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  #1  
Old 21 Apr 2017
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Thinking About The BMW G310 GS

Now that I've sold my KTM Duke 390 there is a void in my garage which isn't looking nice. There isn't any motorcycle available in India at the moment that can fill this void. But there is one motorcycle that's due to be launched towards the end of this year which has peaked my interest quite a bit. The BMW G310 GS.



This motorcycle would have been perfect for my recent ride around the Annapurna Circuit and should be perfect for similar rides that I'm planning in the months and years to come. Rides which involve quite a bit of highway riding and quite a bit of trail riding.

The alloy wheels of this GS run tubeless tyres which make a puncture fix shorter than a stop for tea. I've never liked spokes for this sole reason. I'm not rallying off-road anyway. So I really don't need the strength that spoked wheels provide.

The top speed of 140 kmph is more than enough for me. I don't exceed 110 kmph on highways anyway. I'm assuming this motorcycle should feel great sitting at 110 kmph for the whole day.

Coupled with the long travel front suspension, the 19 inch front and 17 inch rear wheel combination should be good for off-road use. My Triumph Tiger 800 XRx shares this same combination but has a longer wheel base. The shorter wheelbase of this GS will mean that I will be able to overcome obstacles a lot easier as compared to the Tiger.

I love the fact that the motorcycle comes ready with a tail rack to fit a top case and I won't need to fabricate something. I'm not a fan of panniers and saddle bags. They increase the width of the motorcycle which poses a problem when riding off road. So if I can make do with a lockable top case and a removable tank bag then I think I'm sorted.

The only things I would add are a crash guards to protect the engine and side panels and hand guards to protect the hand levers. Maybe swap the tyres with a pair of Continental TKC 80's for good on and off-road performance.

The small 11 litre fuel tank capacity worries me though. But that's something which can be fixed by carrying fuel when required.

But the best part of this motorcycle is its weight. With a kerb weight of just 158 kgs, its actually 5 kgs lighter than the Duke. I've ridden my Duke off road quite a bit. It feels nimble and is very easy to flick around and have fun. I'm thinking the BMW G310 GS should feel the same.

And last but not the least. Its a BMW. I expect the quality to be superior.

Yeah, come to think of it, the BMW G310 GS would fill the void in my garage perfectly. :-)
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Old 21 Apr 2017
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I imagine the BMW 300 would be quite expensive in India ... unless it's now being made there in India? Berlin? or India?

It's a beautiful bike, very nice! But I question the value. I'm not sure what smaller bikes you can buy in India, but if you can, take a test ride on the Honda CRF250L and Yamaha WR250R. Both excellent and proven dual sport bikes for travel and less cost than the BMW 300. Both SUPER reliable over the long term and better than you might think on tarmac .. especially the WR.

The BMW 300 "looks the part", but is it really better than the Honda or Yamaha for a travel bike? Sure, down the Cafe, the BMW will get all the looks. But out on the road ... which will be better? less maintenance? fewer problems?

Btw, in case you did not know ... BMW has a very poor record for reliability on MOST of their bikes. This new 300 is an unknown at this point. Too new to know.

But hey, if you can afford it ... BUY IT! (and give us a nice ride report about it here!!! )
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Old 21 Apr 2017
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I don't think it will be very expensive. I believe the BMW G310 R is around the same as the KTM Duke 390. So the GS won't be too far away.
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Old 22 Apr 2017
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BMW is building the G310 GS in India.

I've been very badly bitten buying a BMW the moment it was launched. Myriad problems. I will never do this again with any manufacturer.

11 litre tank sounds OK for 300cc, far better than the 9.5 litre on BMW's 650cc X-Challenge and X-Country.
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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Must apologize for my ignorance. I've not kept up on mag reviews lately and missed the new G310 and 310GS. The link below reviews the standard model, and it's a GREAT Honeymoon review.

Also, I just learned that all the 300 models are built in India. Review claims fit and finish are excellent and the reviewer, Don Canet, really liked the bike.

2018 BMW G 310 R, First Ride Motorcycle Review | Cycle World

The GS version looks even better to me. Rumors suggest a base price between
$5000 and $5500 USD. That is cheaper than both the Yamaha WR250R and CRF250L.

The BMW's weight is a bit high at claimed 374 lbs. wet. About 70 lbs. more than WR250 or Honda CRF250L.

But if the GS version performs as well as the standard version 310, then BMW
for SURE have a big winner on their hands. The 300 class bikes have really taken off here in US sales wise, this BMW could outclass the competition.

What will the new GS cost in India in Rupee?
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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What will the new GS cost in India in Rupee?
I suspect less than $5,000. Anything more and they might outprice themselves from the market.
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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374 Ibs ~ 170 kilos for a 300 cc bike? What do they make it of? Chinese steel ...

Its more than 20 kilos more than Mollydogs Dr650 and more than 30 kilos more than a KTM 690 and its twin Husky 701.....
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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There's one in the BMW dealer I'm working at right now.

It looks better than I first though. But on close inspection you can see where they have saved the money..

A lot of cheap pressed steel and budget components. Un-branded suspension etc. Not necessarily a reason to swerve it though. Steel is strong and most things are easily replaced.

It's very light (as you'd expect) and it's nice to sit on.. I need to ride it though !!

They are being made in India and there is already some problems. BMW specified a certain standard of bolts in the engine and the factory just went ahead and used the junk that they use for their usual crap. But at least BMW turned around and made them rebuild them all.. Or did they ??? !!!!!!!!


So this doesn't instill me with confidence in the quality assurance and general build quality.

But it can't be any worse than the high end models which are designed to be as light and powerful as possible with no desire for them to outlast their warranty..

As always. Avoid the first 1-2 years of production models like the plague. I already know there will be a list of recalls as long as your arm...
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
As always. Avoid the first 1-2 years of production models like the plague. I already know there will be a list of recalls as long as your arm...
today Quality Assurance testing is moved to the users, but damn we don't get paid for this! Isn't it brilliant idea? not only they save on not have to maintain QA department but customers pay them to test their bikes by themselves
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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today Quality Assurance testing is moved to the users, but damn we don't get paid for this! Isn't it brilliant idea? not only they save on not have to maintain QA department but customers pay them to test their bikes by themselves
Was it ever any different for european manufacturers?

You have been spoilt by the better Japanese QA model but even they get it wrong - I had bike # 3 off a Suzuki production line and whilst I overall enjoyed the bike (I still own it) I ended up breaking and replacing many parts, including the subframe. Interestingly enough the replacement (newer model) subframe was gussetted in the precise spot where mine broke.
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
As always. Avoid the first 1-2 years of production models like the plague. I already know there will be a list of recalls as long as your arm...
Good insight Ted. The earlier Cycle World review of the standard model was very positive, claimed welds and fit/finish was quite good. I've not seen this bike in person. Have to get down to my local BMW dealer to check it out.

As I've said before, I've actually had good luck with several 1st Year bikes, so they aren't 100% bad. But only owned ONE first year Euro bike ... my former 1981 BMW R80GS. I bought mine used. Never gave any real trouble aside from the usual crap all air heads had.

Some issues were corrected by my dealer before I got the bike, others I did later. Wish I had kept it. Collectors bike now.

Other first year bikes I can remember having:
TDM850 ('92), DRZ400E ('00), Vstrom 1000 ('02), Tiger 885 ('95), Tiger 1050 ('07) Several friends have had 1st year BMW's in the past, problems with some, especially early K bikes.

Recalls are to me more a major concern. But point well taken, many would argue to wait until a major upgrade is done on this new GS 310. Hopefully after the first model "upgrade" most of the real issues will be dealt with. But not many are willing to wait 2 or 3 years for this to happen.

Hopefully BMW can adapt Indian production to a high standard and make some good bikes. A great opportunity for both BMW and the Indian company BMW have partnered with.

At last ... an affordable GS!
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Old 23 Apr 2017
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Whilst I'm quite critical of BMW's past slow reaction on major problems (e.g. 500+ fuel pump controller failures on the 1200GS), in fairness I should point out that BMW has a policy of continuous improvement so if (when) there are problems the workarounds should be implemented without waiting for a major upgrade.

As far as production is concerned, BMW builds all its tools and assembly components in Germany and these are supplied to the local factories by BMW. This is even true for Hams Hall factory in Birmingham, UK and Spartanburg factory in South Carolina, USA. There's two advantages, one is consistent control over quality, the second is the ability to implement both minor changes and major revamps without the local factory being aware of what's coming down the line and leaking the news.

It might be fashionable to knock Indian manufacturing but I imagine BMW has rigorous QA at the Indian factory.
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Old 24 Apr 2017
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Seems to me this is a light/middleweight road bike styled like an adventure machine. With an 11L tank and flimsy cast wheels this isn't going to be pounding too many desert tracks, and there are some people who might differ on the statement that "Its a BMW. I expect the quality to be superior."

But I'm sure that for people whose biggest concern is the tank badge, it'll be thought of as a great buy
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Old 24 Apr 2017
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You might be right that it's a styling exercise, but so are many bikes.

The tank size is almost as big as that on my KTM 690 Enduros and is bigger than BMW's X-Challenge, so I don't see that as a problem.

I've toured off-tarmac with many bikes with alloy wheels including BMW R1200GS and BMW F650GS twin, and have never experienced any problems.



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Old 24 Apr 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Des Senior View Post
Seems to me this is a light/middleweight road bike styled like an adventure machine. With an 11L tank and flimsy cast wheels this isn't going to be pounding too many desert tracks, and there are some people who might differ on the statement that "Its a BMW. I expect the quality to be superior."

But I'm sure that for people whose biggest concern is the tank badge, it'll be thought of as a great buy
I will withhold my opinions on this new GS until riders get out there on the bike and really run it through it's paces. But anyone thinking "superior" has consumed too much Kool-Aid! This myth was debunked decades ago.

The good news vs. the many larger, heavier bikes in ADV class is the 310 is fairly small, relatively light vs. 1200 class. This has several benefits:

Those cast wheels should hold up better to a beating. Fuel economy should be very good too ... probably over 60 miles/gallon. Motor should be strong enough to haul you and luggage, but it may struggle through deep sand (many bikes do) and mud.

But for basic tracks, two track trail and open Desert, it may do OK if not too severe. Have to wait and see. On the road? Reviews mostly positive so far, but I've heard nothing from actual owners yet.

My Vstrom 1000 had some very rough treatment on many Baja off road rides over my 90,000 mile history with it. Bad rocks in Baja including killer embedded, sharp edged rocks. I hit several at over 70 mph. My rims were dented a few times but nothing ever broke on the cast DID wheels. These DID wheels were SUPER tough based on my experience.

I don't know where BMW source their wheels for this bike. (Hopefully not Akront) I read something about KYB forks ... probably shock too? KYB make parts at every level from poor to great. No idea what the BMW 310 GS has.
More testing required.


One of 3 dents I got on my V-Strom wheels ... two on rear wheel, one on front
wheel. None of these dents affected ride, could not be felt ... even at 130 mph.
All were pounded out perfectly by wheel smith ... eventually the rear started to crack and had to be retired. This after 5 years/90K miles. Not bad.
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