BMW’s first small-capacity motorcycle, after much speculation and waiting, will see the light of showrooms this year. If you are still not up to date with the eagerly-awaited G310R, here is a recap of the designed-in-Germany but built-in-India motorcycle:
The G310R is the first small-capacity motorcycle to be designed and engineered by BMW Motorrad. It is a street fighter by design, though the design itself is hardly as eccentric or radical as other BMW motorcycles. The German bikemaker, it would seem, is playing it safe with this one, understandable considering it is designed for the masses. The BMW G310R will be manufactured in partnership with TVS at the latter’s state-of-the-art plant in Hosur outside Bengaluru.
The G310R is a compact street bike, riding on five-spoke wheels. Its fascia is dominated by a minimalistic headlight fairing. It’s a neatly-styled motorcycle, sleek body panels not cluttered by excessive graphics. There are pronounced tank extensions, boldly emblazoned by a racy ‘R’, while the chunky, smoothly profiled 11-litre fuel tank bears the famous, globally looked up to BMW badge.
The tail fairing is slim, rising upwards, with rear mudguard considerably outstretched over the rear wheel. A large silencer runs on the right side of the bike, with plenty of lightweight alloy visible, apart from an angular belly cowl.
The new TVS-BMW bike comes with digital instrumentation, along with switchgear that is easy to operate.
The engine of the TVS-BMW G310R is unique, for reclining its liquid-cooled cylinder backwards, head rotated 180 degrees, exchanging positions of the inlet and exhaust ports. This cleverly shifts much of the powerplant's weight – its gearbox – closer to the motorcycle's front wheel and allows the G310R a short wheelbase (1374mm), without shortening the swingarm.
The four-valve head houses the dual overhead camshafts and offers fuel injection. Expect quick-revving engine character, as it’s a short-stroke BMW engine with its bore and stroke measuring 80mm x 62mm. The G310R revs until 10,500rpm, and makes 34hp at 9,000rpm, lower than KTM’s fierce, larger-capacity 390 Duke. Do, however, expect a tall order of smoothness and refinement, with a counter-balancer provided. Peak torque is 28.4Nm built up at 7,500rpm. BMW claims a 145kph top speed, with fuel efficiency of 30kpl, which puts the G310R right up on par for the segment.
The G310R comes with a six-speed gearbox and cable-fed clutch. The cooling system incorporates a generously-sized radiator and BMW has worked to ensure engine performance isn’t hampered even when running in really hot weather.
Power is nothing, without comfort!
The G310R tips the scales at 158kg. The TVS-BMW bike’s frame is tubular steel constructed with an alloy swingarm provided at the rear. A sturdy 41mm diameter upside-down telescopic suspension is in the front, with an adjustable monoshock working at the rear.
The 17-inch wheels are standard at the front and back, with the rear tyre a healthy 150/60 section unit.
The brakes are steel-braided hose-controlled. There’s a 300mm rotor-equipped disc in the front, radial-mounted and chomped on by four-piston callipers, with a 240mm disc unit at the rear, using a two-piston caliper. The ABS system, as comes standard with every BMW bike, is twin-channel on the G310R.
Expect the new TVS-BMW bikes to become big rivals to KTM’s brilliant Duke street bikes worldwide, with the G310R delivering on the crucial count of a more comfortable riding position and plusher suspension as are both missed on the ultra-sporty, hence more aggressively positioned, Dukes.
The G310R should hopefully mark only the first of a couple of motorcycles built around the same platform. TVS and BMW are clearly on the right track, having lost some time to Bajaj and KTM, but arriving in good time at the 'Make-in-India' scene, offering sensible positioning that is certain to be warmly received worldwide. BMW used to be Europe’s largest two-wheeler player, until KTM set foot in India and things changed.