Driving the Honda Talon in the Desert With an Off-Road Beginner

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The Honda Talon and Jawbone Canyon are the perfect combination for a new off-roader

Early this summer I had a chance to take my father, Steve, on a trip to the Jawbone Canyon OHV area in southern California for his first ever experience in a SxS vehicle. This is one of Honda’s favorite trail systems in California and they let us borrow the new Honda Talon 1000R for the experience. For an off-road beginner, this was just about a perfect introduction.

Not only was this my dad’s first time ever driving a SxS, but it was the first time he’d even seen one in person.

“The first time I saw it, I think that I was just really taken with not only how good it looked, but the fact that it was as comfortable as it was, too,” he noted. “Being out in this kind of setting, in this kind of environment, and with my son and doing something I’ve never done before…I mean, what else could you ask for?”

Coming to the desert to drive off-road is one of my favorite things and Jawbone Canyon has pretty much everything I’m looking for. The area offers plenty of elevation changes, technical hill climbs, deep whoops, and open areas where you can really let the Talon loose and go fast.

Because my dad is not a young man any more, I think he was a little worried how his body would feel after a day going up and over everything Jawbone Canyon put in our way. Fortunately, the Talon’s plush suspension and overall comfort made sure that wasn’t an issue.

“When we were hitting the whoops, I was really anticipating jarring my back, jarring my spine. But you don’t feel it,” he said. “You aren’t getting out [going] ‘oh, I’m sore, I’m stiff’ all that stuff. It was very comfortable and I think if I had to use one word to describe the whole thing it would be surprised, but pleasantly surprised.”

Though he came here a complete off-road beginner, my had has driven across the country countless times and loves behind the wheel. He came away impressed with the Honda Talon’s handling.

“The handling of the Talon was, I think, unexpected is the best word,” he said. “It was so responsive to everything I did.

Not always one to strictly obey the posted speed limits, he likes a little speed in his life and the Honda Talon provided it.

“Stepping on the gas at first, it sort of startled me a little, because I didn’t realize it was going to be that quick,” he noted. “If I had to recommend it to anybody else, the first thing I’d say is prepare for the unexpected, because you’re not going to believe how good this is.”

The entire experience was fantastic for both of us and I’m hoping we can find a way to have more off-road adventures together. My dad, no longer a true off-road beginner, seems to feel the same way.

“Driving in the Talon, I didn’t know what to expect. But I’ll tell you what…I’d do it again in a heartbeat!”

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