The 2017 G310R is BMW’s first recent foray into the small-displacement market. The explosion of growth in this category, from new riders in North America to urban commuters in Asia, motivated BMW to join the party and build a bike that’s small, low in power, and – BMW snobs, look away – very affordable.
Truth is, even a young middle-class Vancouverite could afford the bi-weekly payments to claim the status of being a proud BMW owner.
For what would generally be categorized as a ‘little bike,’ the 2017 BMW G310R isn’t burdened by many of the typical characteristics of motorcycles in the 250-300 cc class. It looks and feels like a full-size ride, not some econo-bike designed only for riders below five-foot-ten. No budget-saving materials or corner-cutting is apparent, and everything from the lustrous pearl white paintjob to the fancy alloy rims and BMW Motorsport graphics look completely high-end. It looks like a proper naked sport bike.
BMW Motorrad Head of Design describes the new 2017 BMW G310R at a press briefing in Hollywood, CA.
And yet the 310R is inviting and unintimidating, weighing just 158.5 kg (350 lb) ready to ride and feeling very easy to manage, both in traffic and at speed. Reach to the ground is fine for smaller riders, and the 34-horsepower, single-cylinder 313 cc engine is easy to control and perfect for new riders. Still, there’s enough power to easily cruise at 120 km/h on the highway, and the handlebar positioning works harmoniously with the basic suspension items and motor to make riding around the canyons of California a pure delight, even for experienced pilots. In Los Angeles rush-hour traffic, the light clutch pull, easy-to-manage throttle and compact nature of the 310R made it easy to split lanes and tolerateh the ebb and flow of stop-and-go. As with all BMW models, ABS is standard on the 2017 G310R.
Company brass in Deustchland admits that this isn’t a groundbreaking motorcycle for the 250-300 cc market; at a press briefing in Hollywood last week, BMW Motorrad Head of Design, Edgar Heinrich, went so far as to say, “When you jump into an existing game, you have to play by predetermined rules.” You won’t find class-leading power, but you’ll find a motorcycle that does exactly what it needs to in this segment, all with BMW’s pedigree and attention to detail.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this bike is the price: Canadians can find it in their local BMW dealership for just $5,250 (add 75 bucks if you want the white/red/blue paint and graphics). Keep an eye out for the full review in the April issue of Inside Motorcycles, and don’t forget to come by our booth at the winter bike shows to take advantage of our show subscription specials and to sit on the new BMW G310R in the BMW booth!
You can also order a subscription online at insidemotorcycles.mysub.ca