2018 BMW G310GS First Ride Review


The 2018 BMW G310GS is a single-cylinder entry-level adventure bike and the manufacturer’s second offering in the smaller-displacement segment, joining the recently launched G310R. The G310GS is designed to combine urban maneuverability with light off-road capability, characteristics we were able to experience firsthand at the bike’s launch in Rancho Sante Fe, California.

It’s clear that BMW is aiming its bikes to new riders, commuters, city dwellers, and those looking for a lightweight adventure bike that won’t break the bank. The G310GS is fairly light at a claimed 373 pounds wet, it’s compact, and certainly affordable. The G310GS has a base MSRP of $5,695, and the only factor affecting price—and the only option for the GS, really—is the paint color. The options include Cosmic Black, Racing Red, and Pearl White Metallic, with the Pearl White Metallic coming at an additional cost of $100.

While BMW is a German company, the G310GS is manufactured in India. However, the only thing telltale signs are the Bybre brakes in the front and rear. While we only rode the bike for a day, we can say as far as ride quality goes, the bike performed very well. The bike is visually stunning as well. How the bike holds up in terms of reliability will be determined as we put more miles on the bike in the next few months.

The 313cc single-cylinder engine offers mostly linear power delivery, though it pulls noticeably harder above 9,000 rpm before hitting the rev limiter at approximately 10,500 rpm. Also, we were able to confirm BMW’s claimed top speed of 90 mph to be accurate, at least according to the tidy digital dash.

With the small engine, shifting at the right time was critical. On a few occasions I found myself a gear high while low in the rpm, and the bike didn’t quite have enough power to get back into the powerband without a downshift or slight pop of the clutch. When I was in the correct gear however, the bike had more than enough power to not only get to where I needed to go but offer a good amount of excitement and fun in the process. Shifting through the six gears on the G310GS was buttery smooth and I didn’t experience a mis-shift during our entire day of riding.

The suspension on the GS was a bit soft overall, which is great for the type of riding the bike is intended for (both on and off road) and also the type of rider BMW expects to buy this bike. The 41mm upside-down fork moved quite a bit in the stroke on impacts, and the softness of the fork was pretty evident when grabbing a handful of front brake. Likewise, the shock compressed when you get on the gas, but overall both ends of the bike work well enough. As you might expect with a bike at this price point, adjustments are nearly non existent. The fork does not feature any type of adjustment and all you get is spring preload on the shock.

Chassis-wise, the GS was very comfortable and nimble, yet predictable. The bar, levers, and seat position were all very agreeable and fit my 5-foot-10 stature well. Once I began riding it more, I was impressed with how well the bike leaned into corners with ease. This can be said for the paved roads as well as the dirt roads we took the bike on, some of which were slicker than I anticipated due to some rain during our test ride.

Especially with the rainy conditions, I was impressed with how well the Metzeler Tourance tires hooked up in the variety of conditions we rode throughout the day, which included dry asphalt, wet asphalt, wet dirt, and even a bit of mud. The stock seat offered plenty of comfort throughout the entire day. As far as the gas tank goes, it holds 2.9 gallons and at a claimed 71 mpg, we burned just over a half tank of fuel in our 110-mile ride, which included some semi-aggressive riding.

Both the front and rear brakes performed very well and I was happy with how they were powerful enough for the type of riding we did yet not too touchy or sensitive either. The bike comes stock with ABS, which is a good feature to have on a beginner-focused bike like the G310GS. ABS can be disabled for off-road use, but I didn’t notice a massive difference when I turned it off when we hit the dirt. As a complete package, I was very pleased with how easy the G310GS was to ride. It’s bound to be a good fit for new or less-experienced riders.

The BMW G310GS is an excellent bike for what it’s intended to do. It’s a pleasure to ride on tighter, turn-filled roads and performs well in light off-road use. Riding the bike around various parts of San Diego County in both rain and sunshine and on and off road provided a great perspective of just how versatile the bike really is. BMW has done a good job of creating a bike that performs well, and, at an affordable price point of $5,695, it’s great fit for younger and/or newer riders and those who want a lightweight commuter bike that can handle the street as well as some off-road exploring.