BMW Motorrad expands its small-displacement platform with the G310GS, which makes its debut at the EICMA Milan Bike Show. This all-new 310GS shares the same basic structure of its G310R roadster sibling but adds some key GS-like changes with its 19-inch front tire, long-travel suspension and familiar GS styling cues.
The G310GS sources the same liquid-cooled 313cc Single as the R model. The 310 engine is a fuel-injected, four-valve design, with the cylinder positioned opposite of convention as intake sits in the front and exhaust in the rear (a la YZ250/450F MX machines). BMW claims 34 horsepower at 9500 rpm (10,500 rpm redline) and 20.7 lb-ft of torque at 7500 rpm – not earth-shattering figures but more than respectable for a design lining up against similar displacement rivals like the Suzuki V-Strom 250 – yet another small-displacement adventure model to debut at EICMA.
The GS’s 34 ponies get transmitted to the rear wheel through a six-speed gearbox and left-side chain final drive (the location of which bears mention only because it bucks the familiarly-odd-for-BMW right-side chain drives). The G310GS clutch is a wet multi-plate design.
A tubular steel frame with rear bolt-on section and aluminum swingarm provides the skeleton of the 310GS chassis. Suspension units are near identical to the R model – an inverted 41mm fork and single shock – with one notable exception, the suspension travel extends to 7.1 inches. All that extra travel gives the little GS some legroom to work off-road. Ground clearance was also an obvious factor in the GS’s exhaust placement (revised from the R setup), as well as swapping out the R’s belly pan with a skidplate. Yet another acknowledgment of the 310GS’s off-road pretensions is the 19-inch front wheel.
Further changes to the GS 310 include tweaks to the steering geometry, with a lazier rake and wider wheelbase than the R. The GS also adds 24 pounds for a claimed weight of 373.7 pounds. For a small bike the GS sports a rather conventional 32.9-inch seat heat, though optional 32.3 and 33.5 inch seats are available. Like all Euro 4-compliant bikes the GS is fitted with standard ABS (Euro 4 required), but the 2-channel ABS can be deactivated by the press of a button. The 310’s braking components remain a single-disc front brake with radially-mount four-piston caliper and single disc dual-piston caliper rear.
BMW bills its Baby GS as an all-rounder, with the 1200GS (also updated for 2017) an unquestioned master of versatility. And style-wise the new Beemer does an admirable job looking like its big brothers, particularly with its GS-like beak and solid fit and finish. It looks a lot like the Boxer or F800 GS, with about a fraction of the power. Hopefully, the 310 GS will show a similar reduction in MSRP compared to its pricier siblings.
A Small-Displacement GS for the World Market
These G310 models are developed by BMW but manufactured in Bangalore, India through a partnership with TVS Motor Company. Most casual American and European riders are likely unaware of the Indian bike market in general and TVS in particular, but TVS produces a staggering 2.5 million bikes annually. And that eyebrow-raising figure is only good enough to make it the third-largest bike maker in its domestic market. The massive, high-volume Asian market continues to mature with a bike like this new G310, as well as the small-displacement KTM Dukes and other Japanese models, representing a model that offers attractive performance upgrades from the ubiquitous 125cc models. This is a BMW GS that the entire global market can embrace.