BMW G310R (2016 - 2020) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The A2 licence-friendly BMW G310R is arguably the German firm's most important bike to date.
BMW wants to tempt new riders into motorcycling across the globe and this is the machine they hope will draw them in. It’s well built, light, easy to manage at low speed and it even has a sporty side when you push it hard. But it’s let down slightly but its clutch and gearbox at low speed.
In 2021 this version of the R was replaced by the 2021 BMW G310R.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The BMW’s tubular steel frame is built for rigidity, durability and to keep costs down. Shoving the motor right up the front of the bike has allowed BMW to fit a long die-cast ali swingarm for less nervous, more sure-footed handling. An S1000RR-look-a-like front end features non-adjustable upside down forks and an ABS-equipped radial-mount four-piston Bybre caliper, biting a 300mm disc. The single rear shock is non-adjustable.
The G310R has a low, friendly riding position and with a seat height of 758mm it’s easy for the short riders to get their feet flat on the floor at a standstill. But the BMW still manages to have a big bike feel and spacious riding position, so if you’re coming from a bigger bike, it doesn’t feel like you’re downsizing.
The softly padded seat is comfy for an hour or so, but for all-day riding it will eventually give you bum ache. For a decent length commute it’s fine, though.
Looking down at the controls its clear you’re on a BMW. There’s the giveaway propeller badge on the tank and a cockpit that, dash aside, could be from an S1000R supernaked. The switchgear is similar, as are the straight bars and handlebar grips. Mirrors are small, but give a decent view of where you’ve just been.
One of the only real niggles with the controls is the clutch and brake lever especially, is a long way from the bar. It’s the same on all their models, so BMW test riders must have giant hands.
One of the advantages of a single-cylinder design is low weight. Tipping the scales at 158.5kg ready-to-go, the G310R is light and manoeuvrable around town and on the open road.
At middling speeds, the brakes lack bite and the steering is vague, but push through this and the BMW comes alive. The ABS-assisted brakes work the harder you squeeze the lever and lazy lines turn to crisp curves when you push the front end hard into a corner.
Fit some sporty tyres and you could have some serious fun on the G310R. This is the sort of bike that will tech new riders more about the art of cornering and maintaining momentum than a powerful 600 or 1000 ever will.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The new 34bhp, 313cc, 4v single-cylinder powerplant is fitted backwards, so the inlet is at the front and the exhaust at the back. BMW says the design allows a straighter, more efficient flow of air into the engine and lets the motor fit closer to the front wheel for better weight distribution. Twin camshafts and valve gear is based on the S1000RR as is the superbike’s DLC (Diamond Like Coating) on the rocker arms and gudgeon pin.
Like all the single and twin cylinder machines in the A2 class, the G310R doesn’t have the most evocative exhaust note in the world, but the power delivery is so smooth and vibe-free that you forget you’re riding a single and the throttle pick-up glitch free. At low speeds there’s a decent amount of grunt and you can easily keep up with city traffic, but when you want to turn up the wick the motor turns from sensible commuter to sporty BMW. It’s free-revving and surprisingly urgent for its modest 34bhp. Flat out it might just crack the ton and slip the clutch like a maniac and it will even do wheelies an S1000R would be proud of.
But at low speed the transmission isn’t perfect. The clutch can be grabby when you pull away and downshifts are stiff and sticky when you’re rolling to a stop. It all works better the faster you’re going, but around town and at low speed the BMW isn’t as refined as its glossier Japanese rivals.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
BMW have kept costs down by designing and engineering the G310R at their HQ in Munich, but building it in India, with partners TVS. They’re the third largest bike manufacturer in India and produce over three million machines a year, but the G310R isn’t a rebadged TVS. It’s uniquely BMW, built in a dedicated area of the Indian factory and armed with lots of clipboard-wielding BMW quality control staff. They’re shipped to Germany once built and distributed around the world.
Our BMW G310R owners' reviews show a few issues with reliability, including weeping forks and some electrical faults. There have also been a number of recalls over the years so check to ensure all work has been carried out.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The G310R isn’t about the speed, luxury and technology you’d associate with big Beemers. It’s been deliberately built down to a price to make it one the best value mainstream restricted licence machines out there – cheaper than its Japanese and European competition.
Not only that, it only cost £500 more than a Honda CBR125 learner machine and £200 than a snazzy Aprilia RS4 125 Replica when launched.
By 2021 the price had crept up to £4785, though.
There’s little to point to the fact this is a budget Beemer. The paint finishes are flawless, the plastics are nicely finished and you get some snazzy equipment for your money: a multifunction LCD dash, an S1000RR-aping front end, including non-adjustable upside down forks, Bybre radial four-piston calipers and Michelin Pilot Street radial tyres.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 4v, single-cylinder|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm, non-adjustable USD forks|
|Rear suspension||Single rear shock, preload adjustable|
|Front brake||300mm disc with four-piston radial caliper|
|Rear brake||240mm single disc with single-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||110/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||150/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||85 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£45|
|Annual service cost||£270|
|Used price||£2,800 - £4,700|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||34 bhp|
|Max torque||21 ft-lb|
|Top speed||105 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||205 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2016: BMW G310R launched
- 2021: Replaced by newer 2021 BMW G310R.
- BMW G310GS is an adventure version of the same bike.
Owners' reviews for the BMW G310R (2016 - 2020)
8 owners have reviewed their BMW G310R (2016 - 2020) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Annual servicing cost: £200
Enjoying every minute the motorcycle. Ignore early reviews regarding stalling, have had no problem. BMW obviously have sorted.
Sounds fantastic at all rev ranges for a 313 cc engine.
BMW service plan, 3 year warranty,3 break down including road side assistance.
Annual servicing cost: £200
It's light, easy to ride and cheap to run. I've had several problems and poor service from BMW.
Comfortable bike even with a pillion. Front suspension dips quite sharply when braking, otherwise handles nicely.
Power delivery is smooth with no surprises. Often hard to start especially if cold, or to re-start when hot. The engine has failed at 8,000 miles so it's not confidence inspiring reliability.
The bike is 18 months old. i bought it about 6 months ago with approx. 5500 miles on the clock, it now has approx 8000 miles on the clock. It's on it's second recall for brake calipers. The gear indicator no longer works, making it impossible to run the engine on the side stand (no neutral light). The front forks are leaking fluid and it is showing an engine management light. On the way to the dealers to have these things looked at the engine stopped completely on busy dual carriage-way causing a skid but luckily no accident. Dealer refused to pick me up but luckily I had recovery with my insurance through Hastings Direct, big shout out to Hastings for their friendly service. Bike is still under warranty but I'm waiting to see what the outcome is.
I was about £120 for my 6000 mile service but the next one is bigger. Given the number of faults already experienced you might need to factor in the costs of regular repairs .
I have the rear rack and top-box fitted which are both very good, but there doesn't seem to be many options for saddle-bags or panniers.
Buying experience: Bought privately at 12 months old and 5500 miles for £2900
Annual servicing cost: £150
Very nimble brakes not amazing but good enough!
Bit rattly as a single but what do you expect
Quality cheap but get what you pay for. Never had an issue with it
Great value for money
No equipment with bike but nice dash
Buying experience: Fowlers Motorcycles
Annual servicing cost: £300
I reviewed this a a few months ago when nearly new, I've now done 12,000 km. This bike is an awesome commuter, love the lightweight, easy handling, sprightly performance in traffic, easy lane splitting manners, fuel economy (now 90-100 mpg depending on urgency) and looks. Occasionally I wish I had more power when I want to get away from annoying driver in a sports car, or to compete with a faster bike. But I rationalise that the 310 is cheap as chips to buy and I'm getting nigh on 100 mpg. So you can't have it all. Overall, I'm very pleased with the purchase and no regrets.
Brakes are excellent now they've bedded in. Had to make an emergency stop recently and the ABS worked flawlessly and I came to a dignified but abrubt halt.
Nice free revving engine, doesn't get hot. Starts easily, occasionally needs a bit of throttle on a cold morning.
No issues, sometimes needs a tiny bit of gas to start on a cold morning.
It's cheaper than I exoected. Costing 300 NZD every 10,000 km. Very economical on fuel especially if you keep below 7000 rpm.
Dash info is exactly what you need. Never had a gear indicator before but now feels weird when there isnt one. Switch gear good quality.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer easy as.
Whats not to like, easily does the speed limit, rides very well in a comfy seat with a relaxed position. very economical, useful on our ever increasing fuel prices . Soaks up the bumps on the UK's ever worsening roads. Handles and feels like a big bike. Got bit of headlight shake - But I don't have a problem with that, as it draws attention to your presence. I will not think twice or worried about going to the Bol'Dor.
Good bite and stop very well, only thing is quite a dive on front when applied hard, could do with being slightly stiffer,. There are aftermarket upgrades but expensive.
Loves being revved, will accelerate quite quick if you use the gears and don't labour the engine. For a little bike has plenty of get up and go. You could quite easily get a few points on your licence if not careful.
No issues with the reliability, build quality is just what you'd expect from a BMW. Well equipped. More than some of the bigger more expensive bikes I've had.
If any criticism tank could be bigger, more than the 11 litres.
I've added a read brake lever extender, the OEM is too close to the engine and I had a tendency to miss it with my foot. Fitted a Powerbronze bigger screen, just because I prefer it that way and gives better wind protection. There are extra power sockets factory fitted should you require additional power for SatNav's / phones etc. I had fitted when I bought a Optimate battery charger cable, why I've no idea because I've never used it. (maybe because my Ducati and Kwak had unreliable batteries). I've gone right to edge of the factory fitted Metzeler Tourance tyres without any feeling of it letting go.
Buying experience: I bought an ex demo from my dealer with only a few miles on clock. I felt that they were more interested in selling the big bikes, that had more profit margin. The little GS was an inconvenience that was just impression I got.
Annual servicing cost: £500
Great small capacity bike and shockingly cheap to buy and run.
Suspension a little firm when surfacing is suspect, but really suited for smooth asphalt and sweeping bends.
Tall first gear which is a bit annoying, but once into second and 6000RPM+ the bike really fizzes and squirts up the gears. Clutchless changing really helps get ahead of traffic. I came to the 310 from a ZZR600 and, although slower, it's not as much of a transition as I expected. I am grinning when accelerating and whipping around roundabouts. Top speed around 92mph.
Quality exceeded my expectations at the price (paid NZ$7000) and no problems so far after 2500km.
100km commute per day of mainly dual carriageway roads 30 to 80mph. Averaging around 80mpg.
It's a naked street bike, so it is what it is. It's got ABS, decent instrumentation and nice switch gear. I'm planning to get a Yoshimura or Akrapocic exhaust to improve the sound and reduce weight.
Buying experience: Good, cheap to buy and bought on 0% finance.
Version: Motorsport colours
I’ve owned many ‘proper’ including the latest s1000r sport, RT and other bikes such as GSXR litre class bikes. The 310 isn’t meant to be one of these and is great fun for easy local riding being light and agile, as well as economical. It’s costs less than a half decent emountain bike and handles very well.
It’s a nice bike to ride. Best on sweeping B and single A roads in my opinion. Make sure you run it in. It really does improve once run in.
Generally satisfactory but the first gear (arguably front sprocket) is very short.
One mirror had a problem which was immediately fixed under warranty.
Cheap as chips and less than a well known scooter I used to own (that cost me more than the RT to service so I sold it). It has a better service interval too.
It’s an accomplished small capacity real motorbike. It would be great as a commuter. It is very well made with a great brand and warranty.
Buying experience: Bought from a BMW main dealer. Excellent as usual.
A surprisingly agile and well balanced "small' version of the GS range. It looks the part - a real GS and I can confirm the comments of road testers from many countries that there are are few faults to be found. I only miss a larger screen and heated grips. Very comfortable and great fun to ride/
Comfortable and well balanced. The brakes seem adequate and have ABS which can be switched off.
Only 310 cc / 34 bhp - but it is vety smooth for a single and revs happily without too much fuss or noise.
As it is a 'real' BMW, albeit manufactured in India, I have complete confidence in 'my' local dealer to maintain it.
I have a BMW top box (but needs another key) but no cases available yet. I would have liked heated grips- which will be available and a 'proper' screen as I ride all the year.
Buying experience: Excellent service, as I would expect, and the bike delivered to my door in spotless condition.