2021 BMW G 310 GS Test Ride Review
Detailed test ride review of the cheapest adventure motorcycle from BMW, the G 310 GS.
Bike tested: 2021 BMW G 310 GS; Road Test No. 1308; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 3,36,715/-
Rectified pricing has made the 2021 BMW G 310 GS a better and sweeter deal overall
BMW Motorrad had launched the G 310 GS back in 2018 with an aim to make a strong impression in the entry-level adventure motorcycle market. There was a lot of buzz and, everyone was chasing the BMW badge until the pricing was announced. The 2018 BMW G 310 GS would cost above 4 lakhs which broke many hearts and did not fetch a lot of buyers and, as a result, a total of only 1640 units of the 310 GS and 310 R were sold. Now, in 2021 BMW Motorrad has updated the bike with a few subtle tweaks to get the sales right and, this time they have got the prices right! We have tested the bike to the core but has the update impressed us? Let’s find out.
Motor Quest: The G 310 GS is an entry-level adventure motorcycle in BMW Motorrad’s GS family. The 310 twins are produced in collaboration with TVS Motors and are manufactured in India by TVS Motor Company at their plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The BMW GS lineup has a rich history of 40 years and the 40 years celebration is one of the special colours for the 310 GS too.
Styling: The BMW G 310 GS looks chunky and carries the GS DNA from its elder siblings. Starting with the off-size front and rear wheels, long-travel suspension, and the beaked front, it proudly shows itself off as a member of the GS family. The motorcycle looks very potent and has a lot of road presence. The bike largely remains the same so there isn’t much to talk about the visual updates apart from the all-new LED headlamp with integrated DRL, and LED indicators. The bike also gets updated graphics while the test unit showcases the special 40 years of GS livery.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: The instrument cluster on the 2021 GS is the same unit that did duty on the 2018 model and this cluster is a bare basic positive LCD. And at this price point, we expected a better full colour-TFT display with Bluetooth and navigation compatibility like on its cousin, the TVS Apache RR 310. The instrument cluster has twin trip meters, gear position indicator, engine temperature, range, average speed, and mileage which is in l/100km and not in km/l which feels out of place in the Indian market.
The left switchgear is a new unit that gets a 3-step switch for switching between DRL, low-beam, and high-beam. Sadly, the switchable ABS button has been taken away for the 2021 model. The right switchgear gets a new engine kill switch and a starter button which has nice tactile feedback. Overall, the switchgear quality feels good and well built. But we feel BMW missed a chance of justifying this update by not bringing in a brand new console.
Ergonomics: Ergonomically, this bike is pretty sound. The GS now gets both adjustable clutch and brake levers which make life easier. The handlebar is wide while the mirrors offer a decent view of what’s behind. The seat is placed at 835 mm which might sound a bit too much but, once you sit on the bike, the bike sits down a bit due to the stock pre-load. As the seating posture is upright and the footpegs are centre-set, it makes the GS a very comfortable bike all around. The single-piece seat has been reworked and is carved out of softer foam to make things even more comfortable for the rider as well as the pillion. While the pillion gets a very purposeful grab-rail that works as a base for mounting top-box too.
Performance: The GS is powered by a 313cc reverse-inclined engine. Interestingly, the bike hasn’t any lost power owing to the BS6 update so the power figures remain the same at 34 BHP and 28 Nm of torque. The addition of ride-by-wire has improved the throttle response and the slipper clutch does come in handy under heavy downshifting. However, at this price, a quick shifter should have been offered. Another good thing about the BS6 update is that the vibrations have been significantly reduced. But, there are no riding modes available which is a bummer.
Performance is brisk while the BS6 BMW G 310 GS is quite refined too
The engine has a tractable low end, brisk midrange, and an enjoyable top end. The 0-100 sprint takes 8.28 seconds and the motor tops at 143 km/hr on our VBOX. The engine is liquid-cooled and the fan kicks in during stop-go traffic conditions and does a good job of keeping the temperature under control. The GS returns a fuel economy of 27 km/l to 31 km/l. But if you happen to be trail riding with higher revs on lower gears, expect the number to drop down to 24 km/l. With just an 11-litre fuel tank, this is not an entry-level tourer as the range is less than 350 kms. Overall, the performance of the motor is very likeable and is praiseworthy over the BS4 model.
Riding Dynamics: We rode the bike for about 400 kms and we took it everywhere and it did not budge! The high ground clearance of 220 mm helps the GS in cutting through almost every terrain while also providing a commanding view. The seat offers good support and feels comfortable throughout the day. The suspension travel is at 180 mm for both front and rear, which does a fair job of absorbing bumps and potholes. While the suspension setup is soft on bad roads, stable during straight-line acceleration, and the moment you tip it into corners it changes its character and supports you, which is impressive and makes it an overall all-rounder.
The GS is a very good mile muncher and doesn’t tire the rider
The bike remains planted at high speeds by virtue of the tubular space frame chassis. The suspension setup and chassis flex are just right while the Metzeler Tourance tyres grip very well and inspire confidence even while braking hard. Although the brakes do a good job of stopping the bike, the feedback from the rear lever is initially spongy but improves further down. The ABS calibration is good on tarmac but feels intrusive on bad roads and we really miss the switchable ABS which came in handy during off-road conditions.
Verdict: At Rs. 3,36,000/- (on-road, Mumbai) the BMW G 310 GS has gotten Rs. 70,000/- cheaper and is leaps and bounds better than the previous model in terms of engine refinement and equipment. However, the price tag still doesn’t justify the value proposition. The Beemer badge comes at a premium and the minuscule service network is something to look out for, also the service cost is something to consider before locking the deal. In conclusion, if you always wanted to buy the BS4 model but the pricing didn’t please you, now is your chance to get the baby GS. However, if you are someone who looks for value then, you should consider the KTMs or be happy with the RE Himalayan.
* The bike looks good and has amazing road presence
* Offers the best balance of ride quality and dynamics
* The rear grab rail is purposeful and can take on a top-box mount
What’s Not So Cool
* The service and dealer network is comparatively minuscule
* Instrument cluster isn’t updated, provides the same set of data
* Small fuel tank! Just 11-litres won’t favour the long-distance traveller
* Engine: 313cc Liquid-Cooled, Reverse-Inclined, DOHC
* Power: 34 PS @ 9500 rpm
* Torque: 28 Nm @ 7500 rpm
* Transmission: 6-Speed
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 35-40 km/l
* Frame: Trellis Frame, Aluminium Swingarm
* Tyres: 110/80/19 (Front); 150/70/17 (Rear)
* Suspension: Inverted Forks (Front); Monoshock (Rear)
* Brakes: 300 mm Petal Disc (Front); 240 mm Petal Disc (Rear)
* Length x Width x Height: 2075 mm x 880 mm x 1230 mm
* Wheelbase: 1420 mm
* Ground Clearance: 220 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 11-litres
* Kerb weight: 169.5 kgs