Wednesday, February 12, 2020

MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2020 BMW G310 GS, Metro Manila Traffic Just Met Its Match

By Inaki Jose

BMW GS310 GS at the Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan City.

The battle for the mid cc, single bore, multi-role motorcycle has just been escalated with the entry of Benelli 302, Zontes 310R, Bristol classic 250 and CF Moto 250. These new companies just started shooting and started a price war that can truly tip the balance. 

It seems that the OGs KTM 390, Kawasaki Versys X 300 and the Ninja 250, Yamaha R3 and the BMW G 310 are not even flinching about this, except that BMW added a new model to this class -- the 2020 BMW GS 310. 

The BMW G310 with GS1200-inspired 19-inch front wheel. 

Its predecessor, the G 310, which is more of a motard, a bike designed with the street in mind, yet equally impressive on unpaved terrain, and other road conditions, the GS 310 is more like its grand daddy the iconic, and is a class of its own. The GS R1200 is an adventure touring class bike that has held up, and proven its own reputation.

BMW G310 GS : The first ride

My test bike was a very fresh 2020 G310 GS in red, white, blue and silver with only 700kms on it. The first thing I noticed as I mounted the  G310 GS is how accommodating the rear suspension is, so forgiving but definitely firm. 

Easy to read digital cluster and ergonomic switch controls.

I adjusted the side mirrors and noticed how much alike they are with R1200 GS, strategically located and focused that you can see everything to your side without your arms obstructing the view. I noticed that the gas gauge had 2 bars left on it, and I asked Mr. Eynard Aquino of RSA BMW Motorrad if I can still make it to Greenhills on two bars of fuel. 

He then pressed a button repeatedly on the instrument panel and reached the display "range" or distance to empty. He told me that I still have plenty to go, 77 kms to be specific .... Hanep!  That is very good gas consumption. Making it more or less 32 kms to 1 liter. AMAZING!

Top box mount comes stock.

The GS1200-inspired handlebar.

G310 GS : Testing it where it counts, Metro Manila traffic

True enough, as I exited Motorrad, Manila traffic slaps me ... hard! Trucks were everywhere. It was hot. Impatient motorcycles were all over the road and jockeying for singit position. 

Intelligent ABS and Dual Sport tires.

But, the 19-inch front tire wheel and the Dual sport tires, topped with the engine crash guard that comes in stock with the GS 310 makes going up and around the curb more confident and easier. 

The 313 cc, 34 horse power, 4 stroke single cylinder, water-cooled engine mated with a 6-speed transmission makes the bike easier to manage with less shifting and constant throttle. This makes the bike more efficient and have better fuel consumption. 

The GS310 equipped with a GS1200-inspired exhaust and crash guard.

Another factor, the most crucial for me, is the suspension and brakes. The suspension is what makes this a GS -- soft with firm rebound transfers from the bike to the rider, eliminating the shock to rider when on an unpaved road, hitting bumps and pot holes to going up curbs. 

Although the the front fork is only 41mm and not the cantilever of the GS 1200, the feel is as close as you can be to GS 1200. It is very forgiving to the rider's back and makes it more comfortable to ride longer and easier and without this suspension the bike cannot be called a GS. 

Another unique feature is the G310 GS' ABS system. It is a front and back integral system, when you press the front brakes. The ABS also sends the rear brakes to activate in relation with the strength of the front brake without stepping on the rear brake pedal. In short, if you suddenly slam on the front brakes, the rear brake will also activate without pressing the brake pedal. 

This, ladies and gentlemen of the jury is what makes the 2020 G310 GS a perfect everyday ride for that chaotic madness commute called the  Metro Manila traffic.

The BMW G310 GS at the Pinaglabanan Shrine.

I'm not an expert rider, I don't race, or even do endurance rides, although I ride for fun visiting different tourist destinations in the country on a bike whenever time permits. I'm just a guy who loves motorcycles and rides a 1000cc super bike everyday to work, and practically everywhere I go. 

If you are one of those who are driven to get a motorcycle because of the traffic nightmare, then this bike is for you. No worries on the size and weight, which is perfect as a learner bike. 

This bike is also applicable to those who want to upgrade from their 150cc to a much bigger 310cc daily commute work bike. Seriously, pwede ito pang hanap buhay araw araw. Again, do not take my word for it, explore other brands with the same class, then ride the G310GS last and schedule a test ride with Mr. Eynard Aquino at RSA BMW Motorrad in Libis QC.

Thank you again my BMW family, Gil Balderas, BMW Motorrad Director, SMC Asia Car Distributors, Corp. and Eynard Aquino, Sales Manager of BMW Motorrad for the continuous support of moto tourism.

Rider Reminders

The cool cat and I in front of the new Museo ng Katipunan San Juan City.

To end this note, I would like to remind our fellow riders :

We are invisible on the road. The average car driver expects to see a 4-wheeled or more vehicle in his side-view mirror, rendering motorcycles invisible and tend to register to drivers longer.

1. We are not Valentino Rossi or Marc Marquez.

2. We ride on the street and not on the track.
3. We ride to commute or enjoy not to win.
4. We ride at our own pace and limitations not theirs.
5. We dress for the slide and not for the ride.
6. We ride safe but we ride smart first.

Have a safe and peaceful ride, and may you reach the nirvana of riding no matter what kind, no matter what size of bike you are on.

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