It has been over a year since we had a first look at the BMW G 310 R. Finally, it’s time for a first ride on the 2017 BMW G 310 R. Ultimate Motorcycling Associate Editor Kelly Callan took a pre-production sample of the smallest-displacement BMW yet on a test ride through Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Mountains.
1 Thirty-four horsepower is more fun than you think. You don’t need half a liter or more under the tank to have a blast, even in the hills and canyons. The 2017 BMW G 310 R’s oversquare 313cc DOHC single has plenty of spunk, especially in the mid to upper rpm range to keep you smiling as you dive in and out of corners. The liquid-cooled thumper has a backwards-tilting cylinder and a head spun 180-degrees.2. The G 310 R is light, nimble, responsive, and predictable in all the best ways. Whether enjoying a moderate boulevard pace, or riding hard and pushing your limits, the bike’s neutral handling makes it a carefree, enjoyable experience. A long swingarm matched to a short wheelbase gives the 310 a nice combination of agility and stability.[Visit the 2017 Motorcycle Preview Page]3. The Michelin Pilot Street radial tires worked very well. Pushing it on The Snake on Mulholland Highway, there’s plenty of feel and confidence from the rubber. However, BMW hasn’t finalized what tires the production model will sport, but I’d be happy with these Michelins.4. Suspension is surprisingly capable. There are no fork adjustments, and only spring pre-load adjustment for the Kayaba shock, but BMW engineers found a way to deliver credible suspension on the budget-priced G 310 R. It doesn’t completely soak up rough road conditions, but it doesn’t get unsettled, either.5. ABS comes stock and you also get a radial-mounted caliper. Progressive brake action at the front lever is friendly to newer riders, but the firmer you squeeze the more you get from the Bybre caliper (Bybre is a Brembo brand). At just under 350 pounds for the G 310 R, a single 300mm disc gets the job done, and the rear 240mm rotor takes care of low-speed deceleration. Stock ABS adds that extra peace of mind.6. One size fits (almost) all. While the sub-31 inch seat and compact design of the G 310 R will be welcome to smaller stature riders, the relaxed riding position makes the bike surprisingly comfortable to the longer-inseamed, as well. Whether you want a slight forward lean for a sporty attitude, or an upright stance for cruising the boulevard, there’s room in the saddle to adjust.[Read our First Look Fast Facts on the BMW G 310 R]7. The little BMW is a lane-splitter’s dream. It’s narrow and maneuverable, with predictable power and braking. The G 310 R is made for urban environments. Although the torque peak doesn’t come until 7500 rpm, there’s plenty of grunt at lower revs to make it a good performer in the city.8. The G 310 R is perfectly sized for everyday real world riding. Liter bikes are fun on a track or on wide sweeping canyon roads, but much of the power is left unused in suburban environments—not so with the G 310 R. Ideal as a commuter, around-town bike, and capable back roads romper, the G 310 R is a seven-day-a-week ride, and not one that you roll out of the garage only on the weekends.9. The sit-in seating position is reassuring. You don’t feel precarious on the G 310 R, and it’s easy to grip the three-gallon tank with your knees. This is great on freeways, as well as in the canyons.10. Fit and finish on the G 310 R is not cheap. The G 310 R is the first BMW motorcycle to be built in India—automotive giant TVS Motor Company does the honors—and it backs up BMW’s claim that the 310 meets the same standards and quality control as BMW’s Berlin plant.11. With styling inspired by the S 1000 R, the G 310 R will not be mistaken for a beginner bike by most people. Despite its novice-friendly power delivery and ease of use, the G 310 R has the styling cues to match its naked sport bike potential. With the iconic BMW badge on its tank, the G 310 R will turn heads, especially in the red, white, and blue livery.12. No longer exclusively an aspirational marque, BMW takes solid aim at the world market. There are a good handful of 300-class bikes to choose from, and at an aggressively competitive $4750 base price, BMW is poised to take a nice chunk of that market.13. Don’t be in a hurry to pick up a 2017 BMW G 310 R. The smallest Beemer won’t hit the showroom floors until Summer 2017.Photography by Kevin Wing, et al.RIDING STYLE
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.