BMW Motorrad is all set to enter India in a big way next year starting with its range starter G 310 R street naked motorcycle. The BMW G 310 R will be manufactured at TVS' manufacturing facility in Chennai while deliveries will begin by June 2017.
BMW recently unveiled the adventure tourer version, the G 310 GS, that shares its underpinnings with the G 310 R. The BMW G 310 GS is powered by the same 313cc motor that makes an identical 34PS and 28Nm. BMW claims that the G 310 GS can reach a maximum speed of 143kmph. The BMW G310 GS features LED tail lamps, indicators, and stainless steel exhaust and will also come equipped with ABS as standard. With the standard list of equipment, the BMW G 310 GS weighs 175.5kg that is 17kg more than the G 310 R while the seat height measures 835mm, higher than that of the BMW G 310 R by 50mm.
However, if you want a more convincing looking adventure tourer, there is the Kawasaki Versys-X 300. This one too debuted at this year's EICMA show. The Kawasaki Versys-X 300 uses the same 296cc motor from the Z300 that puts out more power compared to the BMW 310 GS at 39PS, though the torque rating is nearly similar. Kawasaki states that the Versys-X 300 gets an all-new higher rigidity backbone frame. This will be supported by the long travel suspension riding on 100/90 R19 front and 130/80 R17 rear tyres. The Versys-X 300 gets an estimated seat height of 800mm and will have a weight of 170kg, making it lighter than the BMW G 310 GS by close to 6kg which is a big surprise considering the fact that the Kawasaki has a twin-cylinder engine.
The smallest of this lot that will arrive in the adventure motorcycle scene is the Suzuki V-Strom 250. Sharing its styling from the bigger V-Stroms, the V-Strom 250 will be an entry-level adventure bike from the Japanese brand. This one uses a parallel-twin 25PS/23.4Nm 248cc motor that does duty in the GSX-R250. Suzuki states that this motor has been optimised to a stronger low- and mid-range power delivery and also complies with the Euro-4 emission norms.
Unlike the Versys-X, the V-Strom 250 doesn't get a long travel suspension and uses the same cycle parts as the GSX-R250. The estimated weight of the Suzuki V-Strom 250 is 190kg which is more than both the BMW G 310 GS by 14.5kg and the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 by 20kg. ABS will be standard on the V-Strom. We believe this smaller V-Strom 250 will focus more on comfort and economy rather than being a purpose-built adventure motorcycle like the Versys-X.
The only small-displacement adventure motorcycle that is available in India is the Royal Enfield Himalayan. In our road test, Shumi mentioned that the Royal Enfield Himalayan could have been a better motorcycle provided it came equipped with a fuel-injection system and an additional 10PS of power. While there is no definite timeline on the India launch of the BMW G 310 GS, Kawasaki Versys-X 300 and the Suzuki V-Strom 250, we believe the same will spice up the segment.
What is also obvious is that these aren't really serious adventure touring or off-road tourers. They are all without exception easy to make derivatives of existing platforms. This strikes us as odd and we look forward to testing these motorcycles with a fair bit of apprehension. Below is a specifications sheet to see where these adventure offerings stack up against one another on paper.