#318 Small bike, big features

A single-cylinder roadster from BMW is the latest entry into a suddenly full roster of choices in the sub-500cc class.

Suddenly, there are choices, many of them. Yet it seems only yesterday that the most common complaint you’d hear (usually from motorcycle press guys) is how limited the lightweight class had become. Today, there’s an incredible variety of excellent bikes to choose from in the sub-500cc class, many of which you’ll see on display during this winter’s motorcycle industry trade shows across the country. As an aside to that thought, yes, Canadian Biker will once again produce the guides for the Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto shows. Think of us as you walk through the doors and be sure to grab one from the pile. Even as this issue went to press we were diligently at work cataloguing all the key bikes and new models for 2016, a year that promises to be extraordinarily rich and one that’s certainly highlighted by the “emergence” of the Scrambler class.
Getting back to the under-500cc category, you may recall seeing BMW’s Concept Stunt G310 in ‘Circuit’ last issue. We assumed that given the status of the current market a motorcycle like the Stunt G310 had the potential to be far more than a mere clever device for pro trick riders to abuse, and we were correct in that assumption.
BMW has announced the arrival of the G310R, a snappy little single-cylinder liquid-cooled roadster with big bike styling and a long list of enviable features such as ABS as standard.
Perhaps a bit of overkill for a 158.5-kg (349-pound) motorcycle is the 300mm front brake disc, but it’s still nice to have because, small-cube or not, here’s the G310, a 313cc machine producing a factory-spec 34 horsepower with a top speed of 145 kmh, which will put it right up there with other high-end competitors in the class including the Ninja 300 and KTM 390 Duke.
The bodywork is all very modern of course, accompanied by an 11-litre fuel tank, tapered mirrors, LCD display, drop-style headlamp and inverted forks with golden slider tubes that match the gold-coloured calipers. The digital display on the instrument cluster provides the usual engine speed data, gear position, and temperature, but there’s also more in-depth info such as average fuel consumption and the remaining range till you’re pushing.
Ease of access into the six-speed bike is a prime consideration given the rider segment it will theoretically serve, thus it has a moderate 785mm (31-inch) seat height with options to raise or lower by an inch or so.
As it rolls out of the TVS Motor Company’s factory in Bangalore, India (TVS being a BMW partner company) the G310R will be made available in three colours: Cosmic Black/Polar White non-metallic, Strato Blue metallic and Pearl White metallic.
There’s a lot to be said for this latest entry into the lightweight class, but at the time of this writing, a retail price was not yet an item being discussed at the BMW Canada website. No doubt that situation will have changed by the time you’ve picked up a copy of the Canadian Biker 2016 Show Guide at an a new-model industry event near you.