BMW’s entry-level GS model, the G 310 GS, has been a popular and successful little motorcycle for those looking to begin their adventure-riding career. After it was announced in late 2016 as a 2017 model, it seemed as though BMW had filled the glaring and essential hole in its product lineup.
Instead of luring in riders to the bigger GS models from other brands, now BMW could capture new riders to the brand from the start and help them graduate up the GS ladder until finally reaching the pinnacle – the R 1250 GS.
For 2021, BMW has updated the little GS that could. The updates come primarily because of looming Euro 5 homologation standards, but as is standard course, no manufacturer worth its salt simply updates a motorcycle to meet homologation standards. Other choice upgrades or changes come, too.
Here, we’re going to break down the 2021 BMW G 310 GS and highlight what’s new for 2021.
What’s New for the 2021 G 310 GS?
The beauty of the G 310 is the easy-to-use 313cc single-cylinder engine. Despite its small size, it still packs some high-tech features, like four valves and a reverse orientation of its intake and exhaust ports – most motorcycles have their engine’s airbox situated behind the engine with the exhaust pipe(s) coming out from the front.
The 310 GS reverses it, so incoming air goes directly into the engine as you’re riding and exits out the back. The whole engine itself is even canted over slightly, meaning the cylinder doesn’t sit straight up.
This helps make room above for a fuel tank and also helps make the intersection between the seat and the tank narrow, so the bike feels small underneath you.
For 2021, the G 310 GS is now Euro 5 compliant while still making the 33.5 hp at 9500 rpm and 20.7 lb-ft of torque at 7500 rpm it did before. An essential upgrade is a switch to a ride-by-wire throttle, doing away with throttle cables while still promising smooth, precise throttle response. An electronic throttle also makes it easier for BMW to add an increased automatic idle speed to make the bike easier to start.
Also new for 2021 is an anti-hopping clutch. If you don’t know, an anti-hopping clutch (otherwise known as a slipper clutch) reduces the amount the rear wheel locks up and skids if you aren’t smooth with your downshifts or ask for several downshifts at a time.
For those with a little more technical knowledge, the anti-hopping clutch reduces the engine drag torque on the rear wheel to help keep it free from lock-up during downshifts. This is an excellent feature for newer riders, as learning proper downshifting technique is essential, and during the learning process, you’re bound to botch a few of them.
Making things a little easier for not only new riders but also all riders is the four-way adjustable brake and clutch levers. Now the rider can better position the levers to suit their hands and their preferences. This is a nice touch for an entry-level motorcycle that many of its competitors don’t provide.
Finally, the G 310 GS now uses LED lights all around, including the headlight, tail light, and turn indicators, for clearer, more consistent lighting. BMW also went a step further and adjusted the headlight to reduce vibration, so you get a steadier stream of light ahead of you.
A new year also brings with it new color options. For 2021 the G 310 GS will be available in three colors: plain polar white with a black frame, Rallye blue with a red frame, and a special colorway called the 40 Years GS – a black and yellow scheme inspired by the original GS, which debuted 40 years ago.
The reality is that the 2021 BMW G 310 GS doesn’t see a laundry list of changes. But it does get a few key upgrades to put it in line with Euro 5 regulations and make it easier and more enjoyable to ride. And who doesn’t like that?
We’re fans of the new color options, too, and think new or newer riders can get excited that their entry-level motorcycle doesn’t have to look like one. History buffs will especially like the 40 Years GS color option, but the red frame option is also desirable.
At the time of this writing, BMW has not released pricing or availability info yet.