BMW G 310 R was one of the reasons why 2018 was indeed special for motorcycle enthusiasts in India. The gone by year was when BMW Motorrad decided to finally end the long wait and launch the most affordable Beemer in the country. Almost everything about this baby BMW was already known and pricing was the only thing left that was being speculated widely. However, with the announcement of pricing, mixed reactions started pouring in. While the figure seemed perfectly fine to some, few said that the bike was meant to come at such pricing as it belongs to a premium brand. And then there were the remaining that were outright disappointed with the price tag.
Nonetheless, speaking of the product itself, the BMW G 310 R impressed us during the brief media ride and now was the time to test it out amid the hustle and bustle of the city. Also, how the most affordable and smallest BMW is to live with and should you spend almost three and a half lakh rupees (on-road) on this motorcycle, or not? Read on to find out!
Based on a pure roadster philosophy, the BMW G 310 R is a good looking motorcycle, to say the least. The beefier inverted forks finished in golden paint up front along with a triangular headlamp keep things bold and simple at the same time. To me, the BMW G 310 R appeals the most in this HP inspired livery as the white-blue combo feels just the right thing on this motorcycle. Unlike other BMW motorcycles that get an asymmetric face, this one has been developed with a simple approach. The exposed trellis frame along with sporty looking alloy wheels and a sleek tail section are some other visual highlights of the package that contribute to making the BMW a pure looker. The overall design is not overdone and the bike stays away from all the drama, which to my belief is a good thing.
Speaking of features, the G 310 R gets a fully digital instrument cluster that packs in a gear position display, clock, distance-to-empty indication besides the usual information. While the unit is highly informative, we would have loved to see a coloured instrumentation. Also, the headlamp and the turning blinkers are not LED, which is a miss considering the segment in which the G 310 R falls in. However, the quality of switchgear along with the fit and finish is top notch, just what you would expect from a BMW.
The engine on the BMW G 310 R feels familiar as it is the same unit that powers the TVS Apache RR 310. The 313cc motor has a distinct exhaust note along with a solid mid-range that makes daily commutes fun and hassle-free. On the move, the engine feels eager and triple-digit speeds are achieved almost effortlessly. During our test runs, we managed to achieve a top whack of 144 kmph. While the G 310 R and RR 310 share the same engine, the former feels quicker due to the fact that it is lighter than the TVS. The gearbox is a six-speed unit that works fine in all situations and we didn’t come across any false neutrals even for a single time during our test runs. The sweet spot of the engine is between 6,000 to 6,500 rpm and you can cruise easily at about 110 kmph after which vibrations start to creep in.
What I did not like about the engine though is its low-end performance. Due to this, getting stuck in city traffic feels a bit annoying as you will notice the engine stalling at lower revs. Just like what we had experienced on the Apache RR 310, the engine on the BMW G 310 R has vibrations and hence, does not feel as refined as one would expect a BMW to.
This has to be one of the key areas where the BMW G 310 R shines in all its glory. The coordination between rider input and the directional change is almost telepathic and the motorcycle feels nimble, giving a benefit in city traffic. The G 310 R offers a plush ride quality and the suspension is set slightly on the softer side. Be it broken surfaces, speed breakers or potholes, the BMW G 310 R glides over most of them with only the larger ones passing the impact to the rider’s backbone. Another highlight of the package is the brakes. The BMW G 310 R employs a 300mm disc brake up front while a 240mm disc brake is offered at the rear and these help the bike lose momentum quickly. Moreover, you get a dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) as standard that works fine in all situations and proves life-saving during panic braking situations.
The grip from the Michelin rubber is also confidence inspiring and the bike remains composed and maintains its line through corners. Straight line stability is also commendable and one won’t feel the bike getting nervous even after 140 kmph. The riding position is upright and comfortable and the slightly rear set footpegs offer a rather sporty feel. The seat is reasonably comfortable and you can spend long hours on the saddle without any complaint. With a kerb weight of 159 kg and a seat height of 785mm, the BMW G 310 R feels manageable and even riders with an average riding experience will find it apt for daily usage.
All said and done, the BMW G 310 R is a well-engineered motorcycle that will do almost everything that you expect from a 300cc motorcycle. But first, let’s address the elephant in the room. At Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), there is no doubt that the G 310 R is priced on the higher side. Adding to the problems for the baby BMW is the fact that the KTM 390 Duke is cheaper than the G 310 R by more than Rs 50,000 and offers great value for money with more power and better features. Also, the locally assembled Kawasaki Ninja 300 is priced at Rs 2.98 lakh that not only offers a fully faired styling but also an engine with an extra cylinder.
Keeping that aside, the BMW G 310 R is a fantastic street fighter with great build quality and offers performance that won’t disappoint you either. The motorcycle offers an entertaining ride in most of the scenarios and while there are a few features missing, the G 310 R compensates on that front with its brilliant handling and impressive ride quality. If these qualities along with a desire to own a BMW motorcycle is what you have longed for then the G 310 R will keep you happy for long.
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