Everything about the upcoming BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS is out in the open now, except one crucial detail – their prices. So, how will BMW Motorrad position its new entry-level duo in the country?
November 2015 was when BMW Motorrad unveiled the G 310 R. And July 2018 is when it’ll reach the showroom floors in India. If number crunching isn't you're strong suit, let's help you with the calculation – it has taken BMW two years and seven months to hit the ground running with the G 310 R in India! By now, we all are aware of the fact that BMW is running way behind the schedule. But, honestly, it doesn’t warrant any further ranting, for the G 310 R is almost here. What’s more, BMW is also bringing along the adventure version of the motorcycle, the G 310 GS, so let's just say that it's been worth the wait.
Having said that, BMW hasn’t got the job done fully as yet. There’s still one big hurdle for the G 310 twins to cross – their pricing. Will BMW hit the sweet spot with the much awaited G 310 range? Now, that's the question, isn't it?
Good things come at a premium
Let’s cut straight to the chase – the BMW G 310 bikes are going to come at a premium over their rival brands. Reason? Well, they’re BMWs, period.
From what we’ve learnt from our sources, BMW wants to position the G 310 twins above the likes of the KTM 390 Duke and its Indian twin, the TVS Apache RR 310. However, the question is, how much more are they going to cost?
You see, the KTM 390 Duke is the main rival of the G 310 R, and the Austrian is priced at ₹2.40 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), which translates to an on-road price of ₹2.70 lakh (approx.). If you compare both the bikes spec-to-spec, the 390 Duke has a clear advantage – it’s has got more power and more equipment (ride-by-wire, TFT colour display, Metzeler tyres and more). Where it misses out, in comparison to the BMW, is in terms of the brand value. Sure, KTM is a renowned brand, but owning a BMW will any day give you more ego boost, and for many, this is what really matters. Also, as our global partners found out during their exhaustive comparison shootout of both the motorcycles, the BMW was more comfortable and easier to ride than the KTM. So, for someone who isn’t looking for an outright hooligan, the G 310 R will be an ideal pick.
So, the BMW may not have tarmac tearing performance of the Duke, but it has its own strengths, including the more premium brand name. But, how much more over the 390 Duke are you willing to pay for that? That’s what it all boils down to. As per our sources, BMW is looking at pricing the G 310 R at around ₹3.20 lakh – ₹3.40 lakh (on-road). And that’s a hefty sum over the Duke 390, irrespective of how you look at it.
On the other hand, you also have the TVS Apache RR 310, which is virtually a G 310 R with a slippery body. If you don’t mind its mini-sportsbike looks, we’re pretty sure the performance and overall riding experience of the G 310 R will be more or less similar. And if you think the BMW is going to be superior in terms of quality, then we suggest that you think again. The quality and fit and finish levels of the Apache RR 310 are second to none in the segment. Plus, since the BMW and TVS are manufactured on the same assembly line in Hosur, we're willing to bet that the quality of the two products will not vary from each other that much. So, again, would you pay over a lakh for the same hardware, just because it comes wrapped in BMW colours? It certainly seems to be quite difficult to justify.
The Adventurous Saviour!
If BMW prices the G 310 R as hinted by dealers and other sources, it’s going to have a tough time for sure. But, on the flip side, the company may have an ace up its sleeve in the form of the G 310 GS – the adventure version of the G 310 R. First of all, it doesn’t have any real competition. The only adventure tourers that are available in the segment include the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300. The former is more affordable but a lot less sophisticated, and while the latter may be a twin-cylinder motorcycle, it carries an exorbitant price-tag – ₹4.60 lakh, ex-showroom! With the GS, BMW will fil the gap between these two bikes. Sure, it won’t come cheap – the G 310 GS is expected to be priced around ₹3.75 lakh (on-road) – but still, it’ll be a really sweet deal, for it’s going to be a proper entry-level adventure tourer with bigger wheels, dual-purpose tyres, longer travel suspension and higher ground clearance than its sibling, the G 310 R. And since it has the same engine and chassis of the G 310 R (and the Apache RR 310, for that matter), it’s expected to have a great ride and handling balance. In fact, we believe it’ll be a perfect bike for all types of conditions – city roads, highways, hills or off-road trails. The 310 GS should tackle all without any difficulty. In addition to that, don't forget that this is a BMW ‘GS’ model we’re talking about. If you don’t already know, the BMW R1200 GS range is the company’s best-selling motorcycle and one of the best adventure tourers in the world. We do expect to see some of the magic of the bigger GS bikes trickle-down to the entry-level G 310 GS.
The other thing is, most of the bikers today are the adventurous kind, ones who’re always ready to explore new places. And for these adventure seekers, the G 310 GS, with its relatively low price and simple engineering, will come across as an ideal bike. Essentially, they shouldn’t mind paying a hefty premium over the KTMs or Apache RR 310, because in return, they'll get a more versatile bike with premium BMW badging slapped all around.
All told, if BMW plans to place the new G 310 twins at a premium over the rival brands, we think the G 310 GS would be our pick, despite its higher price tag.
So, now it’s your turn to tell us – how much are you willing to pay for the G 310 twins? And which one of the two interests you more? Let us know in the comments section below.