BMW Motorrad has confirmed that both the G 310 R street naked and the G 310 GS adventure bike will go on sale in India in the second-half of 2018. It’s been a long wait for enthusiasts since BMW first showed off the G 310 R in India at the 2016 Auto Expo. The small-capacity motorcycles are being manufactured by BWM’s partner, TVS, at the latter’s plant in Hosur. The G 310 R is already on sale internationally with the GS about to follow suit. To recap, the G 310 GS is an adventure-styled machine based on the G 310 R platform but with a 19-inch front wheel and longer travel suspension that should aid riding comfort and also offer some mild off-road capability.
What has BMW been up to in the time since? Well, in April this year, the company announced its initial line-up of premium big bikes for India and surprised quite a few people with how competitive the pricing was compared with the exorbitant rates charged when BMW bikes were previously sold via Navnit Motors. The current line-up of bikes are all full-sized imports and we’re yet to receive the company’s mid-size offerings that should come in via the FTA route through the company’s assembly plant in Thailand. These bikes will include the F 800 R street naked and the F 800 GS, the latter of which will make for a strong rival to the likes of the Triumph Tiger 800 and Honda’s competitively priced Africa Twin AT.
In the past six months, BMW has already opened four showrooms in India at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune, with three more are set to open in 2017 in Delhi, Chennai and Cochin. In 2018, BMW plans to open another three in Chandigarh, Kolkata and Hyderabad. This means the brand hopes to have a total of 10 running dealerships in India by the end of next year, which isn’t shabby at all.
So why the delay for what will undoubtedly be the two most relevant products for India? Well, BMW simply wants to make sure they offer a premium, high-quality experience to their customers. This is an area where many big bike manufacturers are currently struggling, and BMW recognizes that premium bikes deserve a premium ownership experience. Therefore, it’s vital that the brand has a strong and sophisticated network that can support the demand for bikes.
What can we expect in terms of pricing? Going by international pricing, the G 310 R is a couple of hundred pounds more affordable than the KTM 390 Duke. However, KTM has absolutely incredible pricing for their products in India and it will be interesting to see how BMW, who are positioning themselves as a highly premium brand, will price the 310s. We’re happy to report that, when asked, BMW Motorrad officials said that the G 310 R is a direct competition to the KTM 390 Duke and will be priced accordingly. In the UK, the G 310 GS is priced around 550 pounds above the G 310 R, so it's fair to expect a price increase of around Rs 30,000-50,000 over the naked G 310 R.
So when will we hear from BMW Motorrad next? Well, the company has announced that it will be present at the 2017 India Bike Week on November 24-25 to understand the Indian Bike Market and its competitors. In a show of its interest towards India, the company will also be hosting its Asia Pacific Dealer Conference in Goa at the same time.