G310GS 34bhp 169.5kg Seat height 835mm

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

Af­ter years of ne­glect, the sub­500cc class of bikes is ex­plod­ing in 2017 with a glut of new ad­ven­ture-styled of­fer­ings. Fash­ion may well be a driv­ing fac­tor, but thereõs also a re­al­i­sa­tion from man­u­fac­tur­ers that many of us are now buy­ing sec­ond bikes to com­mute on Ð and they donõt need to be 160bhp ad­ven­ture leviathans. More and more of us are look­ing for econ­omy and ver­sa­til­ity for an ev­ery­day bike, but not at the cost of style, com­fort or qual­ity.

Step up BMWÕS new G310GS, the sec­ond bike to be re­leased into their G310 family (fol­low­ing the road­ster-shaped R), and one of at least four quar­ter­l­itre(ish) ad­ven­ture bikes to ar­rive from ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers in 2017.

The baby GS might be small in ca­pac­ity com­pared with its well-es­tab­lished sta­ble­mates, and the only GS not to be built in Ger­many, but BMWÕS com­mit­ment to de­sign and build qual­ity looks no less thor­ough. The family styling is un­mis­take­able, with the stubby front beak, ra­di­a­tor shrouds, head­lamp cowl and tank all mini-me re­work­ings of the R1200GSÕS aes­thetic.

While for our mar­ket this might look like a cute styling ex­er­cise to pan­der to our ad­ven­ture bike ad­dic­tion, the truth is prob­a­bly more that this style offers BMW the great­est breadth of ap­peal glob­ally. We think UK roads are bad, but ride in ru­ral In­dia or Brazil, and youõll feel spoilt back home Ð but thatõs ex­actly the sort of mar­ket where BMW hope to sell their smaller-ca­pac­ity range by the thou­sands. We get the style and at­ti­tude we want, those mar­kets get the long-travel sus­pen­sion and rugged qual­ity and sim­plic­ity they need.

Just like the G310R re­leased last year (but still yet to ar­rive on our shores), the new GS ver­sion gets a tubu­lar steel frame, cast five-spoke wheels, and a 313cc liq­uid-cooled sin­gle Ð com­plete with re­versed 4v DOHC cylin­der head. That means a claimed 34bhp at your wrist, and 21ftlb of torque, driv­ing through a six-speed gear­box and chain fi­nal drive Ð and a heady rev ceil­ing of 10,500rpm. At 169.5kg ready to ride itõs no feath­er­weight, but nei­ther is it par­tic­u­larly lardy.

The gold in­verted 41mm fork Ð which has 49mm more travel than the G310RÕS Ð offers no ad­justa­bil­ity, while the rear monoshock does boast ad­justable preload, use­ful for those who might carry a pil­lion or fit the 30-litre op­tional top­case on to the stan­dard fit­ment lug­gage plate.

Thereõs ABS as stan­dard, and a de­cently equipped all-lcd dash, plus myr­iad of­fi­cial ac­ces­sories to choose from Ð in­clud­ing 12-volt power sock­ets, heated grips, two fur­ther seat height op­tions (820mm and 850mm), lug­gage, a cen­tre­stand, plus sat­nav and smart­phone so­lu­tions. Thereõs no word on price yet, but the sim­i­lar R model starts at £4290 and we would­nõt ex­pect the GS to be much dif­fer­ent.

as stan­dard: Road for ev­ery­day rid­ing, and Rain for when the tar­mac is wet or slip­pery. Th­ese are not linked to any sort of trac­tion con­trol, but tai­lor the throt­tle re­sponse to the con­di­tions. Spend a lit­tle ex­tra, and you can get the plug-in Dy­namic mode, which sharp­ens up the throt­tle re­sponse for a sportier power de­liv­ery.

The rid­erõs eye view is near-iden­ti­cal, the two-clock dash us­ing new faces, while both bikes get mod­i­fied ex­hausts. The R can be fit­ted with an op­tional higher han­dle­bar and lower seat op­tion Ð mak­ing it more ac­ces­si­ble to the shorter of leg Ð and op­tional Ôde­signõ wheels fea­ture a Mo­tor­sport paintjob with red rim pin­stripes. Both 800s have the op­tion of switch­ing the newly up­dated end can for the of­fi­cial BMW Akrapovic HP item, which adds an ex­tra dose of braap to the sound­track.

De­spite most of the com­po­nents and fea­tures be­ing shared, there are a few fea­tures that sets the pair apart. Most ob­vi­ous is the dif­fer­ence in clothing, the R be­ing a naked road­ster, while the GT gets a de­cent three­quar­ter fair­ing and screen to give it more dis­tance com­fort. The other key point of dif­fer­ence is the fi­nal drive, with the R us­ing chain drive, while the more tour­ing-fo­cused GT gets a main­te­nance-free belt drive.

No prices have been re­leased yet, but we ex­pect very lit­tle change over the ex­ist­ing £7595 (R) and £8350 (GT).

BMW claim 85mpg, mean­ing the 11-litre tank could last for more than 200 miles Back-to-front, rear­ward-lean­ing 313cc sin­gle-cylin­der en­gine is from G310R It’s not made in Ger­many, but de­tail­ing and build looks up to GS ex­pec­ta­tions

THE FACTS Small-ca­pac­ity GS will have enor­mous in­ter­na­tional ap­peal Not keen on the new ex­haust? Swap it for an of­fi­cial Akrapovic can

Dash is tweaked with new clock faces

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