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Dirt and Trail July 2018 issue 2

  • Text
  • Durability
  • Bikes
  • Riders
  • Suspension
  • Enduro
  • Motorcycles
  • Models
  • Racing
  • Clutch
  • Trophy

Donovan Says: First

Donovan Says: First impression - looks like a little adventure bike – nice! Good stance for a small bike, really good looking. Great riding position and very comfortable seated riding position but not for standing in the dirt, especially if you are a taller rider. It feels a little more bulky than the V-Strom. Nice feel to the clutch and brakes and accelerates quite strongly for a 300cc. Nice motor! Nice and nippy around town and between the cars. She runs very well on the highways, comfortable at 120km/h and has some guts left to overtake nicely on the highway and to cruise comfortable at speeds a little over the speed limits. Performed well on the gravel and on some of the rocks. Ladies might have a problem with the ride height off road and find it a little too high for them in the rough stuff. Michelle says: Hits: • Brakes are good • I like how big it looks … looks the part • I like the firm suspension • It runs well on freeway you feel safe, not like you won’t have power to get away. • Its handles gravel well… Misses: • The seat is a little wide so the reach to the floor becomes a problem Corinne says: Not a bad looking bike and one of the fastest in the stable – I saw a cool 155 km/h. I didn’t like the clutch action-way too soft and found it difficult on the rocks but handles the long dirt roads and tar with style. There is a bit of overkill with the big panniers and this is the hardest seat my bum has ever come into contact with. This bike would probably be my second choice of the five bikes tested. Bryan says: Hits: • Looks pretty. • Lots of wind protection. • Suprisingly comfortable and well behaved on dirt roads. Misses: • Low ground clearance • Vibrates from 100km (no point in wind protection). • Could use more bottom end (small twin) • Perhaps a bit bland – needs more personality. Kurt says: After the roadworks stop was my chance to ride the Versys I am very impressed, that 300 cc twin is smooth, and has ample power, comfort is good, as well as wind protection. It handles rough dirt reasonably well but is more comfortable on good surface dirt, and quite happy on highway tar, this one was fully kitted, spotlights and panniers, a very good all-rounder. 66 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018

The BMW GS310 Price R80400.00 Single Cylinder Fuel injected 310cc 4-stroke. Fuel consumption: 26.90 KM’s per litre. It has taken us a while to get our mitts back onto this bike. Last year, we went across to the world launch, then there was a launch locally – and it would appear that the bike was in such demand, that we simply could not get it again until now. And even then, we only had it for one day – and we made the absolute most of it on this trip. People love GS. No disputing that fact it’s become the bike BMW is known for. So why wouldn’t the company want to extend its glow to a much more accessible motorcycle for a wider audience? That bike is the G310GS. This singlecylinder lightweight adventure machine takes the company’s offerings for multi-surface touring into new lower-cost, more accessible territory. It’s perfect in size and character for new riders and virtually anyone else who wants a fun, well-mannered, adventure-ready motorcycle for a relatively affordable price with ABS as standard equipment. That BMW chose to build the bike in India is not so surprising. Manufacturing standards can be managed more easily than expense. And since these bikes are aimed pointedly at the lucrative world market, where massive populations in regions like South America and Asia are eager for affordable efficiency, end cost is key. The G310GS is largely based on the G310R roadster and therefore shares the same unusual reverse single-cylinder engine with the intake at the front and the exhaust at the rear, as well as many other common parts that help to keeps costs down a bit. The bike is small (32.8-inch seat height), easy to manage, and aimed squarely at new riders. Clutch pull is light, gearbox action positive, and the ABS-equipped brakes offer friendly response. Suspension tuning is on the soft side and copes well with bumps, while the tall off-roady riding position gives you some “houding” on the road. Longer-travel suspension and a largerdiameter, off-road-friendly 19-inch front wheel help with this in-command stance on this claimed 168KG wet motorcycle. Heaps of fun, far less serious than the bigger beemers on the market. At the heart of that fun is BMW’s highrevving 310, a modern single that purrs more than it thumps. Power delivery is smooth and consistent all the way up to a 10,500- rpm redline, with maximum power residing right around 9,500 rpm. And yup, we’re only talking about 34 ponies, but these ponies are well marshalled. The only place you’ll truly pine for top-end is on the highway, where the little GS begins to feel taxed over 130 kph. Vibration is minimal until you reach about 7,000 rpm, where it builds as a shiver felt through the seat and secondarily through the bar and the enduro-style pegs. It boasts easy handling, the same edgy enduro-styling of its GS relatives – albeit in a significantly smaller and more learner-friendly package – and a fun engine. The small screen is standard as is the large luggage rack, which can accommodate a factory BMW top box. BMW doesn’t offer panniers in the accessories pack, but you can get an optional top box and tank bag. DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018 67

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