The BMW G 310 R Is Entry Level Goodness That Is Pure BMW-Motorrad
In North America, anything less than a 600cc motorcycle is often frowned upon. That opinion makes absolutely no sense though, considering in the rest of the world, small-displacement motorcycles are the norm. Armed with this knowledge, BMW partnered with one of the largest manufacturers of motorcycles in India, TVS Motors.
Combining BMWs engineering excellence with TVS Motors’ long history of quality small-displacement motorcycles gave birth to the BMW G 310 R. This was the first time BMW had built an “entry-level” bike, and honestly, there’s nothing about it that feels like even a single corner was cut. If your gut reaction to this bike being built in India was “darn, it’s likely a piece of junk,” you couldn’t be further from the truth. This machine definitely came from BMW-Motorrad.
Our Take: Why You Should Buy a G 310 R
For me, riding a motorcycle is about the fun factor and it’s far too easy to get lost in the minutia of specifications or thinking that a slightly better number in one category means a certain bike must be better. That’s crap, in my opinion. LOL.
Getting up close to the G 310 R, the BMW quality is immediately apparent. In building bikes to fit this price point, often sacrifices are made for the sake of profit – far less so with this BMW. The first two upscale items that stand out to me are the Inverted front forks and the cast aluminum swingarm. This kit is the sort fitted to far more expensive bikes and yes, some of the G 310 R competitors might have one, but not both of these. Next is the braking system. ABS is standard and honestly, something that is a huge benefit to newer riders, but the fact that BMW elevates this bike with a 4 piston front caliper is again, a clear step up.
The 313 cc engine is a sweet little package, outputting 34 HP, but the real magic is how it’s been mounted. Look at most bikes running similar single-cylinder engines and you will notice the case leans forward and the exhaust exits the front side of the engine. For the G 310 R, the cylinder head has been rotated 180 degrees backward, pushing the vehicle’s center of gravity towards the front wheel and transitioning the exhaust to exit near the rear spring. The change in exhaust position saves a little weight and also makes for less overall heat happening under your saddle, something welcome both in traffic and on any hot summer ride.
In most comparison tests, the G 310 R seems to get bested by the KTM 390 Duke. Take these reviews for what they are – experienced riders pushing bikes fairly hard. The G 310 R has less displacement which explains the slightly lower overall power, but it is lighter and has a better overall ride quality, too. Hairs are being sliced to pick which one is best, this may be BMW’s least expensive bike but it is a very well built, excellent machine.
Bottom line: The G 310 R is a great bike. The suspension outclasses almost all of the competition, as do the brakes. For a new rider, this bike’s intimidation factor is low from the saddle as the riding position is great for a wide range of rider sizes. Even as an entry-level bike, the G 310 R looks great and the BMW brand cache is just a bonus.
Reasons to buy the G 310 R:
- It’s a proper BMW – the quality is evident.
- Very good power to weight ratio.
- Most riders find the bike fits “just right.”
- The suspension, brakes, and low weight make it a blast in the city.
- It looks great.
Reasons not to buy the G 310 R:
- It is a BMW, and that means service costs can be a bit higher.
- If you are on the larger side, you may want the extra HP from the 400cc competitors.
Production Run & Notable Model-Year Changes
Production Run & Model Generations
Global production began in August of 2016, but sales in North America weren’t more prevalent until 2018 and since. The 313cc engine is unique for its 1800 reversed orientation. This puts the exhaust out the rear of the head and results in a shorter exhaust path, thereby reducing heat felt by the rider, and also lowers the center of gravity.
The 2021 model sees the engine brought up to Euro 5 compliance, the lighting went full LED, and the throttle is now by wire instead of cable.
Check out the current 2021 BMW lineup here.
First Generation (2017- Present)
- BMWs small-displacement member of the R family
- Shares the engine and frame with the G 310 GS
- 2021 Euro 5 compliant
Owner Reviews of the BMW G 310 R
Press & Magazines
BMW G310R Review
“the G310 goes fast but not fastest. It stops quick but not quickest. Consolation prize to the steel-braided lines… this lever feedback is the best, even if it’s too quickly interrupted by ABS.”
2018 BMW G 310 R Review
“The lightweight, nimble handling, attractively styled G 310 R will naturally appeal to novice riders. Having a firsthand look at its superb build quality along with spending a day in the saddle, I’m pleased to report that the fun-to-ride nature of BMW’s single-cylinder sport naked isn’t lost on this seasoned enthusiast.”
– Cycle World︱Don Canet︱December 8, 2016
What Owners Like
- “Fantastic Performance, I have been using this bike since a year, I have BS 4 variant, it’s really perfect bike. No Engine Issues, Maintenance cost on a bit higher side as compared to other but that’s just fine considering the Brand that you own. ” – Siddharth D C
- “Damn it is such a great-looking bike!” – Multiple Owners
- “It is a very affordable price and. Anyone can buy easily. BMW G 310 R is fantastic bike, very comfortable seat, attractive color with a good combination.” – Ismail Hossen Mir
What Owners Complain About
- Engine vibrations at higher revs
- Expensive to maintain
- Limited service reach
The Bottom Line
This is the most affordable BMW available and it doesn’t feel like any luxuries have been forsaken. No, it is not the fastest in the segment – it is the next fastest. The G 310 R does have better brakes than its competitors and both the fit and finish are excellent. When it comes to carving up the urban environment, the G 310 R is very good, and its 313 cc engine just sips fuel.
Depending on where you call home, service might be a tad more difficult due to a small dealer network and the service cost might be a bit higher, but this is just part and parcel of owning an upscale brand.
The G 310 R’s riding position is classic BMW. The well-sorted riding triangle on this bike will fit most everyone well, and the substantial tank gives the illusion of being on a much larger bike. I love the display cluster, it provides a great deal of information – including fuel gauge, trip meter, top speed, average speed, tachometer, clock, gear position, and engine temperature.
This is a great bike for both new riders who are just learning and riders that want a fun city bike to add to their fleet. It will do two-up riding and highway runs, just keep your expectations in check.
BMW G 310 R Competitors
If you’re looking at a BMW G 310 R you may want to compare:
BMW G 310 R Specifications (2nd Generation)
The important specs are listed below. See the Wikipedia page for more detailed specifications.
|Engine||313 cc Rearward-canted single-cylinder 4-stroke engine, four valves, two overhead camshafts|
|Top speed||Est. 143 km/h (88 mph)|
|Power||34 hp (25 kW) @ 9,250 RPM|
|Torque||21.0 lbs⋅ft (28.0 N⋅m) @ 7500 RPM|
F: Upside-down fork, Ø 41 mm
R: Cast aluminum dual swing arm, central spring strut, spring pre-load adjustable
F: Single disc, diameter 300 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper, radially bolted w/ABS
R: Single disc, diameter 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper w/ABS
|Tires||F: 110/70 R17, R: 150/60 R17|
L: 2005 mm (78.9 in)
W: 849 mm (33.4 in)
H: 1080 mm (42.5 in)
|Seat height||785 mm (30.9 in)|
|Weight||Wet: 164 kg (362 lb)|
|Fuel capacity||11.0 L (2.9 gal)|
|Fuel consumption||71.3 mpg (3.3 L/100 km)|