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BMW G 310 R Launch Ride Review

06 August 2018, 06:07 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

This is BMW's smallest, lightest, and most affordable motorcycle in the world. And, it's made here in India. By TVS Motor Company.

But, to think that the German bike maker wants to go mainstream in India with the BMW G 310 R, would be incorrect. And by mainstream I mean wanting to sell in four digits every month. BMW just doesn't have enough retail or service outlets yet to handle that sort of demand.

Therefore, it has done the next best thing - it has gone ahead and priced itself out of the numbers game. I know I said the G 310 R is BMW's cheapest bike yet, but at Rs 3.72 lakhs on the road in Mumbai, it is also the most expensive, single cylinder, 300cc motorcycle on sale in the country. Barring its taller, more adventurous twin, of course. But, that's a story for another day.

The question then is, should you even consider the G 310 R? To do that let's answer some simple questions.

Is it desirable?

Well, it's a BMW. And for most buyers, that would be enough. But, if you are putting your hard-earned money into a motorcycle - and I am speaking about the majority here, you'd want as much bang for your buck as possible. And in that regard, considering the price, the 310 R falls short.

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BMW G 310 R [2018-2019]

BMW G 310 R [2018-2019]

  • Displacement313 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported30 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)33 bhp
  • Kerb Weight158.5 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 2,99,000

The quality - be it the paint, the look and feel of the plastic all-round, the fit and finish, and even the attention to detail - is all great. But, you also get that in bikes with a lower price tag.

It has a digital instrumentation with all the necessary information like two trip meters, range, and average fuel economy. But again, you are not getting anything extra for the higher price. It's all there in cheaper motorcycles. In fact, when it comes to features, the R lacks a few. It doesn't get LED head lamps or even LED turn indicators; there's no hazard switch; and in technology terms, there's no slipper clutch or ride-by-wire.

So, like we said earlier, the only truly desirable bit about the G 310 R is the BMW badge.

Is it functional?

Well, it might be a BMW, but it is designed for the city. And that means it needs to be easy, accessible, comfortable.

And the R does well on comfort. The seating with the wide handlebar, the mildly rearset footpegs, and the low one-piece seat makes for both comfortable and accessible seating. The ride is well judged too. It's not soft, so you will feel the road under you at all times. But, the way the upside down front forks and the preload adjustable monoshock sails over the bumps and dampens the undulations, you rarely feel the need to slow down over poor roads to save both the bike and your back.

Adding to the R's functionality is the light clutch pull, good heat management, and quick low speed handling. The latter makes it feel smaller and lighter than it really is. It's one of those bikes that you can just get on and ride, and not worry about its capacity or power output. It has good brakes too.

Is it fun?

That the BMW most definitely is. It feels light and nimble; almost playful. 

It's planted in a straight line even at three-digit speeds; it changes directions as if it had rabbit feet; and when you are in the mood for it, it plays the perfect hooligan too.

The crisp throttle response and the strong mid-range further add to the R's chirpy nature. But, as is the case with the TVS Apache RR310, the G 310 R's engine too sounds coarse; almost broken. These are the same units, after all. Also like the TVS, there are vibes that creep in from 5,000rpm around the tank and foot pegs.

However, courtesy the rubber mounted handlebar, the rider's hands don't buzz as much. Another issue with the BMW is its penchant for stalling. It isn't something we have seen on the RR310 though. But then the two bikes do run on different ECUs.

Conclusion

The question we were battling with at the start of the review was whether the BMW G 310 R is even worth considering given its premium price tag. And the short answer is - yes it is.

It's a pricey motorcycle, no doubt about that. And, it won't make you go weak in the knees with its looks either. It also isn't the most feature rich bike, it doesn't pack in the most amount of technology, and it isn't the most refined.

But, it ticks that 'fun-to-ride' box which every motorcycle must. It's one of those bikes that will put a smile on your face everytime you ride it. And it doesn't matter if you are commuting on it, or running errands, or simply taking off to Timbuktu.

So, even though BMW might have got the pricing wrong with the R, it did get the product right.

Photography by Kapil Angane

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