7 Most Common Honda Talon Problems and How to Fix Them

Honda Talon is a fantastic and highly sought-after UTV. It is available in different models to cater to off-road enthusiasts seeking affordable and reliable UTVs.

Honda Talon offers smooth rides on rough terrain thanks to its comfortable ergonomics. Despite being popular, the Talon is not immune to sports UTV problems. The most common Honda Talon problems are transmission issues, turbo problems, engine failure, live valve issues, fan blowing forward, suspension issues, and cleaning issues.

But don’t get scared when you encounter issues with your UTV. This article discusses the most common Honda Talon issues, their causes, and how to resolve them.

Honda Talon Transmission Problems

Most Honda Talon series owners have experienced problems when shifting from high to low gear. This sports UTV uses shift dogs when engaging gears. Sometimes, the dogs might fail to align with their slots, resulting in shifting problems.

When this transmission problem occurs, you may hear grinding noises when you shift gear to low. If you fail to align the shift dogs, their corners will be slammed and chipped by the gear. This causes progressive and permanent damage. Eventually, your UTV will jump out of gear.

Wrong positioning of shift cables can also cause shifting problems in low gear. Thankfully, you can continue riding in high gear before you get your UTV fixed.

How to Fix:

You must align the shift dogs and cables to solve these transmission problems. However, if the shift dogs are damaged due to excessive chipping, take your UTV to a dealer for part replacement.

The dealer may also recommend a replacement of the shift gate. An alternative shift gate with deeper slots will allow you to shift harder into low gear.

Lastly, check the transmission oil level and add more if necessary. The correct oil level prevents transmission problems from becoming severe.

Honda Talon Turbo Problems

Honda Talon owners install the Jackson Racing Turbo kit to ensure unrivaled performance across multiple terrains. However, the turbocharger system is prone to flash errors that can cause tuning issues. Typically, turbo problems in Honda Talon arise after installing the turbo kit.

For example, some Honda Talon owners have experienced melted pistons resulting from flash errors. This firmware error may eventually cause engine failure if not resolved on time.

Overheating of the turbo kit may also occur after installation. This problem usually results from incorrect installation and lack of standard maintenance.

How to Fix:

Unlike many Honda Talon problems, you can fix turbo issues without repairing or replacing components. You only need to correct the flash errors by conducting a firmware update and flashing the engine control unit (ECU).

Jackson Racing provides instructions on how you can update flash tools. Alternatively, take your sport UTV to a dealer with Jackson’s turbo kit for a firmware update.

If the turbo kit overheats, inspect the header bolts to ensure they’re tight and torqued. Then, ensure you’re using the correct oil type and service the air filter regularly.

Honda Talon Live Valve Problems

The Live Valve in Honda Talon UTVs measures and interprets steer angles, pitch motion, and brake pressure to ensure seamless rides in different terrains. However, the Live Valve can become faulty and send a suspension caution light on the dash.

The yellow suspension light should go off after a while, but in this case, the light remains until you stop your UTV. Some Talon owners reported that the light pops up while driving on straight roads. Others claim that the light comes after riding for about 10 minutes.

How to Fix:

If your sports UTV has a yellow suspension light that doesn’t go off, the major culprits could be:

  • Incorrect steering wheel alignment: Shut off the engine and reposition the steering wheel to fix this.
  • Faulty steering angle sensor: If aligning the steering wheel doesn’t fix the problem, the UTV might have a faulty steering angle sensor. Take your Honda Talon to a service dealer to examine and replace the sensor.

Honda Talon Engine Failure

Engine failure is a common problem with some Honda Talon models. This catastrophic issue may occur suddenly and lock up the engine. Some Talon owners reported that the problem arose after riding their UTVs a few miles.

Sudden engine failure in Honda Talon UTVs is a problem that originates from factory assembly. Upon assessment, dealers noted that assemblers might have accidentally left a stray funnel screw in the intake. This bolt can break off and go into the engine and damage the internal components.

How to Fix:

Unfortunately, most engine failures require the complete replacement of the engine. When your Talon engine fails, take the vehicle to a dealer for diagnosis.

The dealer will replace the engine if the problem results from a stray bolt in the intake. Engine replacement is costly, but the manufacturer will cover replacement costs if the problem occurs during the warranty period.

Honda Talon Recall for Engine Failure

Thankfully, Honda has recalled about 34,000 Talon models of 2019-2021. This is because of a funnel screw that loosens and goes through the funnel intake, causing engine failure. This issue causes a loss of control and increases the risk of a fatal accident.

If you’re an affected owner, take your UTV to a Honda Powersports dealer for free repair. To know your Talon UTV status, visit NHTSA.gov/recall and enter your vehicle’s serial number. Alternatively, visit Honda’s recall page or call Honda customer service.

Rear Suspension Problems

One of the most common Honda Talon problems results from the UTV’s rear suspension. If your UTV has a rear suspension issue, you’ll experience rough rides on rocky or uneven roads. Riding at high speeds can cause back aches or accidents when turning right or left.

A rear suspension problem might result from the incorrect setup of the clickers during assembly. The clickers might have been set inappropriately for different terrains.

A soft setup makes the UTV jump all over the place, especially on rough roads, causing an accident. The stiff rear suspension can also cause an accident on rough terrains.

How to Fix:

If the problem results from the incorrect setup of the suspension clickers, adjust them by fine-tuning the shocks and springs. Ensure the setting suits the condition of the roads your UTV tackles.

If the rear suspension is stiff, install tender springs following the service manual instructions. Alternatively, contact your service dealer for help if you can’t solve the problem.

Fan Blowing Forward

The fan in your Honda Talon UTV should blow air into the engine to keep it cool. However, some Talon UTV models have fans blowing forward instead of backward. As a result, the fan does not cool the carburetor, causing the engine to overheat.

The leading cause of the fan blowing forward is reversed wires that occurred during assembly. It can also result from a faulty fan.

How to Fix:

To fix this issue, remove the hood and inspect the fan connector. If the problem arises due to incorrect wiring, disconnect the black wire on the loom side R/W wire. This is the connection that causes the fan to blow forward. Then, locate the blue wire and connect it to the R/W wire.

If a faulty fan is the cause of overheating, replace it with a high-performance cooling fan.

Unusual Cleaning Issue

When you go for a muddy ride, your UTV might come back covered with mud. You must clean your vehicle immediately after the ride to remove the dirt and mud.

However, some owners have complained that spots are left on the UTV’s body after cleaning. These spots don’t come off even after thoroughly cleaning with stain removers.

How to Fix:

The only way to eliminate these spot problems is by removing the ceramic coating on the vehicle’s body and putting in a new one.

Final Thoughts

The Honda Talon UTV can make an excellent companion when exploring rugged terrain. Proper maintenance lets you keep your Talon UTV in good shape to enjoy more comfortable rides.

Unfortunately, this UTV has some common issues that may arise with time. If you encounter the above Honda Talon problems, use the provided solution to resolve them. You can also take your Talon UTV to a local dealer to diagnose and fix the problem.