Photo Credit: Thumphoto Photography Ltd
It was a wait to get our hands on the all new BMW 310R but it was worth it. Big thanks to Island BMW for getting it to us. BMWs lineup is all larger cc motorcycles. It is about time they brought a smaller cc engine to the market. Both the 310R and 310GS are new for 2018. BMW changed the SuperSport market with the arrival of the S1000RR would they achieve the same success?
Our model arrived with the Pearl White Metallic paint with the M Power colours. This goes very well with the design. It commanded attention anywhere we parked it. Sitting on it, the seat is quite comfortable and dash is easy to read. The dash also has plenty of features including fuel mileage, distance to empty and a gear indicator. The surrounding controls are all very well made and feel good to the touch. Even though this is an entry level motorcycle, this is BMW quality.
On our initial rides, the power was ample. The shifting was notchy but it smoothed out after our first service. Again these 300cc engines (the BMW is a 313cc) show us that this is enough power for the street. If you stay in the lower gears you will have enough power to get yourself out of sticky situations. The weight is a light 350lbs/158kg so even smaller riders will have no problem moving this motorcycle around. It feels light but feels solid on the road. This really is an easy motorcycle to ride with room to learn. Ride quality is excellent with big forks and large rear spring. They only look big as the 310R is smaller. The fork tubes are just as large as the ones on my 1000cc motorcycle and the same with the rear spring. BMW did not go easy on the suspension, while the suspension is soft it has the best feel of any of the 300cc class.
Through city streets and on our popular local mountain road (Sea 2 Sky) the BMW made everything fun and enjoyable. Maneuvering through traffic was effortless and keeping up with traffic on the highway was easy. I even rode with some of my riding buddies who were on 1000cc motorcyles and no problems keeping up to them. They certainly have me on acceleration and top speed but the 310R is no slouch. It tops out at 160kmh and acceleration is a decent pace. You’ll still be faster than more vehicles on the road. Anything faster than what this motor is capable of comes with a stack of traffic fines.
On the track the 310 earns its R in its name. It was fun to bob and weave my way through a group of riders. I did reach the limits of suspension and I believe the rear sets have a lower clearance as I was scraping them more often than I did compared to other 300cc models. It comes with the Michelin Pilot Street which is great for the occasional track day. I doubt a dedicated track tire would be needed. While the 310R is quite capable the ergos and design of the Yamaha R3 and Suzuki GSX250R are better suited for more regular track days. Don’t pass up a track day on the 310R, it is a lot of fun.
Pricing on the BMW 310R comes in at $5,250CDN which is right in the middle compared to every 300cc model out there. A BMW typically comes with a premium but not here. You get the quality with the Honda price. Unless Honda, Kawasaki, etc have promotions the BMW is an easy choice on what to buy. The direct comparison is the Honda CB300F and the KTM Duke 390. BMW is the best of the three but the CB300F is a close second. The KTM Duke is a little too quirky for my liking.
With the good looks on the BMW 310R you’ll enjoy it for longer than you think. When it comes time to sell it. You’ll have an easy time selling it as it is one of the easiest bikes to ride out there. BMW raised the bar again for another class of motorcycles.