Cycle Torque is in Airlie Beach for the launch of BMW’s G 310 R LAMS roadster, July 16-17.
The plan for the ride is to sample some of the Whitsunday’s best public roads before a few hours at Dray’s Park Racetrack, in Proserpine…
In the meantime, here’s six things you may not know about BMW’s G 310 R.
1. It’s made in India.
This has helped to keep costs low. The G 310 R is priced from $5,790 (plus on-roads).
The partnership with TVS has been in place since April, 2013, a few months after BMW offloaded Husqvarna. There has been the suggestion that the G 310 R has been in development since the BMW/Husqvarna days.
2. The bike has been built from the ground up
BMW press material says:
“Newly conceived from scratch, the G 310 R represents everything BMW Motorrad stands for: innovation and quality. Designed specifically for the world market, the BMW G 310 R can run on the most diverse fuel qualities, meets all emission standards and local requirements – and takes the typical BMW premium aspiration to the segment under 500 cc.”
This is BMW’s first motorcycle in the sub-500cc bracket so a lot of effort has gone into making the G 310 R appeal to to the right people.
First and foremost it ‘has to be’ a BMW. What comes to mind here for the target market is the style which evokes the S 1000 R.
Next it has to share BMW’s engineering philosophy. The engine shifts the centre-of-gravity towards the front wheel so it should provide good handling. Counteracting this is a longer swingarm which should also make the bike more stable.
Overall the spec sheet represents a fairly well-balanced motorcycle.
3. The engine has one pot (a backwards one)
The G 310 R, like KTM’s 390 Duke opts for a four-valve, liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine. But BMW (again, being BMW…) has opted for a few design changes to the humble thumper.
Unlike conventional single-cylinder concepts, the engine of the new G 310 R has a backward-tilted cylinder, and the cylinder head is turned 180 degrees. This places the intake tract at the front, while the exhaust tract is at the rear.
It’s simple, and it makes sense, but the result is a pipe which looks bigger than you think it should look. The design means there’s no room for a collector box – it’s all contained within the pipe itself.
4. There have been a few manufacturing bugs to iron out
The G 310 R was originally supposed to be available in Australia from October, 2016. Apparently BMW wasn’t happy with the quality of some of the parts. So there’s been a six-month delay.
5. There are a few accessories available for the G 310 R
BMW hasn’t developed a truckload of accessories for the new G 310 R first-up. It has stuck with the basics which should suit most. There’s two top cases ($1072), and a tank bag ($220), heated grips ($178), a centre stand ($420), 12v socket ($66), and a few seat options ($580), amongst other various storage, safety, ergonomic and maintenance options.
6. A G 310 GS is in the pipeline
BMW will also release a learner-variant of the venerable GS. It will be more of a styling exercise – based upon the 310 R – than a proper GS but it will have off-road styling cues and more capability in the dirt than its roadster comrade.