Restyling and updates include a 40th anniversary celebration model

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BMW gave its all-surface G 310 GS a soft body redesign ahead of MY2021 along with a handful of drivetrain upgrades to boot. The factory offers the G 310 GS in a pair of standard paint packages, but adds a two-tone 40th anniversary paint package with historical roots all its own. Comfort and safety also saw a buff with a number of new-for-2021 features on Beemer’s littlest GS.

  • 2021 BMW G 310 GS
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Displacement:
    313 cc
  • Top Speed:
    88 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    5945
  • Price:

2021 BMW G 310 GS Design

  • Updated styling
  • LED lighting
  • LCD diplay
  • Adjustable ergonomics
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967203
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967205

The aesthetic adjustments were fairly minor on the new G 310 GS. A higher-profile front fender starts out the changes with taller, foil-shaped uprights that extend their protection up onto the inverted fork’s upper stanchion and provide more tire-to-fender clearance. The factory gave the rest of the bodywork a bit of a nip and tuck for a slightly different finish and did some clever things with multi-toned paint packages, but for the most part, the rest of the bike is much like its predecessor with the same sporty bent and youthful vim, vigor, and vitality.

New for this model-year, LED headlights, DRL, and blinkers come stock to ensure two-way visibility with the world, something you’ll definitely benefit from here in this age of distracted traffic. Behind the cyclops headlight housing you’ll find an LCD display that handles the entirety of the instrumentation with a teeny-tiny clear flyscreen as its only protection from the elements. It comes with a USB port as well, so you can plug in your mobile devices.

The handlebar rides in dead-short risers with very little pullback to put your hands close to, and almost in line with, the steering head for the leverage and feedback it provides. A three-gallon fuel tank gives the flyline that prominent, fuel-camel hump ahead of an adjustable seat set at 32.8 inches high, lowered to 32.3 inches off the deck or jacked up to 33.4 inches for nosebleed seating. That’s not the end of the adjustments for the rider’s comfort either. Adjustable clutch and brake levers come with 6 mm of travel to accommodate a wide range of hand sizes.

The pilot’s seat rides in a deep swale between the tank and the pillion perch to finish out the adventure-tastic profile. Generous J.C. handles bracket the p-pad with a small luggage rack and LED rear lighting to finish the gear in the rear, and since the stock GS doesn’t come with bags, the old p-pad and bungee net action out back is the only storage on the base model. Well, that and a backpack, I suppose.

2021 BMW G 310 GS Chassis

  • Tubular space frame
  • Tracking stability
  • ABS
  • Optional high and low seats
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967209
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967206
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967204

Beemer’s smallest Gelände-Straße – literally “terrain and street” – is built around a tubular “space frame” that looks suspiciously like a Trellis to me. The steering head on the G 310 GS establishes a 26.7-inch rake angle for stability at speed and a 19-inch front wheel factors in to deliver a short, 3.9 inches of trail over a 55.9-inch wheelbase.

Cast-aluminum wheels round out the rolling chassis with a 17-inch wheel and 110/80 hoop out back to go with the 19-incher and its 150/70 up front to improve its rough-terrain performance. Inverted forks float the front end on fixed variables and the rear shock comes with the obligatory spring-preload adjuster as the only ride-quality tweak.

Cast aluminum is the material of choice for the yoke-style swingarm to keep the rear-end light and give the rear shock a break. Since this bike is meant to be used in rough terrain, the 7.1-inch suspension travel at both ends is no surprise and should be sufficient for casual off-road work as long as you don’t try to jump with it.

Up front, a four-piston caliper bites a single, 300 mm disc with a single-pot anchor and 240 mm rear disc, all under the vigilant watch of Beemer’s proprietary ABS feature that’ll let you get the most out of the available brakeage.

Frame: Tubular space frame
Front wheel/Travel: Inverted fork, 41 mm/ 7.1"
Rear wheel/Travel: Cast aluminum dual swing arm, central spring strut, spring pre-load adjustable/ 7.1"
Caster: 3.9"
Steering head angle: 63.3°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 2.50 x 19"
Rim, rear: 4.00 x 17"
Tire, front: 110/80 R19
Tire, rear: 150/70 R17
Brake, front: Single 300 mm disc, 4-piston fixed caliper, radially mounted
Brake, rear: Single 240 mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS

2021 BMW G 310 GS Drivetrain

  • Water-cooled 313 cc single-cylinder engine
  • 34 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque
  • Electromotive throttle controller and automatic idle speed increase
  • Self-boosting anti-hopping clutch
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967210
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967198
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967200

The rearward-canted engine in the G 310 GS is a carryover from last year with its single-cylinder, forward-exhaust/rear-intake configuration. It’s over square with an 80 mm bore and 62.1 mm stroke that adds up to a total displacement of 313 cc with a relatively mild 10.9-to-1 compression ratio that should tolerate mid-grade gas.

New for this year is the Electromotive Throttle Control and automatic idle-speed increase features that deliver ride-by-wire functionality and low-rpm insurance to prevent stumbles when coming out of the hole. Along with this electronic renaissance comes an EU-5 emissions rating that should make it legal everywhere in the States.

Water cooling handles the waste heat, and dual over-head cams time the four-valve head with electronic fuel injection to manage the fuel delivery. Beyond that, it’s a very essential machine and lean as a snake with nothing of the superfluous to add weight to the 386-pound total heft.

Power flows through a slipper clutch for some added backtorque mitigation with a chain-type final drive that delivers a top speed around 88 mph. Mighty, and mighty small, the engine churns out 34 horsepower at 9,250 rpm with 20 pound-feet of torque that maxes out at 7,500 rpm, so like any thumper, it definitely likes to operate in the higher rev range.

Engine: Water-cooled, single-cylinder 4-stroke engine, four valves, two overhead camshafts and wet sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 62.1 mm
Displacement: 313 cc
Rated output: 34 hp @ 9,250 rpm
Max. torque: 20 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.9 : 1
Mixture control: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-5
Clutch: Multi-disc oil bath (anti-hopping) with self-reinforcement
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated in crankcase
Drive: X-ring chain with shock absorption in the real wheel hub

2021 BMW G 310 GS Price

2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967208
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967201
2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 967202

Pricing is linked to trim package choices. Starting at $5,945, the 2021 G 310 GS can be had in the “Rally” package that sports Kyanite Blue, red, black ,and gray together, or you can choose the monochromatic Polar White package with gray and black trim. The anniversary model “Edition 40” comes in black with yellow trim in a connection to the R 100 GS of old, and a boosted sticker at $6,195 MSRP.

Standard equipment: BMW Motorrad ABS, Electric Ride by Wire throttle, Stainless steel exhaust system, LED headlight, turn indicators and rear light, Adjustable brake and clutch levers, Luggage carrier
Optional accessories: Low seat, High seat, Topcase light, Topcase, 30 l, Heated grips, 12 V and USB socket
Colors: Kyanite Blue Rally, Polar White, “40 Years GS” yellow/black
Price: $5,945, 40 Years GS: $6,195

2021 BMW G 310 GS Competitors

2021 BMW G 310 GS
- image 970878
2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
- image 744726

Small-displacement adventure bikes aren’t quite as prolific as their beefier brethren with apparent holes in many major manufacturer’s lineups, but Kawasaki was my Huckleberry with its Versys-X 300.

Kawasaki Versys -X 300

2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
- image 744691

Right out of the gate, the Versys presents a very adventure-tastic profile to the world, though the Kawi’s front fairing eliminates the duck bill favored by the Beemer for a snub-nosed look up front that gives the overall panache a streetwise bent. The Versys carries more bodywork to leave more of the underpinnings to the imagination for a slightly more finished, less industrial look overall.

Like the Beemer, the Kawi rolls with stock ABS, slipper clutch, and tunable rider’s triangle, plus it adds a Dual Throttle Valve feature that is a definite step up from the BMW’s Idle Speed thingy to gain a slight edge in the electronics.

As for output, the Versys’ 296 cc parallel-twin falls just a skosh short at 19.2 pound-feet of torque, though far too small a difference to even be a blip on the old heinie-dyno. Kawi offers its 2021 Versys-X 300 in but one color package with a starting MSRP of $5,899 to fall within the Beemer’s price bracket, so price will not be the deciding factor here.

Read our full review of the Kawasaki Versys-X 300.

He Said

“BMW has a reputation for quality amongst the world’s bike builders, and it doesn’t disappoint with this newest G 310 GS offering. Fit and finish are top-shelf, just like with its more noble models, and anyone looking for an entry-level commuter/adv bike would do well to take a test ride on Beemer’s newest small-displacement Gelände-Straße.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The G 310 GS is not really powerful, but when the bike weighs less than 400 pounds, it doesn’t really need to be. The riding position is comfortable and overall, the bike is obviously pavement-oriented and not really meant for anything close to serious off-road riding. I give it thumbs up as a commuter.

2021 BMW G 310 GS Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Water-cooled, single-cylinder 4-stroke engine, four valves, two overhead camshafts and wet sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 62.1 mm
Displacement: 313 cc
Rated output: 34 hp @ 9,250 rpm
Max. torque: 20 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.9 : 1
Mixture control: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-5
Clutch: Multi-disc oil bath (anti-hopping) with self-reinforcement
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated in crankcase
Drive: X-ring chain with shock absorption in the real wheel hub
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular space frame
Front wheel/Travel: Inverted fork, 41 mm/ 7.1"
Rear wheel/Travel: Cast aluminum dual swing arm, central spring strut, spring pre-load adjustable/ 7.1"
Caster: 3.9"
Steering head angle: 63.3°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 2.50 x 19"
Rim, rear: 4.00 x 17"
Tire, front: 110/80 R19
Tire, rear: 150/70 R17
Brake, front: Single 300 mm disc, 4-piston fixed caliper, radially mounted
Brake, rear: Single 240 mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 81.7”
Height (excl. mirrors): 48.8”
Width (excl. mirrors): 34.6”
Wheelbase: 55.9"
Seat height: 32.8” (OE low seat: 32.3”, OE high seat: 33.4”)
Inner leg curve: 73.6” (OE low seat: 72.4”, OE high seat: 74.8”)
Usable tank volume: 3.0 gal. With approx. 0.25 gal. reserve
Fuel type: Unleaded regular
Unladen curb weight: 386 lbs.
Permitted total weight: 760 lbs.
Payload (with standard equipment): 374 lbs.
Maximum speed: 88 mph
Electricals:
Alternator: Three-phase alternator 308 W
Battery: 12 V / 8 Ah, maintenance-free
Starter: 0.5 kW
Details:
Standard equipment: BMW Motorrad ABS; Electric Ride by Wire throttle; Stainless steel exhaust system; LED headlight, turn indicators and rear light; Adjustable brake and clutch levers; Luggage carrier
Optional accessories: Low seat, High seat, Topcase light, 30-liter Topcase, Heated grips, 12 V and USB socket
Colors: Kyanite Blue Rally, Polar White, “40 Years GS” yellow/black
Price: $5,945, 40 Years GS: $6,195

Further Reading

BMW Motorrad

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 789359

Read more BMW Motorrad news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, kawasaki.com

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