Some would argue that BMW is only a couple years late in bringing the G 310 R to India. After all, it was first showcased in 2015 and made its India debut at the 2016 Auto Expo. But now that it is here and for good, we rode it at length to determine the good and the not so good bits about the motorcycle. For the first time, BMW Motorrad has entered the sub 500 cc segment and the G 310 R is a great opportunity for the company to generate good sales numbers.
Also Read: BMW G 310 R First Ride Review
Look and features
It is a good looking motorcycle, period! The BMW G 310 R is a naked and it looks the part. It is not loud by any means but even a quick glance at the bike will tell you that it means business. The fat, gold plated front forks along with an angular headlamp and the sculpted fuel tank with plastic shrouds give the bike a muscular look. The rear too looks good with the sculpted seat along with the split grab rails and the high-set exhaust. The design of the BMW G 310 R exudes rawness, like how it should, on a naked motorcycle.
Plus, the Pearl Metallic White colour scheme on our test motorcycle looks really good, with the BMW 'HP' colours thrown in. The other detail which caught our eye was the excellent fit and finish. The quality of plastics, paint and the welds are immaculate and the motorcycle feels as if it is built to last. The BMW G 310 R gets a fully digital instrument console although it is not a TFT panel. Also, you have dual-channel ABS as standard which cannot be switched off. Unfortunately, the G 310 R misses out on LED headlamps and indicators. We would also have liked the G 310 R to have adjustable clutch and brake levers, but the motorcycle misses out on that as well.
Engine and performance
The BMW G 310 R uses the same engine as on the TVS Apache RR 310 and it is also manufactured at TVS' plant in Hosur, near Bengaluru. It is a 313 cc single-cylinder unit which is liquid-cooled and makes 34 bhp at 9,500 rpm along with 28 Nm of peak torque at 7,500 rpm. We really like how the engine feels peppy with a strong mid-range. Keep the engine revs at about 6,000 rpm and you will have more than enough juice for quick overtakes without the need to shift down in the 4th or 5th gear. If you are looking to take the motorcycle out for a weekend spin and the highway, it will happily cruise at speed of 100-110 kmph. This is where the 6th gear comes in handy.
The six-speed gearbox is not smooth like Japanese motorcycles have but the gear lever goes up and down with a clunk and the first gear is a little too short for our liking, so much so that we ended up stalling on a couple of occasions.
You feel some vibrations if you go beyond 8,000 rpm but nothing that makes you uncomfortable or leaves your fingers all tingly after a long ride. The G 310 R is not a motorcycle that makes you feel like a hooligan like a certain rival does, but it gets the job done! It is basically a 300 cc motorcycle that makes daily commutes fun. If you are looking for something that satisfies your craving for a manic riding experience, you better look somewhere else.
Ride and handling
We really like how the suspension is set up on the BMW G 310 R. It is taut enough to handle spirited riding and quick direction changes but can handle broken roads and bumps with equal surefootedness. The ergonomics on the motorcycle too are comfortable, with upright seating positon and neutral footpeg positioning. The seat might feel a little cramped for riders on the heavier side but is comfortable enough to spend long hours on.
As far as the handling is concerned, you will find it easy to filter through traffic on the BMW G 310 R and it can take on corners with aplomb as well. It might not set your heart racing but is more than capable to give you the thrill of riding. The brakes on the BMW G 310 R too impressed us. The bike gets a 300 mm disc up front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. Both discs are gripped by Bybre callipers, a 4-pot calliper up front and a single-pot calliper at the rear. The brakes offer excellent bite and in a progressive manner. We tested the bike for hard braking and were impressed with the way the dual-channel ABS system works. It is not super intrusive but keeps the wheels from locking up at the same time.
The BMW G 310 R is a good bike. But what it misses out is the ability to tug at your heartstrings. Also, with an ex-showroom price of ₹ 2.99 lakh, it falls short on equipment that some of its other peers offer. Yes, there is a BMW badge on the motorcycle and there is no compromise on quality and there are people who would love to pay that extra premium for a long-lasting, sturdy motorcycle, but buyers in this segment do have the option of the KTM 390 Duke, which is the G 310 R's primary rival and is priced at ₹ 2.44 lakh. The newly launched Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 with a price of ₹ 2.50 lakh is a rival too as far as prices are concerned. Both motorcycles are priced significantly lesser and offer a lot more in terms of performance and equipment. There is little to fault with the BMW G 310 R but it is difficult to ignore the fact that there are better options available.
Photography: Azam Siddiqui & Rakesh Singh