New BMW G310R roadster revealed

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BMW are pinning a huge amount on the success of this small-capacity roadster – their all-new G310R.

The bike has been completely designed and engineered by BMW in Munich, Germany just like every other BMW in the range, but this bike (and the rest of the 310 range that will arrive in the coming years) will be built by BMW’s Indian partner TVS.

The bike is an attempt to massively boost the company’s global market share, and BMW have invested huge amounts of time and resources into ensuring the bikes will meet build quality standards set by the Germans.

BMW are clearly intent on ensuring those people concerned about the bike being built in India know the German firm has spent a long time setting up specific BMW production facilities with partner TVS in Bangalore. All of the manufacturing machinery has been built in Germany and shipped out to India where a specially-trained workforce will build the bikes. The engine assembly line is carried out in a glassed off area where the only access is through airlocks designed to prevent any dirt getting into the area.

The bike has been designed to be the basis for a family of bikes and we will see half faired and ‘adventure’ bike versions a short while afterwards according to insiders.

At the heart of the bike is a 313cc, single-cylinder, four-valve liquid-cooled engine, with double overhead camshafts and fuel injection. Bore and stroke are 80mm by 62.1mm and the cylinderhead has been reversed, allowing the inlet tract to be positioned at the front of the motor, and the exhaust exit at the rear. The engine has been designed to work across the globe and with all sorts of fuel quality.

Power is a claimed 34bhp @ 9500rpm with maximum torque pegged at a claimed 20.6ftlb @ 7500rpm. Unladen weight is stated at 158.5kg.

Stephan Schaller is head of BMW Motorrad, and he introduced the new G310R to the world this morning. He told MCN: “BMW Motorrad has been shown a lot of trust by the BMW board members and we have presented a plan for sustainable growth, a new model initiative, growth in Asia and South America, the new range of sub 500cc motorcycles and a wider range of urban mobility motorcycles.
“Our plan involves increasing the number of dealers by 50% and total annual sales by 50% too. Our target is to sell 200,000 total two wheelers each year which is up from the current record breaking numbers.”

G310R gets big bike design

This may be the smallest capacity of all BMW’s currently on sale; and the smallest capacity BMW have built since the R24 of 1948, but the design of the modern roadster has been aimed at making the family connections to the BMW S1000R and R1200R in terms of the styling.

You only need to check out the side profile of the bike to see the clear evidence of the small bike, big design philosophy at work. The angular side panels are almost identical to those on the S1000R, the headlight and small shroud linking directly to that of the R1200R.

It’s not just the design of the bike BMW are clearly hoping will convey premium connotations, as the engineering also reflects the larger bikes in BMW’s range. Rather than the typically weedy-looking conventional forks seen on so many small bikes the G310R gets an inverted fork, ABS as standard, four-piston brake caliper, and a tubular steel frame that stays on the beefy side of style.

BMW’s new G310R engine

BMW claim there are several advantages to the engine design which not only has the cylinderhead twisted around by 180-degrees but the cylinder is also canted backwards. BMW say the advantages are both in allowing a straight pathway for the fuel and air mixture into the engine but also in the general architecture of the bike with a lower centre of gravity and allow for a longer swingarm and therefore more stable handling. BMW have lifted technology straight from the 200bhp S1000RR engine in terms of the Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) on the rocker arms to minimise friction and wear. Other friction and wear resistant coatings feature on the cylinder sleeve with a Nikasil coating.

The G310R in detail

CHASSIS: Tubular steel in construction to keep costs down and crash resistance up the frame also benefits from a long swingarm for handling stability; particularly important when considering many of the roads this bike will be ridden on may not be the smooth Tarmac developed countries are more used to. The swingarm is cast aluminium.

SUSPENSION: Inverted 41mm fork at the front combines with steering geometry aimed at keeping the handling safe and predictable, with 140mm of fork travel. The wheelbase is 1374mm with the rear shock is directly mounted and adjustable and has 131mm of travel.

WHEELS: Lightweight but strong five-spoke 17in wheels front and rear add to the big bike look of the G310R; an impression added to by the fitment of 110/70/17 front and 150/60/17 rear tyres.

EASE OF USE: BMW clearly want this bike to appeal to as many potential customers as possible around the world, so are making a big deal of how easy the bike is to ride, how neutral the handling is and also points to design elements like the low seat height of just 785mm. Other accessory seat options are available too ranging from 760mm through to 815mm.

BMW OPTIONS: It wouldn’t be a BMW if there wasn’t a long list of options and accessories available to add to the bike and at launch include low and high seats, luggage, topboxes, centrestand, LED indicators, a 12v charging socket and heated grips.

COLOUR OPTIONS: The basic colourscheme on offer is a black and white which has highlights in silver but there is also a metallic blue and grey and a Pearl White which is at extra cost.

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter