MORE and more Filipinos are now seen riding their way along the busy streets on a motorcycle. The bike has been a popular choice of vehicle for most common people, perhaps mainly because of its affordability and practicality. We see them every day – the messengers, the traffic enforcers, the delivery riders, and the blue-collar workers.
Although there is a notion that most riders come from the masses, there is now a fast-growing market for the well-heeled riders who use the 2-wheeled machine as an alternative solution to urban traffic or as a weekend hobby.
When I was a radio anchor every Tuesdays for a block-time program on KBP awardee for best provincial FM station nationwide RW95.1FM, I never failed to check on the big bikes at Laus Group’s BMW Motorrad showroom in the City of San Fernando. It is the largest Motorrad dealership in Pampanga. Various models are displayed including the mouth-watering R1250 GS, the classy R nineT, the C400 X scooter, and the G 310 GS. I got the opportunity to test ride the smaller displacement GS when my father-in-law was able to acquire one.
The blue with red graphic design combined with the pearl white metallic body color resembles the famous BMW colors. Although it’s the smallest among the GS series (some call it “Baby GS”), this adventure bike is unmistakably a GS with its robust design while still maintaining that distinct adventurous look that reflects the GS spirit. Yes, it has the same muscular tank and the typical beak-like front mud guard that makes GS models look appealing.
The riding position of the G 310 GS is upright and comfortable which is suitable for long rides. I stand at 6-foot and 1 inch and seating on the Baby GS is not a problem with a seat height of 32.9 inches. While seated, I had no trouble glancing at the full digital LCD screen.
I was able to get around close to 50 kilometers with my short ride with the bike and the experience was breathtaking. Although the torque in the low end is quite lacking, the BMW G 310 GS has a lot of torque in the mid-range. Reports say that the top speed of this adventure bike claimed to reach above 140 KPH. I did not get the chance to test it on an appropriate route but I was happily cruising at a safe and legal speed along MacArthur Highway. The bike is nimble on its feet and despite its intimidating frame and unladen weight of 374 pounds it’s actually very maneuverable and easy for quick direction changes.
The G 310 GS is suitable for riders who want to take a trip to the countryside, or through some mild trailing, or for those who want to use it for daily commute. I would not want to use it for high level off-roading considering the relatively low ground clearance, the alloy wheels which I doubt could stand the beating of what wire-spoke wheels can, and the bulky fairing. The bike definitely offers a good performance on the pavement but most importantly, it displays the BMW logo. Baby or not, the G 310 GS is without a doubt an aspirational bike and owning one would get you the bragging rights of riding a luxury brand.
Kuya J Pelayo IV is the president of Metro Angeles City Journalists Association Inc. and the president of Pampanga-Tarlac Energy Press Corps. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org