The BMW G310 R Review
An xBhpian rides the new BMW G310 R in Germany. The G310 R is manufactured in India but it has still not been launched in the country. Parag who is currently in Germany got a chance to ride the bike. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author.
Text & Photos: Parag Gohil
BMW Motorrad. This German motorcycle manufacturer is best known for its adventure motorcycle the R1200 GS and also the S1000 RR. Their first motorcycle with inline 4 cylinders. So far they didn’t have anything in the quarter-litre segment. In 2013, BMW Motorrad and India’s TVS announced their collaboration to development a sub-500cc motorcycle. The result is G310 R.
This motorcycle is designed and developed in Munich, Germany home for BMW and will be manufactured by TVS Motor Company in their Hosur plant. The reason was to keep the production cost low without compromising quality. Though this motorcycle is manufactured by TVS in India, BMW does the quality check. Only after their approval is it delivered to the customer. So we can expect a top notch quality product. And trust me it is. The amalgamation of German precision with TVS’ production expertise has seemingly paid off.
The design is typical sport naked. At first glance, it looks like a small motorcycle. Which isn’t way off the mark, it is small. With a wheelbase of 1374 mm and a seat height of 785 mm, the bike is compact. Surprisingly it doesn’t feel cramped once you are on the saddle. The fuel tank looks big and muscular, but it can hold only 11 litres of petrol. The handlebars and footpegs are where they need to be. The ergonomics fall to hand very naturally. The seat is wide with firm padding and there is quite a lot of space to move around while cornering. The pillion seat is small though, which is the case with all the motorcycles in this segment!
The triangular shape headlight looks neat and has a small wind deflector on top of it with the R badge. The tail lamp is in an unusual position, it is placed on the mudflap which holds the number plate. The rear panels has a neatly placed split grab rails. Which is necessary because the pillion seat is small. Without those grab rails, nobody would dare to ride as a pillion on this motorcycle! The instrument panel is fully digital with a bar graph tachometer, shift light, gear indicator, fuel gauge, clock, etc. it also displays actual range to empty.
Overall the motorcycle looks proportionate. Everything is in the right place and of the right size.
This motorcycle is powered by a 313 cc single cylinder engine which pumps out 34 horsepower at 9500 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. It doesn’t appear like anything special on paper, but the engineers at BMW have rotated the engine by 180º. So now the intake manifold is at the front and exhaust manifold at the rear of the engine, exactly opposite of what we are used to seeing.
The rationale is simple. Leaning the barrel and head backward frees up space. This allows the motor to be moved forwards in the chassis, which means the swingarm can be longer for a given wheelbase which in turn gives better control over the rear suspension.
Get on the saddle and push that start button, the engine comes to life at around 3k rpm and settles at 1300-1400 rpm. Put it in gear and release that clutch, which is light. Unfortunately, the levers are not adjustable, some aftermarket parts may be required here. The engine is forever eager to rev till the redline, which is 10,500rpm. Vibrations are as low as it could be in a single cylinder engine. The only noticeable change is the strong roar in the sound from the airbox once you cross that 7k rpm mark on the tacho. That sound stays until you see the shift light blinking and you upshift. Below 7k rpm that roar is present but it’s muted. Gear shifts are quick and engine braking is strong, a slipper clutch is missing here.
Braking is handled by a 4 piston ByBre unit with a 300mm disk at the front and a 2 piston ByBre unit with 240mm at the rear. ABS unit is by Continental Automotive, which also provides ABS units for the flagship S1000R. I didn’t get a chance to test the ABS, as the Michelin Pilot Street rubber combined with the KYB forks provided plenty of traction even on hard braking on the quality German asphalt.
This motorcycle handles well. It is very agile to flick around corners and I found changing directions on this baby beemer easier as compared to my R15 V2.0. Straight line stability is also good considering it’s a naked motorcycle. I clocked 140 kmph on a small straight patch where there was no speed restriction between Dettenhausen and Tubingen, and the bike was well planted. No doubt on the Autobahn it can easily cross 160 kmph.
Windblast can be a concern. The small cladding above the headlamp keeps in somewhat in check but don’t expect too much from that. This is not the flagship R1200 GS! The roll on acceleration is quick in any gear except 6th, provided you are above 4k rpm. I found 6th gear a little tall, I used it very less as I was riding through the winding country roads of Stuttgart and most of the portions had a speed limit of 80-100 kmph.
In terms of quality, it is better than the KTM 390 Duke, this is what I feel. When comes to features, 390 Duke is miles ahead of the G310R. But this is a perfect bike for city commutes, long distance touring and short distance cornering fun. And don’t forget it’s a BMW manufactured by TVS. The Germans don’t allow a machine to roll out unless it fulfills all the BMW standard quality requirements. So you know it’s reliable. Giving a final verdict in one sentence, this will be my next motorcycle!
Parag Gohil has been a member of xBhp since 2013. He has been active in the Pune Chapter since then. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and works for an Automotive company based in Germany. He is passionate about travel and photography, and he always carries his camera with him!