The BMW G 310 GS has been launched at a price of Rs. 3.49 lakh and is all set to take on two entry-level Adventure motorcycles – Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Kawasaki Versys X-300. Here’s how the bikes compete against each other.
The BMW G 310 GS has been finally launched for a price of ₹ 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and is all set to take on two entry-level Adventure motorcycles – Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300. The segment is limited with competition right now and the GS certainly has its chance to shine through before the other anticipated rivals start entering this space. BMW’s smallest adventure offering promises to offer touring capabilities like its older siblings while being capable off-road as well. That said, both the Versys and the Himalayan have had their share of experience in the wild and despite their respective shortcomings, are competent products. Here’s a look then at how the BMW G 310 GS takes on the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 on paper.
All three of the motorcycles are unique in appearance and but do share the same adventure ready stance. The BMW G 310 GS does look the most polished compared to its rivals borrowing heavily from the G 310 R. The styling is urban despite the additional cladding and the raised mudguard, while the alloy wheels do little to confirm that isn’t the hardcore adventure motorcycle that you were looking for. In contrast, both the Himalayan and the Versys-X 300 are more industrial in design. The Kawasaki looks more adventure ready though and is quite capable too with the auxiliary lights offered and pannier as standard, while the Himalayan is every bit feels more light on its feet in appearance with its slender frame and minimal bodywork. The Royal Enfield offering also brings its brand’s retro touch with the overtly simple design that does appeal to some.
The Himalayan comes with a compass, fuel efficiency reader, digital display and a tall windscreen that makes it decently equipped over rivals. However, the Himalayan like its design is bare bones on the electronics front and there are absolutely no rider aids on offer. The Kawasaki Versys X-300 fares better and gets a heat management system that directs hot air away from the rider. The bike also comes with an assist and slipper clutch as standard. In comparison, the G 310 GS also misses out on a few electronics but does feature dual-channel ABS.
The G 310 GS gets a LCD screen for the instrument console featuring all the relevant details, while the Himalayan and Versys get an analog-digital unit. The Versys-X 300 has a fuel tank capacity of 17 litres, which is the largest here when compared to the Himalayan’s 15 litre fuel tank and 11 litres on the G 310 GS.
The BMW G 310 GS shares its underpinnings with the G 310 R and uses the same 313 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine tuned for 34 bhp and 28 Nm of peak torque. The reverse-inclined setup makes it a torque-friendly offering while making for lower centre of gravity as well. The Kawasaki Versys-X 300 is the only offering here to get a twin-cylinder engine shared with the Ninja 300. The 296 cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled motor produces 39 bhp and 26 Nm of peak torque. In contrast, the Himalayan’s 411 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine makes the least amount of power with 24 bhp and 32 Nm of peak torque on offer. The bike also uses a 5-speed gearbox, while the GS and the X-300 use 6-speed transmissions.
Both the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 are known to be good off-roaders. The G 310 GS is yet to prove its mantle in India at least. The Himalayan and X-300 come with plenty of hook points, spoked wheels and off-road ready tyres to take on the rough terrain. The Himalayan also comes up with the fuel tank guards that also double up as jerry can holders. In terms of kit, the smallest BMW ADV comes with a long-travel suspension, dual-purpose tyres and switchable ABS. The spoked wheels will limit its off-road ability, but it should also be a far better tourer than what the Himalayan is. The GS rides on USD forks up front while the other two offerings use telescopic forks instead. A monoshock unit serves purpose at the rear for all three. With respect to braking, the G 310 GS and the X-300 fair far better with ABS offered as standard. The Himalayan misses out on ABS completely for the Indian market, while braking feels wooden in comparison.
The Kawasaki Versys-X 300 is a twin-cylinder offering and that extra cylinder does come at a high cost of ₹ 4.69 lakh. That’s substantially higher than the Royal Enfield Himalayan which is priced at ₹ 1.68 lakh and is easily the most value for money offering here. Meanwhile, the BMW G 310 GS has been launched at an expected ₹ 3.5 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi), although not the most appealing, sits right in the middle of the competition. At the same time, the argument is that you pay a premium for brand BMW and it’s engineering prowess.
The G 310 GS is backed by a strong brand name and the GS sub-brand in itself boasts strong credentials when it comes to going off-road. However, the true litmus test for the BMW Motorrad offering will be in 2019 when KTM finally brings the 390 Adventure. The model is a highly anticipated one and is expected to match the BMW in pricing, while offering more kit, as the Austrian is known to. Parallels will be drawn, no doubt, and you can expect to see a lot of that action on CarAndBike when that happens.