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The BMW G 310 R was launched in the Indian market on 18 July, 2018. The official launch in India happened nearly two and a half years since it was first showcased at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo.
What does the BMW G 310 R feel like? How does it perform? How refined is the engine? We would answer all these questions. But first, let us look at why BMW Motorrad took such a long time to put this motorcycle on sale in India.
Why Did BMW Motorrad Take Such A Long Time To Launch The BMW G 310 R In India?
BMW Motorrad is a premium motorcycle manufacturer that has been in the business for 95 years near. All of its motorcycles were till recently, powered by large engines. The German brand is relatively new to the small capacity motorcycle segment and it comes as a result of a collaboration with TVS Motor Company that was announced in 2013.
The BMW G 310 Stunt was the first concept developed under this collaboration and was showcased in Brazil back in 2015. A month later, BMW officially revealed the G 310 R at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. It was then showcased at the 2016 Indian Auto expo with expectations of a launch shortly thereafter.
However, it took longer than everyone thought it would. Production of the motorcycle began in July 2016 and the motorcycle has since then been exported to most BMW Motorrad markets across the world.
Till the launch of the BMW G 310 R in India, BMW Motorrad sold motorcycles only through direct imports and exported the G 310 R. BMW Motorrad took some time to expand its dealership network and implement a process wherein the locally produced bikes from TVS' factory could be sold at BMW dealerships.
BMW also had to increase and equip its dealership workforce to handle after sales service of the motorcycle. It was only after all of the necessary preparations were done, that BMW Motorrad went ahead and launched the G 310 R and GS in India.
Design And Styling
The BMW G 310 R is unmistakably a BMW, especially when it comes to the design aspect. It incorporates design elements from bigger BMW motorcycles and this definitely gives the rider a premium feel.
It is sleek to look at from afar off but feels muscular from up close and has a chunky feel when one swings a leg over it. This, I would say makes it well-proportioned. One look at the motorcycle, and you know that it is going to be both comfortable and sporty at the same time.
Quality is one area in which the BMW G 310 R seriously impresses. The fit and finish of the body work and the paint job shows the German attention to detail. We had the Pearl White motorcycle with BMW Motorsport colours on test, which in our opinion is the best colour option on the BMW G 310 R.
The white-coloured cowls and tank, along with the golden-coloured upside-down fork up front makes the motorcycle look extremely good. The rear end is sleek and adds to the sporty appearance. The BMW G 310 R makes do with LEDs just in the tail lamp.
LED headlamps and turn signal indicators are sorely missed, especially with this being a premium offering. It features a basic-looking digital instrument cluster that displays the range, current fuel efficiency, average speed, and other indications.
Engine And Performance
The BMW G 310 R is powered by a liquid-cooled, 313cc single-cylinder engine. It produces a maximum power output of 33.6bhp at 9,000rpm and a peak torque output of 28Nm at 7,500rpm. A six-speed gearbox transfers power to the rear wheel via a chain drive.
This engine has already been experienced in the Indian market as it also does duty in the TVS Apache RR 310. The power output is adequate for this segment, and though some of its rivals have a higher power output, the way the BMW G 310 R puts the power down is brilliant.
Low-end torque is missing and this could be a big drawback, especially if one wants to use this motorcycle in bumper-to-bumper traffic. 0-60km/h comes up in just 3.7 seconds and the motorcycle goes on to reach a top speed of 143km/h.
The gear ratios are perfectly matched and this makes for a sprightly ride once the revs get going. The 313cc motor loves to redline, and with the peak power output coming in at 9,000rpm it has to be redlined to get the maximum out of the engine.
It is a decent machine for cruising on the highway as 100km/h comes up at around 6,500rpm which is higher compared to other motorcycles in the segment. Its eagerness to rev high makes one want to go full-throttle.
Ride And Handling:
We got to ride the BMW G 310 R on the highway for a short period of time and off the highway on a back-road with a few curves. The way the motorcycle handled the curves and the highway was just brilliant.
It felt responsive and nimble while approaching corners. The upside-down forks up front inspired confidence in the corner and the rev-happy engine helped pull out of the corner rather quickly. The BMW G 310 R is equipped with a 300mm disc up front and a 240mm disc at the rear.
A 4-piston radially mounted caliper does duty up front while the rear makes do with a single-piston floating caliper. They aren't the most powerful brakes in this segment as the KTM 390 Duke comes with a bigger 320mm disc up front.
On the BMW G 310 R though, the feedback and the brake bite is great and gives the rider confidence while speeding. The brakes do a wonderful job at enhancing the riding experience and drops speeds pretty quickly. The brakes simply are the best in its class and there is no arguing about it. It also features BMW Motorrad ABS which makes the motorcycle relatively safe at high speeds.
The suspension setup doesn't exactly make the BMW G 310 R glide over potholes as it does not have the long-travel suspension offered on the G 310 GS. But going through deep potholes doesn't really unsettle the bike. It still remains stable and small potholes are dealt with ease.
We can tell that the absence of low-end torque will definitely be an irritable factor over a long-term ownership, especially in traffic. But this is nothing that one cannot get used to. All it needs is a few more revs to get going. Once it gets going, it is a happy bike to ride in the mid and high rev-range.
There is no doubt about the fact that the BMW G 310 R is a stylish, well-built, light and nimble motorcycle with likeable performance characteristics. In the Indian market though, it all comes down to pricing and BMW Motorrad seems to have priced it a little too high.
Yes, the brand value plays a huge role here and being able to purchase a BMW Motorrad motorcycle for as little as Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) is great news for enthusiasts. The very same enthusiasts would be willing to put their money on the BMW G 310 R.
However, the competition is tough, with the KTM 390 Duke being sold for nearly Rs 60,000 lesser and the Kawasaki Ninja 300 being sold for Rs 2.98 lakh. BMW Motorrad is doing pretty well when it comes to sales of the G 310 R twins. However, if the German manufacturer wants to continue with the same rate of success, a price drop might be needed.