Automakers like Bajaj and TVS are pushing into the big bike markets, and have plans on jumping their cc game with higher capacity motorcycles soon. They are walking to the other side of the bridge, trying their hands on slightly premium products.
At the same, big bike makers such as BMM Motorrad have slightly new plans for us. Even BMW is on the same bridge but on the opposite side. The company has been working on to introduce motorcycles in the small segment and looks like they’ve finally managed to sneak into this space with the newly introduced G 310 R and G 310 GS.
A few days back we rode the new BMW G 310 R, which will be a direct competition to the KTM 390 Duke, and now also to the Kawasaki Ninja 300 which has recently entered into the same bracket. With competition growing tougher with time, it was really interesting to see what the new G 310 R had in stores for us.
The company has been very clear about the appeal of its beginner roadster. The G 310 R has been designed to delineate a sport-ish yet sophisticated impression. The bike is clearly not meant to be an aggressive looking naked but something with a class that attracts everyone, and not just a specific set of audience.
Its fit & finish, and overall quality levels are impressive for a bike of its size. Take a closer look and it reveals that the company has made sure that it follows BMW’s international product standards, which makes it a true BMW bike, and not just something that's built for a limited/specific market. The plastics used are of great overall quality, the paint finish and combination of colors highlight the muscularity of the bike in a sedate manner. Overall, the G 310 R is surely a good looking motorcycle that carries a design which appeals to a wider set of audience.
Talking about the engine and performance, it runs on a 313cc water-cooled, single-cylinder engine which is identical to the one seen on its adventure sibling the GS, but on the ‘R’, it feels quite more lively. It delivers close to 34 bhp at 9,500 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque hits at 7,500. I was delighted to see how quick the bike felt when doing the acceleration tests. While on the open roads generous amount of mid-range torque was available at demand. The engine maintained its composure even when it was revved up to the red line several times, never felt running out of breath.
But coming down to the main course, one area where the G 310 R truly impresses is in its ride department. It is a lightweight machine at 158.5 kgs, but it feels even lighter when one the move. Changes directions in split seconds, sticks to the ground when leaning hard, and the setup truly offers neutral cornering response which makes it a fun handler. Its wide set handlebar provides enough leverage to gain confidence on the bike in no time. But more importantly, it feels generously comfortable even on bad city roads (but deeper insights are reserved until we get the bike with us for a longer duration).
The brakes again deserve a special mention. It comes equipped with ByBre disc brakes set up at both the front as well as the rear end. The front wheel gets a 300mm disc with four-piston caliper setup while the rear gets a 240mm rear disc with single-piston caliper setup. Dual-channel ABS comes as standard, which cannot be switched off. The braking is powerful and calculated, making it one of the safest bikes in its class.
The BMW G310 R has a perfect blend of elegant & attractive design language, smooth engine, and comfortable ergonomics that reflects an image of a perfect roadster. It might be your best upgrade if you are looking for something premium and doesn’t want to go with the regular options. And more importantly, want the feel-good factor of owning a brand which will only make you smile every time you boast about it.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir