The new BMW G 310 R and GS models could become the company’s top-selling motorcycles, says BMW Motorrad Australia GM Andreas Lundgren.
“The segment below 500cc is the biggest worldwide and we want to get a piece of it,” he says.
“That’s why we decided to develop this entry level model.”
While the top-selling BMWs worldwide are the R 1200 GS and GSA, followed by the S 1000 variants, Andreas believes the G 310 models will become the “volume seller”.
And why not? The Harley-Davidson learner-approved Street 500 quickly became the American brand’s top-selling bike in Australia.
Andreas was speaking at a BMW range unveiling in Victoria last week where they previewed a pre-production version of the learner G 310 R.
We weren’t able to test ride it because it is unregistered. However, we did start up the single-cylinder bike and heard its gentle purr and felt its very balanced and refined engine.
Put your hand on the tank and, even with plenty of revs, it has very little vibration. That should be a big selling point for the motorcycle.
G 310 advantages
BMW Motorrad Australia marketing manager Miles Davis points out that another big attraction is the reverse engine which has the inlet port at the front and exhaust port at the rear.
He says this means it can be placed further forward in the bike giving it a lower centre of gravity and a longer swingarm for greater high-speed stability while retaining a short wheelbase for dynamic handling.
Australia should have had the G 310 R by now, but it has been held up by quality control issues at the Indian factory with some of the components, says Andreas.
“We’re getting it absolutely right first,” he says.
“There were some components that the factory wasn’t happy with. Instead of going out with something less than optimal, they delayed the launch until it was 100% right.
“It’s much better to release the bike 100% right than to launch early.”
BMW Motorrad regional manager Kostas Bras says Kostas says quality plays a “hero role” in the prestige company.
“It’s better to bear the cost of not launching a bike than to face recalls,” he says.
There is still no release date for the G 310 R which will cost $5790 – $5865. There is neither a launch date nor pricing yet for the GS version.
However, Andreas says the GS is likely to be the more popular model.
“Our GS models represent more than half of our sales, so it should be the bigger seller,” he says.
Andreas rejects concerns that an Indian-made motorcycle in collaboration with Indian manufacturer TVS would dilute the prestige brand.
BMW Group Australia boss Marc Werner agrees, pointing out that critics said the 1 Series would also dilute the BMW car brand.
He says the 1 Series introduced a younger breed to the prestige brand and the G 310 models would do the same.
Andreas says there may be other variants of the G 310, but he ruled out a retro model.