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HomeZA BikersBike ReviewsThe BMW G 310 R - First Ride Impressions!

The BMW G 310 R – First Ride Impressions!

For the first time, BMW Motorrad is entering the under 500cc market with their newly developed G 310 R, which offers a quality BMW product just in a smaller package. The G 310 R was developed in Munich by BMW Motorrad and produced in Bangalore, India by TVS Motor Company.

TVS Motor Company is India’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer with a production volume of some 2.5 million vehicles per year. Founded in 1911 the success of the TVS group is rooted in their founder’s personal belief system – commitment to the values of trust and customer service. In fact, the letters TVS actually stand for Trust, Value, and Service.

I visited the TVS factory back in 2011 and was very impressed with the high standards they set both in engineering and manufacturing. Unbelievably, they employ over 450 people in there R&D department alone.

TVS’s manufacturing systems and expertise were developed over a 19 year relationship with Suzuki. They manufactured legendary bikes such as the B120, which was used extensively as a delivery motorcycle in South Africa and was known to be bulletproof.

I have also owned a TVS Apache RTR 180. Back in 2012, we rode a convoy of these bikes from Pretoria to Victoria Falls and back. This was a 2600 kay’s round trip via Botswana and Zimbabwe. We had no reliability issues at all, riding through conditions of 40 degrees heat and averaging at 42 km/l, with only having to occasionally lube the chain. After the trip, the oil was still golden in all of the bikes.. Very impressive motorcycles!

To read more about our trip click.. HERE <<

I can personally endorse the quality of TVS engineering and I see them as being a natural fit for BMW Motorrad, who is also renowned for quality and durability.

The design of the G 310 R is stunning – Very stylish!

During the test we rode the G 310 R mainly in the built up urban areas of Johannesburg, which is its natural enviroment. Riding in these conditions was amazing. The bike is light and you can cut through the traffic with ease. The G 310 R reminded me why I started riding bikes in the first place.. So much fun!

The relaxed riding position and low seat height of just 785 millimeters inspired confidence, especially for shorter riders like myself. There is a 815 millimeter seat option available for taller riders. The G 310 R is very smooth to ride and oozes quality in every way.

In terms of suspension, the G 310 R is fitted with KYB 41mm upside-down forks in the front and a single spring shock in the rear – both working as good as they look. The forks are non-adjustable but I did find them, to be well set up. The pre-load adjustable shock is firm and well-damped. All in all a very comfortable bike to ride.

At the heart of the new G 310 R is a 313cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine with two overhead camshafts together with electronic fuel injection. It has an output of 25 kW at 9 500 rpm and a maximum torque of 28 Nm at 7 500 rpm. A very innovative feature is a backward-tilted cylinder, open-deck design with the cylinder head turned by 180 degrees, making it possible to position the intake tract at the front, viewed in the direction of travel.

The fuel tank holds 11 litres and performance figures claim 30 km/l. This then gives you in excess of 300 km’s on a tank, potentially making it a great option as a highway commuter. I say ‘potentially’ because during the test we rode a short section of highway. Cruising at 120 kph the motor was working very hard – the rev counter was showing around 8000 rpm (the G 310 R redlines at 10 000 rpm). Ideally the bike would feel less stressed at 7500 rpm. If I was buying this bike as a highway commuter, I would seriously consider a 1 tooth larger front sprocket. In my opinion, this would improve the characteristics of the bike for highway use.

The G 310 R is fitted with ABS as standard. It combines a powerful brake system with 2-channel ABS. At the front wheel, a single disc brake with radially bolted 4-piston fixed caliper and brake disc. At the rear, this function is performed by a 3-piston floating caliper in conjunction with a 240-millimetre brake disc. These are from Bybre, Brembo’s Indian built brand. I found the brakes to be excellent and I was very impressed with the progression and power.

The G 310 R has a very nice designed LCD screen, which displays fuel guage, average fuel consumption, range till empty, average speed, gear indicator, time and date – basically everything you would ever need.

With an attractive selling price of R62 900, which comes with a 2 year standard BMW warranty and 3 year BMW roadside assistance package. Add to this an excellent country wide dealer network and then you have got a very dominant offering from BMW Motorrad.

Specifications – BMW G 310 R

Capacity cc 313
Bore/stroke mm 80/62
Output kW 25
at engine speed rpm 9500
Torque Nm 28
at engine speed rpm 7500
Type liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine
No. of cylinders 1
Compression/fuel 10.6:1 / premium unleaded (95 RON)
Valve/accelerator actuation DOHC
Valves per cylinder 4
Ø intake/outlet mm 33.5/27.2
Ø Throttle valves mm 42
Engine control BMS-E2
Emission control closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter
Electrical System
Alternator W 330
Battery V/Ah 12/8
Headlamp W H4 12 V 60/55 W
Starter kW 0.5
Power Transmission
Clutch Multi-plate wet clutch
Gearbox constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox
Primary ratio 3.083
Transmission ratios I 3.000
II 2.063
III 1.588
IV 1.286
V 1.095
VI 0.955
Rear wheel drive O-ring chain
Suspension and Brakes
Frame construction type Tubular steel frame in grid structure with bolt-on rear frame
Front wheel suspension Telescopic fork, Ø 41mm
Rear wheel suspension Aluminium swinging arm in conjunction with a directly mounted spring strut
Total spring travel, front/rear mm 140/131
Wheel castor mm 102.3
Wheelbase mm 1374
Steering head angle ° 64.9
Brakes front Single-disc brake Ø 300 mm
rear Single-disc brake Ø 240 mm
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS
Wheels and Tyres
Wheels 5-spoke light alloy die-cast
front 3.0 x 17″
rear 4.0 x 17″
Tyres front 110/70 R 17
rear 150/60 R 17
Dimensions and Weights
Total length mm 1988
Total width with mirrors mm 896
Seat height mm 785
DIN unladen weight, road ready kg 158.5
Permitted total weight kg 345
Fuel tank capacity l 11
Performance Figures
Fuel consumption (WMTC) l/100 km 3.33
Top speed km/h 145

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Simon Morton
Simon Morton
Online Editor at ZA Bikers.