Born out of a partnership between BMW Motorrad and TVS Motor Co that was inked in 2013 (to build sub-500cc bikes at the latter’s plant at Hosur, Tamil Nadu), the 2018 BMW G 310R is a global product. Found in other markets of the world where BMW Motorrad is present, including India, the G 310R is a naked bike. Priced at Rs 2.99 lakhs ex-showroom and sold alongside the G 310GS, which shares a good deal of components with it even though it makes an adventure bike, the G 310R looks compact and muscular. The radiator shrouds look similar to that of the BMW S 1000R even as the bike flaunts clean lines giving the impression of being sophisticated. Sporting plastic panels over the sides of the slim, 11-litre tank separated by a black, rubbery material in the centre (that probably makes a tank protector unnecessary), the bike looks smart.
Fitted with 41mm upside down forks finished in an attractive shade of gold, and a monoshock at the rear that is preload adjustable, the G 310R is powered by a 35bhp, 313cc single-cylinder water-cooled fuel injected engine.
It is snugly located inside the trellis frame, a portion of which is visible, and drops down to form the pivot for the solid die-cast aluminium swing arm. Where the swing arm is attached to the frame, a brushed aluminium cover makes for an interesting design element and adds to the bike’s naked look.
The foot pegs are slightly rear-set, and make for a slightly forward leaning yet comfortable riding position. The exhaust can and the golden front forks provide an impression of being similar to that of the TVS Apache RR 310. The two share a good deal of components as much as the G 310R does with the G 310GS.
The single scooped-out seat is comfortable, and the grab handles and the tail lamp are nicely integrated with the tail section.
Smallest BMW bike
Mount the bike and it feels lighter than any of the other BMW bikes. Smallest BMW yet, the bike does not look cheap in any which way. The digital dash includes a gear indicator. The tachometer display is a bar graph across the bottom, which is difficult to read at a glance. A single button aids to navigate through the trip meters, fuel range, mileage, and engine temperature. If the placement of the engine cylinder makes for an interesting change such that the intake is where the exhaust port usually is, the bike feels quite tractable and responsive. There is no slipper clutch even as the six-speed gearbox supports smooth and precise shifts. Flaunting rubber mounted handlebars, the G 310R feels refined and smooth. An amount of buzz is felt at the foot pegs at rpm above 6000rpm, but at no point in time feels annoying. Running on a 110-section front tyre and a 150-section rear tyre, the performance of the bike is quite similar to that the Apache RR 310.
Employing a trellis frame much like the Apache RR 310, the G 310R feels quite agile and manoeuvrable. If the Michelin tyres do a good job of gripping the surface below, the ground clearance is a good 165mm. Quite enjoyable to ride, the bike feels compact; this helps when riding in the city. Good dynamics and the ability to perform has the bike in good stead on the highway and during long rides. The brakes do a good job. Backed by three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, the G 310R makes an interesting machine to ride, but costly when compared with its competitors like the Apache RR 310 and the KTM 390 Duke. The latter, which is also a premium European brand, costs approximately Rs 55,000 less.
In terms of features too, the G 310R does not have a slipper clutch or an LED head lamp. Also, the BMW Motorrad network in India is not as big or wide as that of its competitors. Though adorning the prestigious BMW badge on its flanks, the G 310R has a tough task to impress in a space that is highly competitive.