The drum roll leading up to BMW's two most affordable motorcycles' launch in India had been ringing in our ears for a really long time. The BMW twins were supposed to be launched in the country last year, but none's the matter - now that they're both here, we can look forward to actually riding them. But a comparison of a new automobile to others is inevitable, and BMW G310R and G310GS do seem to have some rivals to look out for. However, the most talked about one is the KTM 390 Duke. But is it even a fair comparison. The question is: if anyone has about Rs 3 lakh and wants to buy a street naked, why would they go for the BMW and not KTM?
BMW G310R is more of a muscular design and styling, and looks like a strong roadster that it claims to be. The triangular headlamp and sharp extensions give it a sporty appeal, along with a resemblance to its elder siblings.
KTM 390 Duke, on the other hand, looks much sharper. We're all used to and have admired the contrast painted trellis frame that stands out in it. The full LED headlamp and TFT instrument cluster add a futuristic appeal.
BMW G310R's engine was developed jointly by BMW Motorrad and TVS Motor Company. Clearly, a smaller displacement, the G310R's 313cc, single cylinder, liquid-cooled engine makes 10 hp less than the Duke 390. It's engine, paired with a six-speed gearbox, produces 34 bhp of power and 28 Nm of torque.
The 2017 KTM 390 Duke is pretty much the clear winner when it comes to power as it uses a bigger 373cc, single cylinder engine paired with a six-speed transmission that is further assisted by a slipper clutch. The liquid-cooled, fuel injected engine develops 44 hp and 37 Nm.
Brakes and suspension
BMW G310R comes fitted with a 300 mm disc brake up front and a 240 mm disc brake at the rear, coupled to BMW Motorrad Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). The motorcycle sits on a tubular steel frame and its suspension system comprises of 41mm upside down forks upfront along with a monoshock at the rear. The G310R rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 110/70 front and 150/60 rear section tyres.
On the other hand, KTM Duke 390 comes equipped with a bigger 320 mm disc brake at the front and a 230 mm disc brake at the rear, along with ABS. The 390 Duke has a steel trellis frame and the suspension set up comprises of with 43mm inverted forks at the front along with a monoshock at the rear. The motorcycle rides on orange alloy wheels wrapped with the size of tyres at 110/70 section tyre front and 150/60 rear.
In terms of features, the BMW G310R gets disc brakes at both ends with ABS and an informative fully digital instrument cluster. On the other hand, the 2017 KTM 390 Duke gets a fully coloured 5-inch TFT instrument cluster that also supports smartphone connectivity. Dual disc brakes with ABS come as standard and the bike has a slipper clutch as well. Besides these, the Duke 390 also gets full LED headlamp, tail lamp and turn indicators.
2017 KTM 390 Duke is currently available at the company's dealerships across India at a price of Rs 2.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). On the other hand, the BMW G310R was recently launched at Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). So, clearly the Duke 390 has an upper hand in terms of pricing as well and is a better value-for-money package.
BMW as a brand has had a very premium appeal in India for years now, and the G310R is the most affordable way of owing a BMW. So, the G310R will also have a set of takers but time will tell if this flame will grow or die out eventually.
In conclusion, the BMW G310R may be opted for if styling is a priority and the buyer is looking for something less aggressive compared to the Duke 390. But, the KTM presents a better value-for-money package, thanks to more power, more features and a smaller price tag