Consumer Editor of Bennetts BikeSocial, John's owned over 20 bikes, has been testing motorcycle kit for more than 25 years and is a member of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, and part of the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group.
Pride comes before a fall, as does cockiness in my case. While I’m not proud of being the world’s first (outside of BMW test riders) to crash the new G310GS, it did prove a valuable point; this machine is extremely capable off-road.
Falling off it isn’t of course a demonstration that it works off the tarmac, but the fact that there was so little damage – just a scuff to the large pillion grab rail and the bar-end – meant that it’s clearly designed to work in ‘difficult’ environments. The forks twisted slightly in the yokes when I fell off, but that’s an easy fix by simply slackening the bolts to allow everything to snap back into position. I rode it around 50 miles on fast mountain tarmac afterwards with no issues.
The £5100 G310GS makes 34hp @ 9500rpm and 28Nm at 7500rpm – it might not sound much, but it makes the 169.5kg machine very accessible, engaging, and no less capable. The light weight combined with the 835mm seat height – which allowed me to get my feet easily flat on the floor – and tight turning circle mean that it’s very easy to manoeuvre both on and off the tarmac.
It’s a great motorcycle for commuting, cities, country lanes and off-road. It might not be a tourer, but it’s more than up to the task of taking you anywhere in the world. Built with an eye firmly on the Asian and Latin American markets this is not just a budget machine with a beemer badge. Watch our full video review to see what we really think.
Oh, and that crash… it appears that after the very small jump over the crest, the front end compressed, then unloaded again. At this point I gave it too much gas, but rather than kick the back out, the rear tyre dug in and pushed the front, which had much reduced traction. That tucked, the bike dropped to the left before I could counteract it, and the rear swung round. I was fine apart from a bruise on the side of my knee where it clipped a rock – the armour on my Rukka kit meant I felt nothing anywhere else, but of course it doesn’t wrap around the side where I hit it.