BMW G310 RR Review
We had a brief encounter with the G 310 RR and here’s what we returned with after spending a day with the motorcycle.
Why buy it?
- Style Sport theme looks appealing
- Packs engaging and fun engine performance
- Low seat height and short turning radius
Why avoid it?
- Expensive than TVS Apache RR 310
- Lacks refinement
- Fewer features than Apache RR 310 and KTM RC390
Ever since BMW Motorrad revealed the rebadged TVS Apache RR 310 in the form of the G 310 RR, I have been having a difficult time trying to figure out the reason behind this motorcycle. Why would someone pay about Rs 25,000 more for different stickers, fewer connectivity features, and subpar tyres?
However, I was stumped by the carwash guy’s question – “How is a BMW (G 310 RR) cheaper than a Kawasaki (Versys 650) that you brought the other day? It is a BMW!” The brand has an aspirational value, which will clearly work in its favour, especially in the international markets where TVS Motor Company isn’t a well-known name for premium motorcycles. Further, rebranding a tried-and-tested product like the Apache RR 310 saved BMW years of designing and testing a brand-new motorcycle, thus keeping the costs low.
Now, the BMW G 310 RR, excluding the logos and decals, is indeed the TVS Apache RR 310. Thus, it brings the exact same traits as the Hosur-based manufacturer’s flagship product. We had a brief stint with the G 310 RR and here’s what we returned with after spending a day with the motorcycle.
The G 310 RR gets a twin-pod headlight, a full fairing design, stylish windscreen, a vertically-mounted instrument cluster, step-up seat, sharp-looking taillight, partially-exposed view of the frame, side-slung exhaust with a chrome tip and heatshield, and five-spoke alloy wheels – all of which come from TVS Apache RR 310’s bin. But the paint theme is unique to BMW.
There’s a subtle-looking Black Storm Metallic colour in the G 310 RR’s palette but we had the more flashy Style Sport theme that comes at a premium of Rs 14,000. And we wouldn’t have it in any other theme. The glossy white base paint is complemented by red, black, and blue graphics on the fairing, top of the fuel tank, and the rear panel. In fact, this paint theme even triumphs the boldest Apache RR 310 out there, the BTO variant. The paint quality, too, is noticeably better than the already-good Apache RR 310, and the BMW definitely scores more in terms of the finishing levels.
Now, although the visuals look promising, does the package work equally well?
As mentioned before, the BMW G 310 RR gets all the traits from the Apache RR 310. Thus, it comes with full-LED lighting, multifunction switchgear with a tactile feel to it, and a colour-TFT display that’s very intuitive and easy to operate. But the G 310 RR misses Bluetooth connectivity which came as a big shock since the entire assembly comes from Apache RR 310. It still shows a wide range of data, including distance to empty, coolant temperature, and a lap timer (only available in Track mode). Then, the brightness level and backdrop display are adjustable manually, or can also be left in Auto mode.
At the heart of the motorcycle is a very familiar 312cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. The motor is linked to a six-speed gearbox that benefits from a slipper and assist clutch mechanism and the setup feels slick to operate. Then there are four ride modes – Urban, Rain, Sport, and Track – all of which can be changed on the fly. These ride modes alter the way the motorcycle behaves and also affect the power output. The G 310 RR produces 33.5bhp at 9,700rpm and a peak torque of 27.3Nm at 7,700rpm in the Track and Sport modes. The power and torque output are lowered to 25.4bhp at 7,700rpm and 25Nm at 6,700rpm in the Rain and Urban modes. The claimed top speed, too, depends on the ride mode. In Track and Sport modes, the G 310 RR can achieve a claimed top speed of 160kmph while the Rain and Urban modes limit the motorcycle to 125kmph.
The hardware includes upside-down front forks and a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock to handle the suspension duties while the braking setup comprises single disc brakes on both wheels along with ByBre-sourced calipers. Lastly, the 17-inch alloy wheels are shod in Michelin-sourced tyres.
Once onboard, the experience is identical to the Apache RR 310, and the BMW G 310 RR starts with a throaty exhaust note before settling into a rather loud idling sound. It gets louder as the revs climb, a bit too loud for my preference though.
The engine makes most of its power in the higher revs, and it really gets going post 6,000rpm — all the way to the redline. There’s sufficient power to putter around town between 4,000rpm and 6,000rpm, but the bike feels uncomfortable under 4,000rpm. In the top gear, the G 310 RR will cruise at 100kmph at 6,000rpm, leaving a sufficient amount of power in reserves. However, it does not feel very refined – another trait that it picked from the Apache RR 310 – and there’s plenty of vibration on the footpegs, seat, and handlebar right from 5,000rpm.
Now, the Urban and Rain modes make the motorcycle far docile, which is okay for heavy traffic but not for spirited riding. The gear-shift indicator, too, starts flashing annoyingly quick in these modes, and we rarely rode in the lower power modes in the limited time we had with the motorcycle.
Then there’s the very predictable suspension and braking setup too. The upside-down front forks and rear mono-shock are tuned for spirited riding without being too stiff. The setting is ideal for pushing the motorcycle around corners, but the tyres aren’t. Why? While the Apache RR 310 comes with much better Michelin Road 5 tyres, the G 310 RR, despite its higher price tag, gets the rather dull Michelin Pilot Street which feels rather uncomfortable, especially on wet roads. That said, the brakes are decent, and while they feel progressive, the setup lacks the confidence-inspiring bite that one would expect from a sporty package. You would also notice the conventional disc design on the G 310 RR instead of the petal-type rotors on the Apache RR 310.
The rider’s triangle and the footrest woes haven’t changed from Apache RR 310 either. Thus, the G 310 RR comes with sporty ergonomics, only to be ruined by the lack of space for the heels on the right side of the motorcycle. However, there aren’t any other complaints in the ergonomics department. The seat height is low and at 5’10”, I could place both my feet flat on the ground with a comfortable bend in the knee. The turning radius, too, is short which makes filtering through the traffic an easy task.
So, does this make a strong enough case to carry a price premium over the much more versatile Apache RR 310 BTO?
Should you buy it?
It’s a tough task to find reasons to choose the BMW over the TVS. The latter comes with identical design and hardware while getting additional features and, more importantly, better tyres – all of which is available at a much lower price tag. In fact, for the price of the G 310 RR, the Apache RR 310 could be customised with the BTO kit that brings adjustable suspension and rider’s triangle, thus making the TVS Motor Company’s flagship product a clear winner.
The only reason to choose the G 310 RR over the Apache RR 310 is that you get to be a part of the revered RR family of BMW Motorrad and all the attention that comes along. But from a purely value-for-money point of view, it has to be the Apache RR 310.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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