It's supposed to be an accessible way to enter the BMW Motorrad club. Does the G 310 RR deliver on the value quotient though?
What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you think of BMW motorcycles? Most likely, it is the land striding-globe trotting image of the GS which has been imprinted into our minds for like forty years now. However, the Germans bikemaker expanded its horizon in the recent decade looking beyond dusty trails and at the racetrack with S 1000 RR. The flagship superbike has been quite sought after among enthusiasts but the expensive sports bike has been out of reach for many. Fans of the BMW roundel can now get into the club with the G 310 RR, the bikemaker’s entry-level faired sports bike offering. Given BMW Motorrad’s tie-up with TVS for entry-level motorcycles, the G 310RR shares its platform with the flagship TVS Apache RR 310. The BMW also comes at a significant premium over the TVS. Does the G 310 RR justify the premium badging and premium pricing? Let us find out.
Same same but different:
Yes, it looks exactly like the Apache and BMW have done the bare minimum to stand apart. It works though. I feel the G 310 RR looks more attractive and premium. The racy livery on this Style Sport variant (a Rs 14,000 option) blends well with the edgy bodywork and from a few angles, looks like a scaled-down version of the S 1000 RR. Fit and finish levels are on par with the Apache with tight panel lines and premium glossy paint hob and pearlescent accents on the livery.
The G 310 RR gets the twin headlamp setup separated by a wedge-like snout that is flanked by airways similar to the nares of the deep water predator. The streamlined aerodynamic fairing encloses the ram air intakes and perpetrates a pectoral fin-like visual mass which gets enhanced with the gill vents underneath the deflector cowl meant for heat dissipation. At the top, the healthy muscular 11-litre tank flexes well showing off its pectoral muscles.
I like the asymmetric approach given for the tank panels significant to the marque’s styling. I wish the same treatment was given to the headlamp assembly, like the previous generation S 1000 RR.
The tail section is raised for mass centralization and is finished with an evil-looking LED tail light that reminds me of Baywatch where damsels in distress freak out looking at a fin in beach waters.
While the design looks appealing, BMW could have done more to distinguish the G 310 RR from the Apache RR 310.
Goes the distance. Fast:
The Bavarian Protege sports an engaging rider triangle that is sporty for the racetrack and comfortable enough to tour on. Its tank contours accommodate my arms well and dictate applaudable space to tuck my knees in. The brushed and slotted (a weight-saving measure) clip-on handlebars are well placed and invoke confidence whilst heeding the dark urges of the motorcycle.
The well-padded seat is moderately tall at 811mm, and is spacious enough for weight-shifting acrobatics on the fly! The rear seat sits on an incline, I believe it may not be pillion friendly for long hours of riding. I had quite a long stint with this beemer, riding it down from Mumbai to Pune and spending a wearingly long shoot day onboard it. I can vouch for its comfortable engaging touring potential.
The Beemer packs the same with dawn-breaking projector LED headlamps and all-LED lighting as well as a five-inch vertically stacked colour TFT instrument cluster as the TVS.
The screen though features BMW’s user interface and has a fluidic read-out that is personalised for each of the four riding modes - Rain, Urban, Sport and Track. However, the motorcycle misses out on connected features and navigation assistance which otherwise comes as default on the Apache. The ride modes, Rain and Urban restrict power to 25.8PS and rev limit to 7,700rpm with a strong ABS intervention and modulate engine braking and deceleration. Sport and Track modes help in exploiting the full 34PS at a higher 9,700rpm with a delayed ABS intervention.
What makes the baby shark a potent killer is the same 312cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine that minces out 34PS and 27.3Nm. It’s the same reverse-inclined heart seen on the Apache 310 RR and its siblings- the GS 310 R and G 310 GS. The motor impresses with its strong mid-range performance and that raspy exhaust note. The motor loves to be revved. Low speeds aren't a happy place for the G 310 RR, the predator likes to surprise its prey with quick moves and reflexes and I dig that!
With politer nannies in place, the top speed is limited to 125kph and with the more sporty riding modes, the motorcycle can be pushed to a speedo-indicated 160kmph! Getting a tad excited, I did push the bike to its full-blown potential but thanks to the BMW Motorrad ABS and the anti-hop clutch from the department of nannies, I live another day to tell my tale.
The engine has NVH issues, as the revs climb, the ripples don’t lead to a tsunami but it does raise a brow with the mirrors, tank and seat being tickled While mated to a six-speed gearbox, the first and second gear ratios feel a tad tall and I did stall the engine quite a few times at low-speeds.
Underpinnings include a lightweight trellis frame suspended by a 41mm inverted fork and a gas-charged mono-shock. The ride is firm and spirited for a sporty riding style but not vertebrae shattering. The Bavarian shark is happiest when I show it a corner, it inspires you to break through its potential.
The suspension units are sourced from Kayaba and aren’t adjustable unlike its TVS counterpart yet do a good job of balancing a good ride and spirited handling. The Michelin Pilot Sport tyres grip fine though having sampled the stickier Michelin Road 5 tyres on the Apache, we reckon BMW missed out here.
The ByBre sourced brakes offer a good bite and the ABS pulse is mostly debatable on the nanny ride modes (Rain and Urban) unless you get acquainted well enough. ABS performance in Sport and Track mode was fine though.
Prices for the BMW G 310 RR start at Rs 2.85 lakh ex-showroom while this Style Sport variant retails at Rs 2.99 lakh. Sure, the TVS packs in a lot for a lesser premium (roughly Rs 20,000 lesser than the Standard and Rs 30,000 in comparison with the Style Sport model) and in BTO trim, has all the track-based kinks like a track-focused handlebar, race spec foot pegs and fully adjustable Kayaba units. It also has connected features which are amiss on the Beemer. So the Apache does offer a better VFM quotient but the G 310 RR feels special and will offer a more premium ownership experience. Simply put if you have been in the market for a faired motorcycle and have always wanted a BMW roundel in your garage, the G 310 RR is the answer you are looking for.