BMW's G310 R is a bike of many firsts. It's the first sub 500cc Beemer, the first to be assembled entirely outside Europe, at Bangalore in India, and the first to feature a reversed cylinder - the exhaust exits from the back of the single's barrel and the fuel injection and air intake is at the front.
As an Indian - built machine (80% of the parts are sourced in India), BMW bosses are keen to stress the G310 R's quality control is the equal of anything from Berlin - which may not be of great comfort to anyone currently sitting at the side of the road on a BMW with broken switchgear or flakey cam coatings. But anyway, after 70km it's clear the G310 R feels as classy as anything at its £4290 price point. Fit and finish is good, parts look quality (especially the massive top yoke and handlebar clamp, but possibly not the budget switchgear), and - importantly - the ride quality from KYB suspension is excellent. This does not feel or look like a cheap bike.
It's nice to sit on too. It's not small, legs fit nicely in the tank cutouts, and the seat is wide and comfy. And the 34bhp motor revs like crazy - it goes well enough to bomb past traffic (its natural habitat) and doesn't vibrate too much as it nears the 10,000rpm redline. 90 kph (56 mph) is 5800rpm, which is acceptably smooth. More as we get it!