The much awaited entry-level BMW motorcycle, codenamed K03 (meant to be co-produced with TVS), has finally been revealed by the two-wheeler division of the Bavarian manufacturer. Tagged as the new G 310 R, this is the first sub-500cc roadster from BMW Motorrad and will be manufactured by the company’s new partner, TVS.
BMW says that the G 310 R embodies the pure essence of a BMW roadster and is neither too little nor too much of anything. The new G 310 R has been built from ground up and is said to represent everything BMW Motorrad stands for – innovation, quality and many years of carefree partnership with its owner.
The new G 310 R draws its design inspiration from the BMW Motorrad family such as the litre-class S 1000 R. While the new G 310 R does not get the trademark asymmetric headlight design, the neatly carved illumintor, a muscular fuel tank, radiator shrouds and beefy upside down gold-coloured forks upfront give a typical and unmistakable BMW roadster look to the motorcycle. The G 301 R comes equipped with a large liquid crystal display that is claimed to offers excellent clarity and a wide range of information.
A black belly pan engine guard adds to the aesthetics while providing adequate safety to the newly developed single-cylinder power plant. A BMW logo marks its presence in the lower part of the fuel tank while the G 310 R brand name is imprinted on the radiator shrouds.
The single piece seat seems sufficient to accommodate the rider and pillion comfortably and the under-seat region can be accessed using the keyhole below the rear panel. The side panel is non-existent, exposing the sub-frame of the rigid tubular steel frame and the rear mono-shock. The rear panel neatly merges with the dull-silver pillion grab rails while an extended tail holds the rear number plate and blinkers. The brawny swingarm somewhat resembles the unit that was seen on the KTM Duke 200/390 but the lower part distinguishes it from its Austrian rival.
The overall design is compact and admirable and the build quality, at least in the official photographs, seems commendable.
The new power plant that would propel this little monster also looks promising on paper. The new G 310 R will draw power from a newly developed 313cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine with four valves and two overhead camshafts together with electronic fuel injection. The 80 mm bore and the 62.1 mm stroke develops a praiseworthy 34 hp of power at 9,500 rpm and 28Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. The power-to-weight ratio is healthy too with the unladen weight of the motorcycle tipping the scale at 158.5 kilograms.
The ergonomics are said to be relaxed, stress-free and easy-going which would be handy for street riding. Suspension duties are performed by upside-down forks upfront while at the rear there is an aluminium swinging arm in conjunction with a spring strut that is mounted on it directly.
Now here is something that the KTM 390 Duke should be worried about. Like all BMW motorcycles, the new G 310 R is fitted with ABS as standard. Add to that a 300mm single-disc brake upfront with radially bolted 4-piston fixed caliper and 240mm unit with 2-piston floating calliper at the rear and we may have a highly potent stopping system which should stop the motorcycle pretty efficiently once the anchor is dropped.
The highlights of the new BMW G 310 R:
- Innovative liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine with two overhead camshafts, backward-tilted cylinder and intake tract positioned at the front.
- Output 25 kW (34 hp) at 9 500 rpm and a maximum torque of 28 Nm at 7 500 rpm.
- Rigid tubular steel frame, upside-down fork and long swinging arm for a high degree of ride stability, precise steering response and sound handling.
- Tyres 110/70 R 17 at front and 150/60 R 17 at rear.
- High-performance brake system and ABS as standard.
- Sophisticated ergonomics and multifunctional instrument cluster.
- Low seat height of just 785 millimetres.
- Dynamic roadster design with echoes of the S 1000 R.
- Developed in Munich by BMW Motorrad – produced in India by cooperation partner TVS Motor Company.
- Individually tailored optional accessories in the familiar high quality typical of BMW Motorrad.
The motorcycle will be completely developed by BMW in Munich but here is the part that would put a smile on the face of blokes sitting in India. KTM offers its entry-level performance motorcycles such as the 200/390 Duke and RC200/390 at highly competitive prices courtesy local manufacturing at Bajaj’s Chakkan plant. Somewhere on the similar lines, BMW has partnered with Indian two-wheeler maker TVS who would be responsible for the production of this brand new roadster which should help the Bavarian two-wheeler maker to keep the production costs low and prices highly competitive.
The hardware is quite similar to the KTM 390 Duke which is currently the undisputable champion of the entry level performance motorcycle in the Indian market and elsewhere in world. The main competition between this upcoming BMW and KTM will boil down to pricing. The KTM Duke retails at little over Rs 2.20 lakh (ex-showroom) in India and the TVS-BMW duo should try to keep the price for the G 310 R in the same region if it intends to cater to a larger audience base.
Looking at the developments, we may not have to wait for much longer to hear from TVS-BMW about the India pricing and we are expecting to hear concrete details at, or before the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi.