Indian motorcycle market is slowly getting on the top gear, especially in context to the 200cc-400cc segment, not above that as we really have nothing when compared to the international market in middle-weight segment. We are talking about some really capable machines today, possibly some very satisfyingly fast motorcycles, which are accessible to a colossal audience in India.
It is a segment which for the first time will serve as an arena for two brands, which are the world apart in terms of class and character. Best product from one fights against the rock-bottom of the other. And who would have imagined a few years back that Bajaj Pulsar will be comparable to one of the BMWs, this soon? But that story is for another day as the orange monster is screaming out loud to take on the newest member of the fight club, BMW G310 R.
Both the motorcycles stand in a segment which is largely dominated by the Duke. And why not? It is a brilliant value-for-money proposition, it has an explosive power-to-weight ratio, and has got looks of a mean hooligan, and well this tag has been used a lot for the KTM so I’d rather prefer it to be called as an ET, a good looking one. That is correct, KTM 390 Duke is, in fact, a great product, but we expect it is going to face some serious heat within the market from motorcycles which might not be as poised as itself but are still a big terror for the Austrian street fighter.
KTM is easily the loudest, more aggressive and perhaps the most easily recognizable of all due to the fact that it is dripped in orange from inside out. Some might like this, while some might prefer the subtle, more balanced looks of the G310 R. It flex muscles adequately and carries fit and finish worthy of BMW badging. Fit and finish on the KTM is definitely not bad, but the ones who have had a chance riding the BMW suggest it is better on the latter. Its front golden forks delineate the upmarket character of the BMW, while KTM’s WP don’t look bad either. The 390 Duke like all other KTMs out there has a very sharp, edgy and loud styling while BMW looks fresh, mildly aggressive and still a good looker. KTM has a very unique, sharp and minimalistic design while BMW looks more premium, but nothing like we have not seen before. Counting second opinions, many looked amused by the BMW, on the other hand, a larger set of audience preferred KTM in terms of looks alone.
Both packs a single-cylinder powerhouse, but KTM has a significantly more powerful and a higher capacity engine. KTM 390 Duke comes powered by a 375cc liquid-cooled engine that generates a tremendous 43bhp of maximum power at 9,500 rpm and 35 Nm of the peak torque sits at 7,500 rpm. On the other hands, BMW G310 R packs a 313cc engine churning out 34bhp of max power at 9,500rpm and 28Nm of peak torque comes at 7,500rpm. Both have a 6-speed transmission.
BMW G310 R will have to fight it out with the 2017 Duke 390 which is expected to carry a host of mods including new bikini fairing, smoother and more powerful engine, new power modes and new LCD display meter with smartphone connectivity. How will the G310 R fare against that? We are not sure on that part.
It is for sure that, providing a ride as thrilling as the KTM will not be a child’s play for BMW. Nor does it have that much power and neither does it weighs as less as its counterpart. Riding the 390 feels like hanging on to the saddle for life as not for a single second the monster feels at peace. Restless it is, made to do just one thing- run like a gun. Anything said in favor of 390’s engine and the ride will be less, so even in this category 390 takes the crown and it does that will all the authority.
Features and Equipment –
The BMW G310 R will have to compete against the latest generation KTM which is expected to be out around May-June next. The KTM will host a sea of new features from power modes, new LCD display with smartphone connectivity, slipper clutch, ABS and much more. On the other hand, BMW only comes with ABS and heated hand grips (optional), and so KTM again has an upper hand in terms of features and equipment.
KTM’s plus points over BMW?
- Power to weight ratio and looks.
BMW’s plus points over KTM?
- We hope the German marquee to launch the same at a very affordable price tag, so affordable that it makes the Pune based automaker re-think.
- Also, we expect TVS’s after sales should be more satisfactory when compared to Bajaj’s.
- Since its introduction, KTMs have been highly infamous for engine heating and other minor issues related to the electronics. Many have reported coolant leakage in under 5000kms of bike’s purchase. Also, some of the minor issues related to electronics and alloy wheel quality have surfaced in past time. On the other hand, time will tell what G310 R will offer in terms of durability and cost effective maintenance, we can only hope that it’s better than the KTM.
Expected launch date and price of the BMW G310R?
While the bike is already launched in the UK market, we expect it to reach the Indian shores by January next year. In order to take on the competition effectively it should not cross the price tag of Rs 2 lakh, as there are already many options present in terms of KTM, Bajaj, Kawasaki and more.