Bikes from BMW Motorrad have been selling in the market for a few years now but it’s only when the German maker announced the launch of affordable motorbikes in the sub 500 cc category did many bike enthusiasts sit up and take note. The bikes have finally been launched and they have taken some time to come. BMW says they were getting the dealerships ready in order the support the perceived demand. The G 310 R and the G 310 GS have been developed in Germany but are made in collaboration with TVS at their factory in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, making India one of the few places in the world where BMW Motorrad bikes are manufactured.
Talking about the BMW G 310 R first, it’s a bike which embodies the essence of a roadster from the brand. The design reveals its agile and dynamic character and the good thing is that the company has tried to make it look similar to one of its litre class bikes, the S 1000 R. It’s got a striking headlamp, a muscular fuel tank and characteristic roadster proportions of the front and rear. The G 310 GS meanwhile looks every bit a genuine GS at first sight; it is versatile that is devoid of any rival in the segment at least for now. With its high front fender, striking flyline, protective windscreen, and short but high rear, it features classic elements from the larger GS sibling models. The characteristic beak runs as a band of colour emerging from the headlamp mask across the fuel tank to the side trim. The high-quality luggage bridge comes as standard that will make the bike very functional. Both the bikes share the same standard multi-function instrument cluster that has a large liquid crystal display that offers good clarity and a wide range of information. But in terms of dimensions and wheel size the GS is the elder sibling.
The BMW G 310 R and the G 310 GS are powered by a newly developed 313 cc water-cooled single-cylinder 4-stroke engine together with electronic fuel injection. This engine gives a maximum output of 34 bhp and a maximum torque of 28 Nm at 7,500 rpm. According to BMW the backward-tilted cylinder in open-deck design with the cylinder head turned by 180 degrees, makes it possible to position the intake tract at the front, viewed in the direction of travel. This makes the motorcycles accelerate from 0–50 km/hr in just 2.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 143 km/hr. The 6-speed gearbox is new too and the company says it transfers the torque with an optimised transmission ratio.
Ride & Handling
In terms of suspension, the bikes have a torsionally stiff, highly robust tubular steel frame in grid structure with bolt-on rear frame. The front wheel suspension is taken care of by a solid upside-down fork while at the rear there is an aluminium swinging arm in conjunction with a spring strut that is mounted on it directly. The suspension geometry is designed for easy handling, stability and a neutral cornering response, which makes for an active riding character and maximum riding fun. On the G 310 R compact proportions and a short wheelbase help in fast changes of direction, while the high rear conveys a lightness much needed for a bike which wants to be sporty. On the other hand the G 310 GS is nimble and agile in traffic, but more importantly is robust over tough terrain. If your everyday riding involves a bit of adventure the GS will support you well. Both motorcycles also feature a high-performance brake system with 2-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) a must have in this segment.
There has been a lot of speculation on the prices of these two bikes ever since the premium brand announced its entry in the volume segment. That was laid to rest when BMW motorrad announced the prices earlier this week. While the G 310 R has been priced at Rs. 2.99 lacs (ex-showroom), the GS 310 R will cost Rs. 50,000 more. The prices seem a bit on the higher side but remember they come from a premium brand who is promising a complete peace of mind. And that’s why standard warranty for ‘three years, unlimited kilometres’, with an option to extend it to fourth and fifth year. Finance schemes through BMW Financial Services India will provide all-inclusive monthly installments starting at Rs. 6,999 to make these bikes more accessible. This also includes Road Side Assistance, a 24×7 365 day package that ensures prompt services in case of breakdown and towing situations. But yes for the time being there are just nine locations across the country where you can book these bikes and the sooner the bike maker increases that number the better it is for them as well as the consumer.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars