BMW G310R | Bike Tests | Latest Tests | Top Sellers in Australia
How good do learners have it these days? This good: a place in the Motorcycle of the Year awards for 2017, wearing a badge that’ll impress those who see status in a name, and for only $5790 (+ ORC).
The BMW G310R is a sharp little machine that won the hearts and minds of all our testers. For what is ostensibly a humble motorcycle, it is a stunning effort from BMW.
The secret is the “thoughtfulness of the complete design,” in Grant’s words. “It wasn’t just an engine in a chassis and everything else being an afterthought. It’s a beautifully integrated motorcycle which is rare in this price range.”
The G310R is clearly not pushing the boundaries of the legal power-to-weight ratio for new riders, yet its sub-160kg wet weight does a lot to enable the 25kW single-cylinder engine to perform well on all roads. In hustling traffic, It’ll accelerate clear of the scrum and maintains the speed limit without any hassle. That’s important not just for safety but for confidence. And enjoyment, of course.
This fun factor was another thing that scored highly for the BMW. The chassis is well specified so the handling, in Stef’s words, was “a standout” point. The BMW absorbs bumps better than almost any other bike in its price range, is immensely stable for such a nimble lightweight, and has suspension that maintains composure when pushed. In our experienced hands, we often watched the bigger MoTY bikes shrink in the BMW’s mirrors through tightly winding sections of road, which took the gloss off whatever they made up on the straights. The BMW scored very well on being pushed to its limits.
That kind of performance helps a new rider learn the finer art of riding, and any LAMS bike that can do this is fulfilling the most important part of its brief.
Beyond the engine and chassis, the G Series brings a great riding position. It is upright, balanced and – surprisingly for such a small thing – roomy. Only our tallest riders felt any restriction, and that was only in the short seat that locks you into one place.
Other great points include the electronics, which not only “felt like BMW quality” (said Matt) but featured something not found on many learner or cheap bikes: gear position indicator and fuel range.
In the G310R, BMW appears to have shown us how high the quality of Indian-made motorcycles can be.
AMCN Chief Sub Mark Vender came along on MOTY but his restricted licence dictated that he could only ride the BMW. All the same, he still had comments that backed up the judgments of the experienced riders. “Comparing it to the many other LAMS bikes I’ve ridden over the past two years, I absolutely rate the BMW. It made me feel comfortable straight away, and it was a load of fun along the GOR and the road up to Forrest. On the boring stretch out of Melbourne it travelled well at highway speed, with an untiring riding position and comfortable seat – no numb bum even after a couple of hours in the saddle.”
Above. One small flaw on the BMW is that that fuel cap falls closed if you don’t hold it open
1. Easy-to-read dash includes gear indicator and range
2. Brakes from Brembo’s Indian operation (Bybre) got a thumbs up from testers
3. The cylinder head is rotated by 180º, which aids cooling and allows the exhaust to run directly backwards – clever
Second Ops – Mark Vender
For LAMS riders, the arrival of the G310R has arguably been the biggest event of the year. More than just a bike, it represents an invitation to join the BMW family, and if it does its job well, could tie customers to the brand for many years to come. No pressure then.
First impressions were positive. Switchblocks are basic but neat and the tank in pearlescent white paint – the styling hallmark of the bike – looks pugnacious without being puffed out. Riding position is super comfortable, even for a tall bloke, and as you rock the bike from side to side you notice the light weight. But rolling out of the AMCN driveway it still felt planted.
Out of Melbourne the BMW easily kept up with the bigger bikes, sitting on 100km/h at 6000rpm in sixth gear – or 10,000rpm in third gear, revving hard and happily.
But it was on the GOR that the G310R really excelled. Moving back down to third I could push along the short straights and use the light engine braking to moderate speed into the sharper corners. Lots of smiling and no sphincter clenching – magic.
Dyno Dave Says
Great value for money – as an entry-level commuter you could do a lot worse. And it looks cool too.
It does feel a bit mechanical and on close inspection I can tell it’s not made in Germany. Not too many fairings to work around, it should be low maintenance and easy on the pocket
WORDS MICK MATHESON
PHOTOGRAPHY MARK DADSWELL