The 2020 G 310 R is now much more affordable, and it’s also gotten a lot better.
When the G 310 R was launched, it didn’t emerge as a perfect entry-level roadster. But no one could deny that it was a fun bike for people to enjoy. It didn’t sell in large numbers, partly because of the fact it was priced pretty high. BMW has now launched the 2020 BS6 variant of the bike, and surprisingly it has also reduced the bike’s price by Rs 54,000. The 2020 G 310 R now carries a sticker price of Rs 2.45 lakh, which makes it more affordable than its main competitor – the highly popular KTM 390 Duke.
Now, you would think that BMW might have cut some corners to make the bike more affordable, but the truth is that they did exactly the opposite. The new G 310 R is now packed with more features and rider aids. I liked the bike in its original avatar, but it did have a few shortcomings. And the good thing is that all of that has changed now. After riding it for a few days, I was really impressed with the machine, and I think now the bike truly deserves the BMW badge.
The bike has been redesigned to an extent and now looks a bit sharper than before, thanks to the new fairing design. The new colour scheme of our test bike was also very attractive. With the gold USD forks, massive fuel tank, and exposed red paint frame, the G 310 R looked like a big and muscular naked bike on the road. The biggest highlight of the bike, though, is its brilliant quality. There is nothing in the sub-400cc segment that comes even close to its high level of fit-and-finish. Even though the digital instrument cluster looks a bit outdated, the overall design and feel of the bike are phenomenal. It looks like a premium BMW, which now also gets full LED lighting all around.
The engine is still a single-cylinder 313cc unit, which is now BS6 compliant. The power output is rated at 34bhp and 28Nm, and the motor is paired to a 6-speed transmission. The engine feels a bit more refined than before – while riding the bike, I noticed that it no longer has vibrations of the previous bike. The G 310 now also get a ride-by-wire throttle, which has certainly improved the response – it also allows the engine to display its excellent acceleration performance.
The G 310 R is a fairly light machine, which means that it’s pretty quick and nimble. While it doesn’t have the outright power of the Duke 390, it’s a much more comfortable bike to ride and the seating position is a mix of sportiness and comfort. I also love the handlebar placement and width, because it allows you to ride easily in the city, and aggressively when you want to, without straining your body.
Attacking corners is great fun, and thanks to the girthy USD forks, the front-end is incredibly stable and easy to control. The addition of a slipper-clutch makes a huge difference when you ride hard and fast. The clutch feels light, and downshifting to accelerate is incredibly easy. Overall, the transmission works really well. You can also adjust the brake and clutch levers to suit your riding needs. The ABS system also works pretty well, which adds to your confidence in certain conditions. I do feel, though, that BMW could’ve used better tyres, but then it would have reflected in the price.
The G 310 R is definitely a better product than before – it has now become a new-age premium motorcycle. With a smooth engine, it offers fantastic performance. Moreover, it’s super fun and comfortable to ride on a daily basis.
The best thing about the bike, however, is its build quality. If you're thinking about buying this machine, rest assured that it’s a premium product. The Duke 390, which is a full-blown sports bike, doesn’t have the sophistication of the G 310 R, and of course, the BMW badge on the bike adds a lot more weight to your ego. Whether or not it’s a good thing is up for debate, but it’s clear that the G 310 R is now the best value-for-money motorcycle in the sub-400 cc segment – a machine that I’d certainly like to keep in my garage.