These are the first spy pictures of the India-bound BMW G 310 GS dual-purpose bike. We reported a few days ago about this model being readied by the manufacturer.
In what will give off-road maestro KTM food for a rethink of its strictly street-only focus in India, BMW Motorrad is readying a mini GS, dual-purpose avatar of the G 310 R, apart from its formidable big bike line-up that is India-bound at affordable prices in 2017.
A G 310 GS can only be music to Indian dual-purpose bike enthusiasts starved till now, with manufacturers largely shying away from this niche to bring in precious little after Hero pioneered and teased this space with its versatile and reliable Impulse. Yes, Royal Enfield has since taken the plunge, to build the relatively bigger Himalayan. That’s however a touch heavy for daily street use and has a sluggish engine. This Royal Enfield, being more off-road biased to help it excel at clambering over rugged mountain trails, also leaves the door open for lighter, more refined bikes to expand the segment.
As evident with Triumph’s positive Tiger sales in the premium adventure segment, dual-purpose bikes are ‘the’ perfect motorcycles for grueling Indian conditions – this being one of few remaining untapped segments in our market. A small-capacity G 310 GS is certain to tick many boxes, and fill in the blanks between the underpowered Impulse and larger Himalayan.
You can be sure the mini GS will sport rugged build quality and come with BMW’s trademark industrial styling, running a suitably retuned derivative of the small capacity, liquid-cooled, technology-rich, four-stroke, 313cc single as deployed by the G 310 R streetbike. Power output for the G 310 R is already announced at close to 35hp, and we’d expect the mini GS to output close to this ballpark.
The G 310 R and mini GS are sure to make worthy rivals to KTM’s more hyper small-capacity bikes, the BMW’s delivering on crucial counts of added comfort, with an overall plusher ride as missed on the ultra-sporty and aggressive Dukes. BMW has lost precious time to KTM and its strong value, razor-sharp Bajaj-built bikes, but better late than never, the company is now well on its way into India with sensible positioning and its huge brand appeal in its corner.
BMW Motorrad used to be Europe’s largest two-wheeler seller till KTM took over, a lot of which has to do with the Austrian firm stepping into India to join hands with Bajaj, making a conscious switch from off-road focus to on-road. And the German bike maker along with Indian partner TVS Motor Company are now clearly getting hard on the gas, throttle pinned to try and wrest back the European bike sales’ crown. Just as BMW unveiled the G 310 R at last year’s Milan motor show, we expect to get a first peek of the new mini GS at the upcoming show.
The mini GS when launched, has enough potential to become a milestone bike in the Indian market, driving this key, yet untapped dual-segment segment with a serious, well-equipped contender. To speculate further, it’s logical such a BMW bike shall open the doors to a dual-purpose TVS machine, the latter having no dearth of off-road experience in its own right, coming from decades spent dominating off-road racing in India.
Spy pic source