Matte Silver as the sole color option.

SVR’s Take

The addition of the four-seat Talons is an important step as there is a definite need in the sport market for a multi-passenger experience. The changes to the Pioneer lineup are relatively minor except for dropping a couple of the Pioneer 1000 variations. I assume those configurations were not selling well and most buyers found other models a more compelling choice. The price increases are relatively minor and basically keep up with inflation. Going forward a narrower version of the Talon could be the next step in that lineup. They may also choose to refresh the Pioneer lineup which has not had any major changes in a few years. Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Honda Unveils Four-Seat Talon Models

 Honda Talon 1000X-4 sport side-by-side
The new four-seat Honda Talon 1000X-4.

Honda recently unveiled their two new four-seat side-by-sides, the Talon 1000X-4 and Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve. The launch follows on the release of their two-seat models last year. The introduction of those side-by-sides marked Honda’s entry into the high end sport segment.

Talon 1000X-4

Not surprisingly, the Talon 1000X-4 is similar to the two-seat 1000X. Key features include:

  • 999cc four-valve Unicam® parallel-twin engine
  • Six-speed dual clutch transmission with full automatic, sport automatic and manual drive modes
  • Steering column mounted paddle shifters
  • FOX Podium Quick Switch 3 shocks
  • 14.6″/15.0″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 4WD traction-aiding technology
  • Hill start assist
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Stadium style rear seating
  • Available in Metallic Grey/Pearl Red in Fall 2019
 Honda Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve with sensor suspension
The Honda Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve features a sensor driven suspension.

Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve

The Talon 1000X-4 FOX Live Valve is similar to the Talon 1000X-4 but features a different suspension system. The system relies on multiple sensors to make adjustments 16 times per second for an improved ride and handling.

  • 999cc four-valve Unicam® parallel-twin engine
  • Six-speed dual clutch transmission with full automatic, sport automatic and manual drive modes
  • Steering column mounted paddle shifters
  • FOX Podium Quick Switch 3 2.5 shocks front and rear
  • Multiple sensor based shock adjustment for Normal and Sport drive modes
  • 14.6″/15.0″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • Electronic Launch Mode
  • 4WD traction-aiding technology
  • Hill start assist
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Stadium style rear seating
  • Available in  Pearl Red/Metallic Grey or Metallic Grey/Metallic Blue in Fall 2019

Honda has not released an MSRP for either vehicle at the time of this post.

SVR’s Take

The expansion of Honda’s Talon product line is to be expected. They didn’t enter this market segment last year to just sell a couple of models. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the addition of a narrower side-by-side or possibly some special edition models in six months time or certainly by a year from now. In only a few years the segment went from Polaris, Can-Am and Arctic Cat battling for market share to Yamaha and more recently Honda joining the fray. As a result, consumers now have more models and technology innovations from which to choose. In addition, the competition should keep the pricing down and the value proposition high. Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com