BMW’s newest, smallest motorcycles come to the International Motorcycle Show

The 2016 Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) is taking place at the Javits Center in New York City this weekend, and BMW Motorrad brought along a pair of its newest and smallest rides: the 2017 G 310 R roadster, and its (slightly) more adventurous counterpart, the 2017 G 310 GS. The R takes its styling cues from its bigger sibling the S 1000 R, while the little GS brings to mind a miniature R 1200 GS — none of which is a bad thing.

Eric Valtos, Business Communications Specialist at BMW of North America, gave us a closer look at the new G 310s. The bikes were developed in Munich by BMW Motorrad and will be produced in Bangalore, India in cooperation with TVS Motor Company.

The baby Beemers represent BMW’s entry into markets that may not have been able to sustain sales of the manufacturer’s larger, pricier models.

The G 310 series will be the smallest displacement bike currently sold by BMW. With their introduction, BMW joins the likes of the Japanese Big Four and European manufacturers such as KTM in bringing smaller bikes to American shores.

The bikes share BMW’s new 313 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine, designed with four valves and two overhead camshafts, together with electronic fuel injection. It produces 34 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and 21 pound-feet of torque at 7,500 rpm. The bikes are produced for a world market, and as such can accommodate various qualities of fuel while meeting emissions requirements and maintaining fuel efficiency.

Both the G 310 R and GS come with standard ABS, which can be deactivated for rougher terrain in the beak-nosed GS. The R is the lighter of the two at 349 pounds, compared to the GS’s 373 pounds. A six-speed gearbox lays down the power. Inverted forks are designed to handle various types of terrain and the rear spring has adjustable pre-load settings.

The R features a relaxed seating position and easy-to-reach controls. The LCD shows engine speed, road speed, gear, total mileage, engine temperature, fuel tank level, remaining range, average fuel consumption, average speed, and time.

The GS evokes an adventurous spirit, and it does offer more off-road-oriented features than the R. Spring travel is 7 inches in the GS, compared to 5.9 inches in the R. The GS’s 19-inch front wheel is 2 inches larger, and you also get a small windshield, high front fender, and aluminum luggage racks.

The lack of spoked wheels belies the GS’s off-road aspirations, and this bike would struggle with the difficult terrain for which its larger siblings were designed. However, in parts of the world where motorcycles are the main form of transportation despite the lack of maintained roads, this bike will feel right at home. And that is a smart move on BMW’s part, as that market stretches far beyond a few adventure-seeking riders.

The G 310 R’s launch price will be $4,995 including the destination fee, which has also been lowered to keep the price under $5K. The G 310 GS’s price has yet to be announced, but should be in line with the R.

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