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The BMW G 310 GS was one of the most awaited motorcycles in 2018 and the motorcycle is finally here. The BMW G 310 GS was first showcased at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo and launched a few months later on July 18 alongside the BMW G 310 R. It was launched at a price of Rs 3.49lakh (ex-showroom) which is a rather high price point.
The BMW GS series of dual purpose off-road/on-road BMW motorcycles have been produced since 1980, when the R80G/S - an 800cc, twin-cylinder motorcycle widely regarded as the first adventure motorcycle in the world - was launched. The GS refers to Gelände/Straße meaning off-road/road in German.
BMW's GS series motorcycles can be differentiated from other BMW models by their longer travel suspension, an upright riding position, and larger front wheels - a trait that is today followed by adventure tourers around the world. The BMW G 310 GS is the smallest motorcycle in BMW's famed GS range of adventure motorcycles and follows closely in the footsteps of the flagship R 1200 GS.
We rode the motorcycle on and off the road along with its sibling, the BMW G 310 R, and here is how it fared.
Design and Styling
When it comes to the styling aspect, it is very clear which bike the designers were looking to for inspiration. There probably might have been a BMW R 1200 GS parked close by and the designers just couldn't get their eyes off the flagship while designing the baby GS. The basic design is exactly like the R 1200 GS and it is only in the little details where it is different.
Though it shares the engine, chassis, wheels and brakes with the G 310 R, the GS looks much bigger. The attention grabber up front is the big ADV style beak and the triangular headlamp that has been taken straight off the R.
A small windscreen sits on top of the headlamp that works fairly well in blocking wind at high speed. The gold-coloured forks up front increases the desirability quotient just that much more. The BMW G 310 GS has plastic mouldings on the sides of the tank that makes it look really bulky.
BMW Motorrad has ensured the best quality with the moulded panels sitting flush and tight. The motorcycle also features an engine skid plate that looks like it is made of metal but is actually plastic. The skid plate should be able to do a decent job at guarding the engine but one cannot expect to do some extreme off-roading, especially with stones and rocks around.
The rear end features an LED tail-lamp and bulb-lit indicators. A luggage rack completes the design at the rear. The instrumentation console has been taken straight off its naked roadster sibling, the G 310 R.
The switchgear too is almost identical that of the G 310 R, except for a button that allows the rider to engage or disengage ABS, which is essential off paved surfaces. The BMW G 310 GS looks brilliant decked in BMW Motorsport colours.
Engine And Performance
The BMW G 310 GS is powered by a liquid-cooled, 313cc, single-cylinder engine. It is the same engine that powers the BMW G 310 R and the TVS Apache RR 310. With a maximum power output of 33.6bhp at 9,000RPM and a peak torque output of 28Nm at 7,500RPM, the BMW G 310 GS isn't exactly a slouch.
Acceleration is brisk and highway mannerisms of the engine are great. The BMW G 310 GS accelerates from 0-60km/h in around 4 seconds and has a claimed top speed of about 140km/h. Very similar to that of the G 310 R. The engine is comfortable keeping the motorcycle at triple digit speeds all day long and has just enough zest to allow for quick overtakes too.
But the G 310 GS is a dual-sport motorcycle that is intended to be used off the road and it is here that the engine begins to show its true colours. The 313cc engine is a rev-happy motor and that is good in off-road situations involving soft and loose terrain like slush, much and sand dunes.
However, it has a weak spot when it comes to rocky beds and stones primarily due to its low-end torque, or the lack of it. The engine has to be revved a little to get going and this could be cause for concern on steep inclines involving rocks and stones. Low-end torque is one of the main requirements for serious off-roading business.
It is easy to adapt to the unique torque characteristics of this engine and with a slightly more active right wrist, the BMW G 310 GS quickly turns into a fun-to-ride machine, especially off the road.
We rode the motorcycle in soft, sandy terrain as well as hard rocky mud roads and the way the engine revs and allows the rider to have fun while having full control over the motorcycle is near perfect.
Ride And Handling
How the rider sits plays a big part in how the motorcycle feels to ride and this is where the BMW G 310 GS scores all the brownie points. The long travel suspension and the bigger wheel up front combined with the handlebar positioning and the unique seat allows the rider to sit upright.
It is a typical adventure tourer seating position and one can do hours of riding without breaking a sweat. The riding position also does wonders to how the motorcycle handles, off the road when the tarmac disappears.
The on/off-road Metzeler Tourance tyres offer superior grip levels to most other tyres in the market both on and off the road, never letting the rider run out of confidence. The BMW G 310 GS lets even amateur riders have their fair share of fun off the road and it was fun chucking the motorcycle into corners on the sand with the rear end sliding out.
The long travel suspension and softer rear suspension allows the BMW G 310 GS to glide over rough and broken roads without caring for potholes that most bikes would be hard on the brakes for.
The Brakes are the same 310mm disc up front and 240mm disc at the rear, taken straight from its sibling, the BMW G 310 R. The brakes were one of the best on the R and still is the best on the GS as well. These are the best brakes one can find on an adventure motorcycle under the 650cc bracket.
Finally, it all comes down to the price. The BMW G 310 GS was launched at an ex-showroom price of Rs 3,49,000 and the on-road price is Rs. 4,19,340. Is it worth it? Well, one might say its competitors are cheaper and indeed they are.
The KTM Duke 390 does have more power - 10 bhp more - and is cheaper by more than a lakh rupees. The TVS Apache RR 310 costs nearly 1.5 lakh lesser to buy and is based on the same frame and is powered by the same engine engine too. In fact the BMW G310 R, the GS's naked sibling too is cheaper by half a lakh.
So why then would you buy the GS? One word - exclusivity.
The BMW badge itself is worth a lot, and bikes that bare the GS badge have been used by explorers and adventurers for decades now. Continents have been explored and rides across the globe have been accomplished by riders on BMW GS bikes.
If BMW has slapped the GS badge on a bike, we can be sure that the same traits and qualities can be found in the baby GS too. This is the the least expensive premium adventure motorcycle in the Indian market.
The bike feels solid, and well built. We can be sure that even a few years of riding the bike in Indian road conditions will not bring about any sort of rattles and vibrations. In fact, the very bike we rode was showed a few hundred kilometers on the odometer and I'm sure that the riders wouldn't have been very merciful to it during this span. Yet, the bike sounded ready to take on any terrain you throw at it.
Stephen Neil Thinks!
You can use the BMW G 310 GS for touring, you can use it off the road and even on everyday commutes. This bike would surely be fun to use on an everyday basis. It will also last long because after sales service will be handled by BMW Motorrad service personnel. In fact, the first service bill of one of the BMW G 310 GS motorcycles was brought out only recently.
The BMW G310 GS is an exclusive baby GS that feels premium and comes at a price.