German big-bike manufacturer, BMW Motorrad has just revealed its first lightweight motorcycle to be produced jointly with experienced Indian motorcycle and scooter giant, TVS Motor Co. It’s a naked streetbike named the G 310 R, with single-cylinder engine displacing 313cc. The new TVS-BMW has been designed and engineered in Munich, Germany, to be produced at TVS’ state-of-the-art Hosur factory outside Bengaluru, adhering to stringent BMW standards.
Importantly, make note, the G 310 R is the final street-ready production motorcycle BMW will offer several markets the German firm is present in. BMW on their own, also plans to put the G 310 R on sale in India, and this is slated for around mid 2016. Later, TVS is expected to launch a variant with similar specifications, based on the G 310 R platform, but suitably re-branded and tailored to the Indian market. TVS should showcase this variant in early 2016 at the upcoming Indian Auto Expo.
The G 310 R will be sold in three colours – a black and white combination, a metallic blue and more premium, paid option of metallic white base, with BMW racing colour trimming, blue and red. It’s a compact streetbike, riding on five-spoke wheels. The G 310 R 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 new TVS-BMW bike comes with digital instrumentation, with readouts for speedometer, tachometer, odometer, gear-engaged, engine temperature, fuel-level, range remaining, average fuel consumption and average speed, apart from time.
BMW claims the G 310 R switches are easy to operate. ‘Look ma, no side-panels’ says the G 310 R, on which you get optional seats, with extra padding to seat taller riders in more comfort. The tail fairing is slim, rising upwards, with rear mudguard considerably outstretched over the rear wheel. A large silencer runs the right side of the bike, with plenty of lightweight alloy visible, apart from an angular belly cowl.
The engine of the TVS-BMW G 310 R 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 powerplants weight, its gearbox, closer to the motorcycle front wheel and allows the G 310 R a short wheelbase (1374mm), without shortening the swingarm.
The four-valve head houses dual overhead camshafts, and offers fuel-injection. Expect quick revving engine character, as it’s a short stroke BMW engine with bore and stroke measuring 80mm x 62mm. The G 310 R revs until 10,500rpm, and makes 33.6bhp 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 2.9kgm built up at 7,500rpm. BMW claims a 145kph top speed, with fuel efficiency of 30kpl, which puts the G 310 R right up at par for the segment.
The G 310 R 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 G 310 R tips the scales at 158kg. The TVS-BMW bike’s frame is tubular steel constructed with an alloy swingarm provided at rear. Sturdy 41mm diameter upside-down telescopic suspension is in front, with an adjustable monoshock working at rear, offering a generous 650mm of travel.
17-inch wheels are standard front and rear, 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 G 310 R.
Expect the new TVS-BMW bikes to become big rivals to KTM’s brilliant Duke streetbikes worldwide, with the G 310 R 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 G 310 R 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.
The German manufacturer is on the right track, working towards the cost benefits of manufacturing in India with TVS, and the massive volumes that ride hand-in-hand with smaller capacity motorcycles.
29-litre pannier with retaining plate
LED turn indicators.
12V charging socket
Price Rs 2 lakh (estimated)
On sale Mid-2016
L/W/Seat height 1988/896/785mm
Fuel tank capacity 11litres
Kerb weight 158kg
Engine layout Single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke
Power 33.6bhp at 9000rpm
Torque 2.9kgm at 7500rpm
Specific output 107.4bhp per litre
Power to weight 212.7bhp per tonne
Gearbox 6-speed, 1-down, 5-up
Front suspension 41mm USD forks
Rear suspension Monoshock, alloy swingarm
Front brake 300mm disc (ABS)
Rear brake 240mm disc (ABS)
Wheels 5-spoke alloy
Rim size (f-r) 17 inches
Tyre size (f-r) 110/70 x 17-150/60 x 17inches