BMW Motorrad have set their sights on selling 200 000 motorcycles globally by 2020 and in order to achieve this they have put a new business strategy in place. This strategy includes a host of new product and dealers globally, but with a specific focus on new markets in Asia and South America.
There has been a continual expansion of BMW Motorrads models that have put them in a position where they enjoy a 45 percent market share in South Africa. Now they are entering the sub 500 cc market with the G310R.
BMW believe that this motorcycle segment is in need of a quality product and by servicing this demand with an attractive product at a very competitive price point, I believe that they will be just as successful as they have been in other segments of the market. BMW believe that they will be able to capture 50 percent of the market that this bike competes in, once supply gets up to speed.
This motorcycle was developed by BMW but will be produced to their strict quality control processes by the TVS motor company in India.
The G310R offers the complete BMW riding experience in a smaller, smarter, more affordable package. With one cylinder, low weight, powerful dynamic performance the new BMW G310R has neither too little nor too much of anything. It offers precisely what is needed for dynamic performance in town and out in the country.
Thanks to low fuel consumption and a relaxed, comfortable seating position, it is expected that many big bike owners will seriously consider adding the G310R to their arsenal, for the weekday chores.
Newly conceived from scratch, the G310R represents everything BMW Motorrad stands for, namely innovation, quality and years of carefree ownership.
Designed specifically for the world market, the BMW G310R can run on the most diverse fuel qualities, meets all emission standards and local requirements and takes the typical BMW premium aspiration to the segment under 500cc.
The design of the G310R instantly hints at its agile, dynamic character, making a clear statement within its own segment. It has an unmistakeable visual kinship with athletic family members such as the S 1000 R. The small headlamp mask with striking headlamp, dynamically modelled fuel tank trim elements and characteristic roadster proportions with a striking front section and dynamic rear give the G 310 R a mature presence on the road.
The centrepiece of the bike is a completely newly developed 313cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. With an output of 25kW at 9 500rpm and 28Nm at 7 500rpm, the engine offers sprightly performance in conjunction with the 158,5 unladen weight.
The G310R boasts a markedly relaxed seating position for relaxed, stress-free and easy-going motorcycling. As is characteristic of BMW Motorrad, all switches and controls are simple and easy to use. My nearly two-metre frame did mean I struggled slightly with the mirror adjustment and with that being part of the control bracket, two bolts will need to be loosened, in order to tilt the entire assembly forward and solve the problem.
The low seat height of just 785mm means that almost every motorcyclist will instantly feel at ease on the G310R. Shorter or taller riders can draw on the range of BMW Motorrad optional accessories to select a lower variant with a seat height of 760mm or else a higher seat at 815mm.
In terms of suspension, the G310R has a torsionally stiff, highly robust tubular steel frame in grid structure with bolt-on rear frame. Front suspension is handled by a solid upside-down fork while at the rear there is an aluminium swinging arm in conjunction with a directly mounted shock absorber.
Like all BMW motorcycles the G310R is fitted with ABS as standard. It combines a powerful brake system with 2-channel ABS. Stopping is thanks to a four-piston caliper upfront and a two-piston caliper at the rear.
The instrument cluster has a large LCD display that offers excellent clarity and a wide range of information.
Our launch route took us on a tour of the Johannesburg CBD and Suburbs and the G310R was immediately at home. Often these smaller capacity bikes necessitate a good workout of the gearbox to keep them on the boil, but the baby Beemer rewarded with excellent tractability, so much so that you could pull off in 3rd gear if you wanted to.
The downside of this is that when we did cruise along a short section of the M1, I felt it was revving slightly too high for our highway speeds. This is an easy fix with a smaller rear sprocket if your commute does comprise a fair amount of highway travelling.
The BMW G310R will retail for R62 990, which includes a two-year unlimited mileage warranty and three-year roadside assistance. – Reuben van Niekerk