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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









Review: BMW G 310 GS, Entry Level Dual Sport

Small, light, and affordable, the newest GS is well suited for women and men looking for adventure on and off the road

By Tricia Szulewski, Associate Editor
7/18/2018

The 2018 G 310 GS is the newest member of BMW Motorrad’s famed GS line of adventure motorcycles and well suited for taller new riders and those who want to experience off-road riding without the weight and expense of a large-displacement dual-sport.
 

review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport tricia szulewski
In true GS fashion, the G 310 GS is an excellent all-around motorcycle, capable of smile-inducing fun on the pavement, and competent in off-road adventures as well.


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review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport g310r
For comparison, the G 310 R is the “Roadster” version of the G 310, built for a sporty on-road experience. At first glance, a novice could get them confused. WRN has not road tested the R as of yet.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport tank
The “GS” tank badge, front fender beak, tall suspension, and utilitarian German look follow traditional GS styling.

A full 2 inches taller than the street oriented G 310 R, the GS’ 32.9-inch seat height feels right on a machine designed to plow over rocks and absorb tougher shocks than what you find on paved roads. A low seat is an option but reduces reach to the ground by just .6 inches. BMW doesn’t have a low suspension option, so if you need more reach to the ground, you’ll have to look to the aftermarket to get lower.
 
review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport seat height
At 5 feet 7 inches with a 32-inch inseam, my feet are almost flat on the ground while sitting on the GS as far forward in the saddle as possible. Luckily, the bike weighs just 374 pounds so it’s rather easy to hold up with just one foot down.

BMW Motorrad engineers incorporated a unique engine design into the 313cc GS. The cylinder head has been rotated 180 degrees tilting to the rear, bringing air induction to the front and the exhaust at the rear. This direct air combustion system is more efficient, with the design creating a balanced machine that offers more precise steering response and control. This also allows for a longer swingarm for increased stability.
 
review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport engine
The engine’s unique configuration offers a low center of gravity and more centralized mass. This means the bike is more stable making it easier to handle in all situations.

Peak horsepower is just 34 hp at 9500 rpm so the G 310 isn’t going to win many races. Don’t be fooled by the numbers though. Twenty-one foot pounds of torque at 7500 rpm doesn’t sound like much, but the real-world test is how it rides. Give the GS a fistfull of throttle and be ready to have a well-spirited ride. The bike’s light weight, slick shifting through all six gears, and quick power delivery equates to a fun jaunt on two wheels.
 
review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport exhaust
I happen to like the pop-pop-pop sound that single cylinders produce, and the G 310 GS doesn’t disappoint. The stainless steel exhaust is quiet but exudes the signature thumper tone.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport woman riding
Like all other BMW GS models I’ve ridden, the 310 is especially fun leaning far into corners—my favorite part of motorcycle riding. Metzeler Tourance dual sport tires mounted on five spoke die cast aluminum wheels—19 inch front and 17 inch rear—do a very good job sticking to pavement and are suitable for gravel and easy off-road trails.


Braking on the GS is accomplished with two single discs, one front and one rear—adequate for a motorcycle of this size and weight. The bike’s top speed is posted in BMW’s literature as just 89 mph, so anything more powerful would just add weight and might be harder for newer riders to control.
review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport front brake
A 300mm diameter disc with a powerful four-piston fixed caliper provides plenty of front stopping power.

review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport rear brake
Out back, the GS is equipped with a 240mm disc with single-piston floating caliper.

review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport left grip
ABS is standard on the G 310 GS and can be deactivated for when riding on light terrain with a button near the left handgrip.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport peg
Rubber inserts can be removed from the footpegs to provide more stability and grip. Those teeth on the brake lever grip the soles of your boots so your toe doesn’t slip off it.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport dirt road
Standing on the pegs in the rain on soft dirt roads isn’t exactly within my comfort zone. Yet, the GS’ easy handling characteristics and smooth, responsive throttle control offers this off-road newbie confidence to continue.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport handlebar
The G 310 GS’ wide tubular handlebar attributes to the ease of slow speed maneuverability, an important feature when riding off road.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport riding rain
Seated riding is a standard sit-up riding position with mid-placed foot controls and an easy reach to the grips.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport one peice seat
Riding the GS for only one day is not long enough to gauge long-term comfort, but I was satisfied with the stock one-piece seat.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport under seat storage battery
The ignition key unlocks the seat allowing easy access to battery terminals. A small basic tool kit is stored in the small tail compartment.

review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport tailight
A large luggage rack provides a good platform for bags and there are plenty of ways to hook a bungee cord to it. Accessory luggage is available from BMW to specifically fit the G 310 GS.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport windshield
I like how the small cowl “windshield” mirrors the shape of the single headlight and offers a small amount of aerodynamic wind resistance. An accessory windshield from BMW is not available at this time.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport suspension
The G 310 GS suspension consists of an inverted front fork with 180mm (7.1 inches) of travel and a preload-adjustable rear monoshock with the same amount of travel.



review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport lcd screen
A multifunctional LCD screen offers a plethora of information such as time, gear, fuel level, mph, and rpm. You can toggle through the following displays: fuel range, odometer, two tripmeters, engine temperature, average fuel consumption, current fuel consumption, average speed, and the date.


review bmw g 310 gs entry level dual sport adventure riding
The G 310 GS sips fuel, averaging 71 mpg. Topping off the 2.9 gallon tank, you can ride about 200 miles before stopping to fill up again.

For those who’ve been looking for BMW’s premium fit and finish in an affordable entry-level package, its G 310 models are definitely worth taking a test spin on. The sporty R model will fit women’s smaller statures, but the adventure style and all-around capability of the GS has won my heart.
 
Specs at a Glance: 2018 BMW G 310 GS
Engine Size: 313cc
Seat height: 32.9 inches (32.3 inch low option)
Weight: 374 pounds
Fuel capacity: 2.9 gallons
Colors: Pearl White Metallic (+$100); Racing Red; Cosmic Black
Price: $5,695


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