There’s something really cool about a lightweight and affordable adventure bike like the BMW G310GS. First off, the littlest GS is affordable ($5795 in the US) and easygoing. Even though the 313cc single-cylinder engine makes a modest 34 horsepower, it’s tuned for torque across the rev range and has perfectly tuned fuel injection that provides predictable throttle response. BMW built the GS for smaller/newer riders, it’s true, but even the experienced riders on our staff enjoyed it.
As good as it is right off the dealer floor, we’ve been able to make it better: more capable, more comfortable, and more conspicuous to traffic. Modifications for our GS focused on three basic areas: safety, convenience, and comfort.
BMW R310 GS Auxiliary Lights
For us, a big part of safety is improving the lighting. Because the G310GS is still quite new, DENALI is still in the process of developing a bike-specific mount for DENALI lighting products. When it’s done, it’ll pick up two solid points under the GS’s beak to place the light pods just outboard of the front fender. This location allows us to use the DENALI Daytime Running Lights (DRL) on fender mounts down low on the fork. (You can see how we did this with our R1200GS in the video.)
As we wait for the DENALI light mount to come into stock, we mounted a set of compact but bright, DENALI D2 to the upper fender mount on either side of the fork. Because the small GS has a conventional headlight, we can grab a 12-volt signal from the high beam and install the optional DataDim module to give the D2s dual intensity–half intensity on low beam, full intensity on high beam. One final lighting element was the addition of a DENALI B6 brake and tail light. Even though the G310GS has an LED tail light, it’s possible to connect the B6 to get full functionality. Look for a video coming soon on how to make the right connections on the G310GS.
R310 GS Crash Protection
We continued on the safety theme by making the tiny GS more tolerant of damage, which is always a possibility on adventure bikes, especially those aimed at newer riders. We start with a set of SW-MOTECH crash bars, which provide protection for the radiator and lower bodywork, and are compact enough to be visually unobtrusive. Beneath the engine we fitted the SW-MOTECH aluminum skid plate, which has an additional two mounting points compared to the stock item, which is a lightweight plastic plate. Further ways to make the GS more crash resistant include front and rear axle sliders from R&G. The rear spools allow use of a track stand to lift the rear wheel for chain cleaning. We also fitted a stainless-steel radiator guard from R&G to prevent debris kicked up on the trail from penetrating the radiator and putting a stop to all your small-displacement fun. And to keep the GS from falling over in the woods we added a sidestand foot enlarger from SW-MOTECH.
Improving Comfort & Ergonomics
Comfort comes in the form of SW-MOTECH Barback Risers, which move the stock ⅞-inch handlebar back 21mm and upward 30mm. This is especially helpful for smaller riders, because even though the GS is “just” a 310, it’s actually quite roomy from the saddle. Note that the stock handlebar clamps on the GS aren’t totally flat—they’re cut on a slight angle—so any set of bar risers will not fit with 100% perfection. But they proved solid and secure. Adding those bar risers allowed us to fit a set of Barkbusters single-point hand guards with VPS plastics.
BMW R310 GS Luggage Options
Now how about convenience items? We’ll start with luggage from SW-MOTECH and DrySpec. This, in turn, starts with a set of SW-MOTECH SLC Side Carriers, which allow several luggage families to fit along the GS’s flanks.
To keep with the adventure theme, we chose the SysBag 15 for both sides of the bike. These 15-liter baGS are light and include drybag liners to keep your clothing clean and dry. Tthe SysBags remove quickly from the racks so you can take them right into the hotel with you. For shorter trips or for commuters, you can choose the smaller SysBag 10s, which fit on the same mounts. For a tankbag, we went with the SW-MOTECH EVO City tankbag and its accompanying Type 160 quick-lock mount. it dismounts in seconds, leaving behind an unobtrusive composite ring on the fuel tank.
Out back, we fitted the G310GS with the new SW-MOTECH ADVENTURE-RACK and topped that with the Soft Luggage Adapter/Luggage Rack Extension. Our thinking here was to keep the load light, but the ADVENTURE-RACK can be configured to take a wide range of metal or plastic top cases from SW-MOTECH and others. On top of this rack assembly we lashed on a DrySpec D28 dry bag in black. for more capacity, you could opt for the DrySpec D38 dry bag, but we thought the proportions of the D28 fit the GS really well.
In the end, we call our project a success. We tweaked our G310GS from a very capable and fun-to-ride blank canvas into a still very capable lightweight adventure machine. It’s still perfectly suited for newer riders but has enough performance to keep veterans entertained. Here’s hoping the next round of lightweight adventure machines is as good and easy to modify.