Not only in the Indian context, but on the international platform too, BMW Motorrad is known as a manufacturer of high end exclusive motorcycles which are not made for everyone. Till now, the brilliance of German engineering on two wheels was limited to only multi-cylinder motorcycles made for super high performance lovers.
Not any more, as BMW Motorrad has broken the notion of making multi-cylinder performance motorcycles – it has entered the territory of single cylinder motorcycles by moving down the ladder into sub-500cc category. Say hello to the new BMW G 310 R – the motorcycle with which BMW wants to have its fair share in the sub-500cc category of performance oriented motorcycles.
Designed and engineered in collaboration with TVS Motor Company, India, the new BMW G 310 R is the one and only single cylinder motorcycle in the entire portfolio of its motorcycles. With the BMW G 310 R, BMW aims to increase its share and strengthen its presence in the emerging markets, like that of India. Here’s our take on the all new BMW G 310 R.
BMW should be given full credits for giving a genuine design to the G 310 R. The motorcycle looks like no other motorcycle in its category, without going too overboard, and is easily the best looking motorcycle in its category – it’s not loud, but subtle, it definitely is.
At the front, the G 310 R has a small triangular-like headlamp flanked by plastic panels, which though do not give it a very striking face. The upper portion of the headlamp has black plastic cladding, at the center of which there is a small V-shaped scoop, adding some character to the otherwise simple looking face. Above the headlamp sits the instrument console, the back of which is painted in the livery of the motorcycle.
It is the side profile of the motorcycle which is the most striking angle to look at. The nicely designed fuel tank, which has strong creases on its upper and top edges, makes you feel as if you are riding a much larger motorcycle. At the lower side portions of the fuel tank sits the BMW logo on both the sides, with the fuel tank also coming with tank shrouds which also hide the radiator. The engine is finished in grey, while the trellis frame is finished in black. The engine also comes with a black finished underbelly cowl. The absence of side body cowls, which expose the trellis frame of the motorcycle, enhances the nakedness of the G 310 R.
The rear side body panels of the G 310 R too are chunkily designed, which have a pointy design while moving towards the rear. The small hexagonal LED tail lamp is mounted on the rear fender, which along with the absence of any stupid rear tyre hugger, makes the rear look very sporty. The single piece seat and split pillion grab rails are functional and comfortable on use as well. The star shaped 5-spoke alloy wheels too have a very unique design to them as well.
The rectangular LCD instrument console is fully digital and has digital readouts for speedometer, tachometer, odometer, two trip meters, fuel gauge, engine temperature gauge, gear indicator, clock and several other minute details on the go. The switchgear feels familiar, as they look inspired from that of the TVS Apache. The rear view mirrors are borrowed from the S 1000 R. Keeping in the tradition of true roadsters, the G 310 R comes with a single piece handlebar.
BMW Motorrad has taken a bold move by shifting from its trend of making multi cylinder engines, by developing a single cylinder mill for the G 310 R, in conjunction with TVS. The G 310 R comes with a four stroke, single cylinder, water cooled, four valve, 313cc engine, which has the ability to pump out 34 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque. These figures make the G 310 R the strongest single cylinder motorcycle on paper.
Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine has a meaty mid range, and isn’t as extremely frenzy in nature as the single cylinder sub-500cc engines of the KTM. The engines promise a subtle power delivery, which aims to give you the feel of riding a twin cylinder engine. BMW claims a top speed of 145 kmph for G 310 R, which is quite respectable for a motorcycle of this class.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Sitting on a bolted steel trellis frame, the BMW G 310 R has been equipped with golden finished 41mm upside down telescopic forks at the front and a solid die cast aluminium swingarm with a directly hinged monoshock at the rear. The suspension is tuned for a slightly stiffer ride to aid in the excellent dynamics of the motorcycle. The 17-inch alloy wheels of the motorcycle come shod with 110/70 R17 tyre at the front and a 150/60 R17 tyre at the rear, much like that of one of its rivals, the KTM Duke 200. Brakes on duty are a 300mm disc brake at the front and a 240mm disc brake at the rear, both of which are couple up with ABS which is being offered as standard equipment. The whole motorcycle weighs at 158.5 kg, which is reasonable for a 300cc motorcycle.
BMW has only unveiled the G 310 R on global platforms, with the motorcycle already on sale in some of the European markets. Given the fact that its genes belong to TVS and its India-friendly specifications, the G 310 R will definitely make its way to the Indian shores, probably by the second half of 2016. It can be safely expected that the G 310 R will be priced in the range of Rs. 2-2.25 lakh, which will make it the most affordable motorcycle from BMW Motorrad in the Indian market.
Globally, the BMW G 310 R is available in three different color options – Pearl White Metallic, Cosmic Black and Strato Blue Metallic, all of which will hopefully be available in India as well.
Apart from the 200cc and 373cc KTM Dukes as well as the CBR 250R, the closest competitor to the BMW G 310 R is the Mahindra Mojo. Though the overall design of the Mahindra Mojo is not as eye pleasing as that of the G 310 R, it does have an indigenous appeal, courtesy the dual round headlamp, daytime running LEDs, dual exhausts and golden ribs below the fuel tank.
Compared to the 313cc engine of the G 310 R, the Mahindra Mojo comes bolstered with a four stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, 295cc engine, which makes 32 PS of power and 30 Nm of torque. Both the engines have the same character while ridden during the mid range as well as in higher revs, though the BMW G 310 R feels a bit quicker during the initial revs.
According to technical specifications, the suspension components and settings of both the motorcycles may feel exactly the same, but there’s a difference – while the G 310 R is more fine tuned to deliver a fun-filled engaging ride, the ride quality of the Mojo is tilted more towards comfort, which makes it more touring friendly. Brakes on both the motorcycles are excellent, though the G 310 R has an upper edge due to the presence of standard ABS.
The G 310 R might be a bold move for BMW Motorrad, but given the strong opportunities of growth in the sub-500cc segments in the emerging markets, it was destined to happen. And successfully, the BMW G 310 R has managed to strike the gold, as the motorcycle is simply one of the best motorcycles you can have in this segment. The motorcycle has a refreshing subtle design, has a punchy performance on offer and the ride quality is a perfect balance between being sporty and being comfortable. The only thing which is now left to watch is how BMW manages to price it well, given the fact that it has an uphill task to dethrone both the entry level KTM Dukes. A strong pricing anywhere in between the Duke 200 and Duke 390 will be a perfect opportunity for the BMW G 310 R to make a strong dent not only in the sales of KTM, but also all other 250-300cc offerings. And yes – BMW also needs to expand its reach now in the Indian market by increasing its number of outlets, but then it might use the existing dealer outlets of TVS for selling the G 310 R.