India being one of the largest markets for the global automobile industry has always immense potential for manufacturing auto parts and two wheelers on the whole. The cheaper workforce and easy labor laws of the land further catalyzed the process of foreign investments in automobile sector. Looking into the future prospects in one of the fastest growing economies of the World and by taking the advantage of the overall scenario BMW has undergone into strategic partnership with TVS. The outcome of the joint venture between the BMW Motorrad and TVS Motors is the “G310R”, the first ever sub-500cc single cylinder motorcycle from the house of BMW after very long time. Although, the design and development of the product was taken care by the Germans but the manufacturing of the new G 310R will be exclusively done at the TVS facility in India by the Indian workforce of TVS. However, the production of the G310 R will be done as per the quality standards of BMW as the TVS facility is been constructed in such a way that it compliance with the necessary standards of BMW.
As per the contract between the two partners the G310R and other upcoming sub-500cc products will be manufactured by TVS in India and will only be marketed as brand BMW across the world including domestic market. However, TVS can further manufacture their own product based on the same platform and will be able to sell it both domestically and internationally as their brand by different name. The product manufactured and marketed by the TVS as their brand would be cheaper alternative to the premium product sold with the BMW branding. TVS is already working on one such product which would be having the technical expertise from BMW and will be sold as TVS Apache brand. It is expected that the BMW G310R will be debuted first globally and later TVS will bring their product in India. BMW G 310 R Features:
The new BMW G 310R is featured with tubular steel frame, which would give it not only the desired strength but also be extremely lightweight. To make the G310R more stable BMW has rendered longest in class swingarm made from lightweight aluminum alloy. Courtesy to the long swingarm the G310 R has the wheelbase of 1374mm.
BMW has specially given attention to the ergonomics of the G310R and featured the roadster with the comfortable single seat instead of split seat. The seat height of the new G 310r is also kept lower and with 785mm seat height it would be a very convenient bike to be ridden around by even people with short height. Engine & Transmission:
The new G310r is equipped with a unique 313cc liquid cooled engine; the 4-stroke DOHC engine is having 4-valve setup and a back-to-front exhaust port. Normally there is exhaust port situated at the front of the engine cylinder and it further turned back to the exhaust manifold for the exhaust canister. But in BMW G310R the exhaust port is kept at the rear of the engine cylinder and the front of the engine is remained neat and clear. The space created because of the placement of the exhaust port is utilized by the flowing radiator very nicely, whereas the repositioning of the exhaust port helped to keep the central mass of the bike more intact.
The 313cc single cylinder mill is capable to produce 34.5 Ps of power at 9500 rpm and max torque of 28 Nm at 7500 rpm. Although, the G 310R has claimed power figures which look pretty impressive and in fact they are more than the likes of CBR300R, Mojo and even Kawasaki Z250 which is a twin cylinder bike. The BMW G310R lacks grunt in comparison with KTM Duke/RC 390 in particular and almost against the other twin cylinder competitions from the same segment. The new 313cc mill is mated to 6 speed manual transmission and it is claimed that the bike can achieve top speed of 90 Mph (145 Kmph). Brakes & Tyres:
The new BMW G310R is featured with same profile of tyres as the majority of the competition posses, there are noble boomerang shaped alloy wheels featured on the G310R with the 110/70 R 17 and 150/60 R 17 profile tyres on both front and rear wheel respectively. The bike is suspended on the front USD (upside down) suspension and spring loaded monoshock at the rear.
The bike receives stopping power from front 300mm disc brake and rear 240mm disc brake, ABS comes standard with the G310R and BMW equipped the bike with their own set of ABS.
Now, it is to be seen that how BMW price the new G310R specially in India, however, there is no doubt about the fact that the bike being manufactured in India and the benefit of cost effectiveness seems evident but you never know how BMW going to address the pricing issue in context to their premium image across the world. It is speculated on the basis of predicted price of the G310 R in the global market that it is going to be priced approx INR 3 lacs. But if BMW price the G 310R even near Rs 3 lacs in India, it would be directly pitched against their twin cylinder CKD competitors and they all (well, almost all) are way more powerful machines with or without fairing and with so called CKD tag.
If BMW somehow price the new G310R near KTM Duke 390 in India, it would be a grand success even it is being less powerful machine than KTM. To monetize the brand image of BMW which is certainly larger than life in India the company should actually bring the product under the reach of the target customers, it is then just to relish the luxury of owning a BMW would drag the potential buyers towards the new BMW product.
What do you think about the new entrant in the quarter liter segment? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
By: Farhan Kashif