BMW is on a mission to develop affordable and practical new models that help bring new customers into the brand, and individual families. Like, say, the GS family. Enter the new 2017 G 310 GS.
Now, before I say anything about this bike, I want to say that BMW has reminded me in the past that affordable and cheap are not one in the same. So where other brands opt for outdated tech or “cheap” components, BMW still promises to hold its bikes to a certain standard.
Based on the G 310 R, the new GS features much of the same technologies and hardware, including a 313cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that produces a claimed 34 hp and features a backward-tilted cylinder and cylinder head rotated by 180 degrees. This configuration lends itself to a lower center of gravity and gets more weight toward the front wheel.
At the same time, the set-up contributes to a shorter wheelbase and allows for a longer swinging, which leads to more stability. So you get agile handling, good front-end feedback, and better stability. And that, folks, is what you call a win win.
The 310 GS has a similar frame to the 310 R, but the suspension has extra travel (an added 1.6 inches up front, and extra 1.9 inches out back), with a total of 7.1 inches at each end. The rear shock is adjustable for spring preload, too. Seat height is 32.9 inches, and wet weight is 374 lbs.
Rolling stock includes a19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear that are wrapped in 110/80 R-19 and 150/70 R-17 rubber, respectively. (Both of which are available here: Front Rear.) Brakes include a four-piston caliper up front biting on a 300mm disc, and dual-piston caliper out back on a 240mm disc. ABS is standard, but can be switched off for off-road riding. (Buy 300mm discs here!)
Speaking of off-road riding, BMW doesn’t seem to want to detour you from it, but does say often that the G 310 GS is more for “light terrain,” and ideal for the daily commute, with the occasional ride down “country roads.”
Honestly, I was leary of this bike when I first saw it. What fun is tearing down a fire road when it’s on something that doesn’t have a lot of power or the top-of-the-line brakes/suspension you’d find on the big bikes?
I’m starting to see the point though; bikes like the GS will make for great commuters, and something for the newer rider who’s taken a liking to the ADV style or wants something upright and comfortable.
And at least with the G 310 GS, you’re still getting some pretty modern technology and decent components.
The BMW G 310 GS is available in Cosmic Black non-metallic, Racing Red non-metallic, and the elaborately designed Pearl White metallic.