The G310 GS is the second BMW bike under 500cc. It is based on its smaller sibling – the G310 R. Both the motorcycle models of the Bavarian maker share the same engine, frame, suspension and brakes. The G310 GS is also manufactured in India by TVS Motors which has a dedicated production line. To note here is that not only are the personnel specially trained in Germany but the machinery too came from Germany. The quality standards set by BMW for the production of its motorcycles are the same as those followed by the BMW factory in Berlin.
The touring culture is slowly but steadily gathering momentum in India and BMW Motorrad couldn’t have timed this launch any better. The G310 GS opens up a whole new world of riding experience within its segment and it is precisely this versatility that makes the G310 GS unique in the entry-level segment. Let’s jump on the G310 GS and get to know the bike better.
Design & Styling
The G310 GS is a multipurpose motorcycle with restricted dimensions in comparison with its bigger 1200cc siblings. However, its high front fender, raised silhouette, short tail and tank remind us of the bigger 1200cc GS model. The liquid-crystal screen of the instrument panel shows all the information which includes motorcycle speed, engine temperature, engine speed (rev-counter), clock, fuel level, mileage, average consumption and all the tell-tale lights. The small GS is the ideal suggestion even for off-road enthusiasts, thanks to the 19-inch front-wheel, the softly sprung long travel suspension and its light weight of just 169.5 kilograms make the GS a perfect motorcycle for new riders and adventure seekers. It inspires huge trust within the new rider and making it a ‘toy’ for the seasoned riders. The braking is taken care by a single 300mm disc up front with a 4-piston radial calliper. While a 240mm disc single piston calliper does duty on the rear wheel. The brakes are controlled by a two-channel ABS, which can be deactivated by an extended 3-second push of a button placed on the left side switchgear.
A feature sorely missed on the smaller street fighter sibling – the G310 R. The saddle is comfortable, supportive and spacious for both the rider and the pillion. The massive rear rack – same as on the 1200cc GS is adequate for a large travel bag or a hard top case. The bikes dimensions, in general, do not correspond to a small 300cc motorcycle. The Bavarian company saw that and made the new BMW G310 GS extremely friendly even for taller riders. The steering helps keep the body upright and the hands are at a comfortable angle with the handlebar, providing good control of the bike, even when ridden at speeds exceeding 120 kph.
Engine, Ride & Handling
The 313cc single-cylinder engine is a water-cooled 4-valve with double overhead camshafts, pushing out 34 horses at 9,500 RPM and churning out 28 NM of torque at 7,500 RPM. We should remind one here that this engine is characteristically leaned backwards, with the air-intake at the front of the engine and the exhaust pipe at the back. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox with the chain as the final drive. The gear ratios are slightly different from the G310 R. Since the GS serves a different purpose the first three gears are slightly shorter, which helps the G310 GS get upto higher speeds marginally quicker. In practice, the G310 GS is a very competent motorcycle. The engine reveals its power in a very friendly way, with no noticeable lag in acceleration at any given speeds without disappointing the rider.
The only obscure point is the ambiguity of the hard gearbox and the soft clutch of the motorcycle. Indeed, the new G310 GS flows through the city with absolute ease, comfort and with no fuss, all thanks to its light-weight and ultra-responsive steering. Not taking the G310 GS for long road trips is out of the question. This small motorcycle can take you everywhere, as long as you are not in a hurry. The short windscreen does not provide a good air-cover; you will have to invest in an aftermarket windscreen for better wind protection. The fuel consumption on this particular motorcycle did not exceed 25 kmpl. Considering we were mostly off-roading on the G310 GS and constantly switching between the 1st & 2nd gear, the fuel consumption figure is pretty decent and at par with the similar capacity motorcycles.
The steel tube frame, the inverted forks of 41mm diameter and the 180mm single back suspension guarantee stability, precise direction changes and a decent traction when ridden off-road. The G310 GS is a genuine GS below 500cc capacity segment. It’s a highly contemporary product with a level of versatility that is currently unrivalled in the segment. It is nimble and agile in city traffic, supremely robust in light terrain apart from being extremely compact yet mature and comfortable.
The new BMW G310 GS is not only a remarkable motorcycle for its dimensions, low fuel consumption, and versatility but also for the new riders entrance into the adventure motorcycle and BMW world. Along with the pleasure and prestige of transportation with the Bavarian company; it offers outstanding ride quality with its long travel suspension, which not only smoothens out our infamous Indian roads but glides over almost anything that comes in its stride. The only limiting factor though is the alloy wheels. We hope and wish that BMW at least offers the steel-spoke wheels as an option or as an aftermarket fitment for the off-road enthusiasts. With the only significant competitor – the astronomically priced Kawasaki Versys 300 (& the RE Himalayan, rolling our eyes!), absolutely nothing comes close to the BMW G310 GS, that is until the (recently announced) KTM 390 ADV makes its way to the Indian roads.