You don't need a big BMW GS to tackle some off-road trails. In fact, one of the most affordable models in BMW's lineup, the G310 GS, will do just fine. This is what our friends from BMW Motorrad Philippines wanted to show us when they took us along for a short but fun day at Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal. Our weapon: the BMW G310 GS. Taking it on the backroads of Tanay had brought back good memories of the G310 GS when we first featured it here about a year ago.
Our day started at the RSA BMW Motorrad in Libis. There, we had a short briefing conducted by Toto Villanueva, one of the few BMW Motorrad-certified riding instructors in the Philippines, who also trained Team Philippines for the past two International GS Trophies.
After gearing up, we went off straight to the infamous MaRiLaQue. Of course, this wasn't our destination just yet. After a short photo-op, we were back on the saddle, heading through the winding roads and soon found ourselves enjoying the unpaved roads that lead to the Daraitan and the Tinipak River.
The Tinipak River is famous for its raging white waters and hiking trail routes. Of course getting there necessitates passing through some rough roads, all easily handled by the G310 GS.
By this time, memories from my few days with the bike last year, flashed before my eyes. Just like last year, I was having a blast again, playing with and with the G310 GS.
Propelling this bike is a backward-tilted, liquid-cooled 313 cc single-cylinder DOHC engine. Despite being just a single-cylinder mill, it packs some respectable 34hp and 28Nm of torque. As opposed to a conventional engine, this thumper’s exhaust manifold is in the rear, while the intake is in front. BMW claims that, due to the engine’s design, the bike’s weight is almost a balanced 50/50 weight distribution. This makes it ideal for going off-road as there's not much effort needed to keep the front end down compared to other bikes.
The bike is also equipped with a dual-piston Bybre caliper that bites a 300 mm disk for the front, while the rear has a single-piston caliper mated to a 240 mm disk. Both come equipped with ABS as standard. Of course, these can be turned off through a control button on the handlebars, if desired by more advanced riders.
Perhaps one of the best assets of the G310 R is its seat height at only 833 mm. It's about the same height as an Aerox's seat. That, combined with its relatively light overall weight and unintimidating power delivery, the G310 GS is still a good starter bike for newbie riders who would want to eventually venture into bigger bikes, like the R 1200 GS.
The short ride with the G310 GS, passing through unpaved roads, loose gravel, and the occassional mud proved hardly any challenge at all. The motorcycle handles it quite fine and can certainly handle much rougher stuff.
If there's anything our short ride proved, it's that the joys of owning a BMW GS don't begin with the much more expensive F750 or R1250 GS. You can get yourself a taste of that off-road fun and BMW's reliability at just PhP 380,000 for this bike.