New G 310 GS BMW's Entry-Level Adventure Motorcycle

Whether new to riding or an experienced enthusiast looking for a second motorcycle to change things up now and again, BMW Motorrad would ask for its G 310 GS to enjoy some consideration.

The GS moniker puts this affordable motorcycle in its adventure category, coming with a promise of perfect function, reliability and robustness from the German motorcycle manufacturer. These are qualities riders associate with BMW Motorrad, the G 310 GS is its efforts to bring them to the below 500cc capacity segment, embracing them in its own distinctive, mature interpretation. Just as interesting as the adventures riders can have on this machine is the story behind what is actual being ridden. More about that later.

Derived from the G 310 R roadster, the new G 310 GS offers dynamic performance and comfort enhanced with practically oriented off-road capability for light terrain. To ask BMW, they think they’ve done this quite well calling the G 310 GS a genuine GS.

‘It is nimble and agile in city traffic while over light terrain it is supremely robust,’ notes the German manufacturer. ‘Extremely compact yet mature and comfortable, the GS opens up a whole new world of riding experience within its segment.’

BMW Motorrad laid the foundation for the varied spectrum of BMW GS motorcycles as long ago as 1980 when it introduced the R 80 G/S as the first travel enduro bike of its kind, and the outstanding talents of this genre apply to this day, excellent function, comfort and staying power. The new G 310 GS is the latest instance, presented not just as a genuine “small” BMW GS but also continuing the more than 90-year BMW tradition of 1-cylinder models in pioneering fashion with its state-of-the-art single-cylinder engine.

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The BMW G 310 GS can be identified as a genuine GS at first sight with its characteristic, high front fender, striking flyline and short, high rear, the BMW G 310 GS features classic elements of its big GS sibling models. Its compact proportions with a short wheelbase, a 19-inch front wheel and extended spring travel make for a typical upright posture, promising an agile, nimble riding response.

Like the G 310 R, the G 310 GS is also designed for the world market. It takes diverse fuel qualities as well as meeting all emissions standards and local requirements. In a way, it could be considered a ‘have motorcycle, will travel’ kind of ride. While surely not the intent behind its designs, the motorcycle’s adaptability as well as its light footprint make it ideal for shipping around the world by more daring and adventurous riders.

One of the main reasons the BMW G 310 GS enjoys this international flexibility is the new 313 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine known from the G 310 R with four valves and two overhead camshafts together with electronic fuel injection. The capacity of 313 cc results from a bore of 80 millimeters and a stroke of 62.1 millimeters. Unlike conventional single-cylinder concepts, the engine of the new G 310 GS offers a series of unusual technical solutions. First and foremost, the engine is striking with its backward-tilted cylinder and cylinder head rotated by 180 degrees. The intake tract is positioned at the front when viewed in the direction of travel, while the exhaust tract is at the rear. The ignition spark is supplied by a spark plug placed centrally in the combustion chamber.

This configuration not only follows the logic of a straight, power-enhancing supply of fresh air-fuel mixture, it also has positive consequences in terms of the bike’s architecture. In conjunction with the consecutively positioned transmission shafts, this creates a low center of gravity that is shifted towards the front wheel as compared to a conventional arrangement. At the same time, this set-up and the preservation of an advantageously short wheelbase allows for a longer swing arm, thereby ensuring a stable ride response. The result is agile handling, clear feedback from the front wheel and outstanding vehicle control.

The engine concept with the intake side at the front makes for a generously sized intake silencer positioned directly behind the steering head and a newly designed, very short fuel tank. This prevents any excessive sloshing of the fuel back and forth, so undesirable reactions to uncontrolled shifts in weight are avoided. With an output of 25 kW (34 hp) at 9 500 rpm and a maximum torque of 28 Nm at 7 500 rpm, the engine of the new G 310 GS is the ideal partner for dynamic riding pleasure, in conjunction with the low unladen weight of 169.5 kilograms according to DIN.

Just as this motorcycle rides the two worlds of a quality ride with an affordable price, it negotiates accessories and features. Fitted with an electric starter motor, the single-cylinder engine of the new G 310 GS offers modern, horizontal separation of the engine housing, innovative technical solutions and a selection of high-quality materials.

The valve gear with two overhead camshafts is based on that of the S 1000 RR, for example, while very light, speed-resistant rocker arms with an extremely hard DLC coating (Diamond Like Carbon) that minimizes friction and wear are responsible for activating the four valves, likewise as in the BMW superbike. For the gearheads among the readers, the valve angle is 11.2 degrees on the intake side and 13.3 degrees on the exhaust side. The diameter of the intake valves is 33.5 millimeters, that of the exhaust valves is 27.2 millimeters and that of the intake pipe fuel injection throttle valve is 42 millimeters.

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Having a smooth running engine with enough power to do what a rider wants is only part of the equation when it comes down to the number of miles that can be laid down. How a motorcycle feels, or its ergonomics, plays a big part as well. The G 310 GS offers perfectly designed BMW GS ergonomics for relaxed motorcycling fun on the road and over light terrain. This comes from a relaxed seating position with all switches and controls simple and secure to handle. Helping with the feel of the ride is the motorcycle’s frame.

The design of the ergonomic triangle consisting of handlebars, footrests and seat ensures excellent control while also providing very sound and comfortable feedback from the contact surfaces on the fuel tank and seat. At higher speeds, the standard windshield also relieves the rider’s upper body from the force of the airstream as well as ensuring an even flow of wind at the helmet.

The comparatively moderate seat height of just 32.9 inches and the short inside leg length mean that virtually any motorcyclist will feel comfortable on the G 310 GS – whether riding on the road or on short detours over unpaved terrain. Meanwhile, shorter or taller riders can draw on the range of Original BMW Motorrad Accessories to select a lower seat height of 32 inches or else a higher, particularly comfortable seat at 33 inches.

Bridge-type tubular spaceframe, upside-down fork and long swinging arm all come together for a high degree of ride stability, a precise steering response and light handling. In terms of its suspension, the new G 310 GS is similar to the G 310 R roadster in using a tubular steel spaceframe with bolt-on rear section that combines torsional rigidity with robust quality. Given its good stiffness balance, this provides the basis for excellent ride stability and a precise steering response.

The front wheel suspension is taken care of by a solid upside-down fork while at the rear there is an aluminum swinging arm in conjunction with a spring strut that is mounted on it directly.

Given its good stiffness balance, this provides the basis for excellent ride stability and a precise steering response. The suspension geometry of the G 310 GS is designed for maneuverability, stability and a neutral cornering response both on and off the road, which makes for maximum riding run and easy controllability as well as reflecting the bike’s active riding character. The wheelbase is 56 inches, the castor is 3.8 inches (98 millimeters) and the steering head angle is 63.3 degrees.

All this comes together for nimble banking while remaining neutral and predictable at all times. Over lengthier distances it offers the necessary comfort without sacrificing ride stability on long bends and fast passages. These features echo the point of this motorcycle from BMW Motorrad, establishing a sense of trust, even in motorcycle newcomers.

With its generous length of 81.7 inches, it supports the bike’s high level of neutrality, enables exemplary pitch compensation and makes load shift reactions much gentler. In this way, the new G 310 GS combines light-footed handling, riding precision and a high level of directional stability with benefits in terms of suspension and load shift response, too.

Standard high-performance ABS braking system and multifunction instrument cluster. Like all BMW motorcycles, the new G 310 GS comes with ABS as standard. It combines a high-performance brake system with 2-channel ABS for efficient deceleration and short braking distances. For use over light terrain the ABS in the new G 310 GS can be conveniently deactivated at the press of a button if required. The G 310 GS instrument cluster has a large liquid crystal display that offers excellent clarity and a wide range of information.

Power transmission is via a multi-plate wet clutch onto a well-graduated, constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox. The secondary drive to the rear wheel takes the form of an O-ring chain. With a spontaneous throttle response, lively pulling power, full-blooded engine characteristics and a high maximum engine speed of 10,500 rpm, the new G 310 GS delivers very dynamic riding performance figures for excellent riding fun within its class. A rotating counterbalance shaft in front of the crankshaft effectively suppresses unpleasant vibrations, thereby ensuring a high level of running smoothness for the single-cylinder segment. Fitted with a closed-loop catalytic converter positioned on the intake side of the rear silencer, the BMW engine control BMS-E2 and a secondary air system make the engine of the new G 310 GS extremely environment-friendly and enables adherence to the EU4 emission standard.

The exhaust system has been redesigned for use in the G 310 GS. The manifold layout has been altered from that of the G 310 R roadster to do justice to the longer spring travel and the rear, while a newly conceived heat shield underscores the hallmark GS character of the new G 310 GS.

Like all BMW motorcycles, the new G 310 GS comes with ABS as standard. It combines a high-performance brake system with a 2-channel ABS for efficient deceleration and short braking distances as well as efficient anti-locking, geared entirely towards optimum riding safety on poor or soiled roads. For use over light terrain, the ABS in the new G 310 GS can be conveniently deactivated at the press of a button on the left-hand handlebar panel, if required.

At the front wheel, a single-disc brake with radially bolted 4-piston fixed calliper and a brake disc diameter of 11.8 Inches ensures powerful and stable deceleration. At the rear, this function is performed by a 2-piston floating caliper in conjunction with a 9.5 inch brake disc. Steel-wrapped brake lines ensures stable pressure levels.

Like the G 310 R roadster, the new G 310 GS has an instrument cluster with a large LC screen that offers excellent readability and a wide variety of information. The displays include the following: engine speed, road speed, gear, total miles, engine temperature, fuel tank level, remaining range, average fuel consumption, average speed, time.

The colored areas in the upper area trace the typical GS flyline that runs from the front fender across the fuel tank to the seat – something that has become a virtually iconic characteristic. A small windshield provides aerodynamic protection. Below this, two frame outlines provide a surround for the headlamp mask. The high position of the intake area, the striking styling, the separation of materials by color and the silver trim elements with BMW logo create a visual distinction between the motorcycle body and technology, as in the larger sibling models. Painted surfaces give the side a high-quality, self-contained appearance, while the large proportion of high-quality grained plastic highlights the robust character of the BMW G 310 GS.

The visual and ergonomic details are even enjoyed from the rider’s perspective. Seen from the top, the BMW G310 GS looks more like a model belonging to a larger capacity segment. The characteristic front fender runs as a band of color emerging from the headlamp mask across the fuel tank to the side trim, making the BMW G 310 GS instantly recognizable as a GS even from a bird’s-eye perspective. The powerful surfaces of the fuel tank give it a clearly defined, muscular look.

As in the larger sibling models, the powerfully expressive surfaces are deliberately designed for functional purposes, with each shape and surface and their respective material selected to ensure the BMW G 310 GS provides optimum usability.

Remembering its roots, every GS has a high-quality luggage grid. This comes standard in the BMW G 310 GS, combining a striking shape with optimum functional effectiveness. As a stable base for topcases or larger luggage items, it greatly extends the practicality and versatility of the BMW G 310 GS for everyday use.

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The BMW G 310 GS is available in three strikingly, expressive color variants: Cosmic Black non-metallic, Racing Red non-metallic and the elaborately designed Pearl White metallic.

The basic color variant Cosmic Black non-metallic draws on the expressive contrast between Cosmic Black and the light surfaces in Titanium Grey matte. With black as its base color, the light side trim elements with BMW emblem, the brackets of the headlamp mask and the rear section all emphasize the striking GS styling. In the engine area, light accentuations in Dime Silver matte provide a clear visual separation of the dark technical area from the body of the motorcycle, thereby highlighting the bike’s upright proportions.

The Racing Red non-metallic variant gives the BMW G 310 GS a classic GS paint finish. The full red color showcases the flyline especially compellingly, setting it perfectly apart from the light side trim elements with BMW emblem, the black grained plastic surfaces and the light rear section. In the engine area, light accentuations in Dime Silver matte provide a clear visual separation of the dark technical area from the body of the motorcycle, thereby further highlighting the bike’s upright proportions.

The top variant of the BMW G 310 GS in Pearl White metallic is an absolute highlight, with accents drawn from the BMW Motorsport colors white, red and blue. Pearl White metallic offers a discreet sparkle effect that powerfully offsets the accent graphic in blue and red. Instead of a matte plastic surface in Titanium Grey, a high-gloss black surface provides the background for the striking interplay between the graphic and the paint finish on the side trim. Underneath, light accent surfaces brighten up the dark engine area, adding a modern touch. The fork tubes and brake calipers provide gold accents as a perfect supplement to this color variant.

One of the more interesting facts about this motorcycle we saved for last. The BMW G 310 GS was developed in Munich by BMW Motorrad, however, its being built in Bangalore, India in an agreement with TVS Motor Company. India’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer, TVS Motor Company has enjoyed a production volume of some 2.5 million vehicles per year. TVS Motor Company is the flagship of the TVS Group, which is made up of more than 90 companies in total, including numerous firms that enjoy an excellent reputation in the automotive sector as suppliers for well-known car makers. Many of these suppliers from within the TVS Group provide the components for the G 310 GS.

To assure would be buyers who want the quality of a BMW Motorrad, the motorcycle manufacturer points out TVS Motor Company’s quality management and the state-of-the-art production follows that of the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau. This includes having separate manufacturing areas set aside in the TVS Motor Company production facilities and all the relevant work stages are monitored and automatically recorded for size accuracy, tolerances and bolt-fitting values.

This is obviously the road BMW Motorrad took to product their affordable version of the motorcycles the company is known for. As interesting as it is to see the newer entry-level models ride into BMW’s line-up, seeing rider’s reaction to German technology produced in India should make 2017 an interesting motorcycle year.

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