The 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster S takes the bar-and-shield brand to new heights, but it’s not the Harley powercruiser for everyone…


Packing sporty styling and performance to match, the Honda RS-X truly embodies what a supercub or supermoped should be – a proper thrill ride!


Packing nostalgic retro looks, adequate performance and decent modern features, the Royal Alloy GP180 might just tempt you to scoot in high style…


  • Here’s Part 2 of our 2019 Motorcycle Review Wrap-Up.

  • We continue with a batch of the next ten bikes.

  • Here are summaries of our verdicts.

The second batch of motorcycle reviews began in April. April holds a special place for us as it’s the month when we gear up for rides to Thailand to celebrate Songkran and the Phuket Bike Week. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to test bikes all the way there.

Still, we got the opportunity to ride one of the baddest bikes on the road and a newcomer to the middleweight adventure segment.

11. Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE

If you thought the Ninja H2 was mental, it makes as much sense as using a rocket launcher to kill a fly when it’s converted to a sport-tourer in the Ninja H2 SX.

It’s not about top speed (limited to 299 km/h anyway) but the sheer, visceral acceleration. To illustrate, cruise at a steady 110 km/h in sixth gear and slam on the throttle. It’ll hit 200 km/h in just about four highway lampposts. And that’s in L (low) power mode! It took only 17 minutes from BHP Gombak to Starbucks Gohtong Jaya without pushing it to knee scraping cornering and such. Talking about knee dragging, this thing handled really well, too!

All these with hard panniers and smile to go along with it.

12. Zontes ZT310-T, ZT310-X, ZT310-R

Zontes shows what a Chinese manufacturer could do when they think outside the box rather than CTRL+C CTRL+V others. But Guangdong Taiyo (manufacturer of Zontes motorcycles) demonstrates the willpower and courage to build almost everything in-house to control quality and address potential issues. This trio is just one small part of what they produce but they have gone to invade many markets around the world, so much so that there’s limited supply of stock (of bikes, not parts).

They were surprisingly good to ride and somewhat comparable to established brands. They’re not perfect but we’re confident that they will be sooner than later.

13. Kawasaki Z900RS Café

The Z900RS Café was one of the most awaited bikes along with its Z900RS brethren. Surely you’ve read this many times: It’s built as the soul successor to the groundbreaking Z1 from 1972. Yes, it looks great and there’s plenty of low-down torque and power but blighted by snatchy throttle response (on/off) and a mule-like rear shock. But hey, most don’t mind because they want how good a bike looks, instead.

14. Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

The Tracer 900 was a sales success in many parts of the world but there were things that many wished were addressed. And that’s exactly what the GT did. TFT screen, revised suspension, smooth throttle response, better seats, wider footpegs, longer swingarm, etc. etc. turns it into a legitimate sport-touring contender. Oh, let’s not forget the low price!

14. Moto Guzzi V85TT

The Piaggio group was very excited with the launch of the V85TT and so were many avid motorcycle fans. Here was a bike that looks good by mixing the elements from rally bikes with a modern classic. The result surprised even MG. The V85TT was an easy bike to just hop on and go without needing to worry about anything at all. Its handling catered to newbies and veterans alike, and it was comfortable to ride on the entire day. Shame that it costs much more than it should in Malaysia as it’s fully-CKD.

16. Honda PCX Hybrid

The first commercially available hybrid motorcycle. That electric motor certainly gave the bike that low-down punch which surprised many Ysuku riders. And it still saves lots of fuel! The Hybrid version is finished much more exquisitely than the run-of-the-mill PCX and attracted the attention of Honda City, Civic and Accord drivers when we tested it. The hybrid system really worked and we wish more bikes will be fitted with it in the future.

17. Kawasaki Z250 ABS

The Z250 is the naked version of the Ninja 250. While it doesn’t look as pretty as the Ninja 250, the suspension was something totally different. Hernia inducing bumpy roads, smooth roads, slippery road – it didn’t care. The engine was rev-happy and provided lots of hooligan-like entertainment. About the way it looks, well, we never bought into Kawasaki’s “Sugomi” design theme. We tried. Oh, we tried hard.

18. Yamaha YZR-R25

The 2019 YZF-R25 was given a facelift to look like the YZF-R6, but was also given upside-down forks. Other parts including the engine stayed the same. The forks made handling a whole world of difference compared to its predecessor – providing gobs of confidence to chuck the bike into corners despite the stock iRC tyres. However, the engine showed its age as it revved slowly. It shows just competitive the 250cc market is.

19. BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure

We tested these two at one go. In shaping up for the imminent Euro 5 regulations, BMW built an entirely new Boxer engine. First, they took the capacity to 1254cc, and then topped it off with the BMW ShiftCam VVT/VVL head. Some may feel disappointed because the “feel” of the engine was almost exactly the same as the previous engine despite the hike in power and torque. But we called that an achievement because it retains the Boxer’s punchy yet smooth character. The new model is also equipped with new and revised electronics (including a bi-directional quickshifter) to make it even better as a long-haul runner.

20. BMW F 750 GS

The F 750 GS is actually the F 850 GS with the same engine but less power and meant for the road. But don’t let that stress you out because it was still a nice bike to ride. The suspension is a little tauter than the F 850 GS’s and uses 19-inch front and 17-inch rear cast alloy wheels. It’s a simple bike with nothing much to play around with apart from the excellent TFT screen, but it does allow you to fit all the luggage and accessories you need to an extended tour. That is in fact the main draw of the F-series. They cost less and are easier to maintain or repair.

  • Motosikal BMW R nine T Scrambler adalah pertaruhan BMW Motorrad dalam ‘revolusi scrambler”.
  • Ia berkongsi casis dan kejuruteraan enjin yang sama seperti model R nine T yang lain.
  • Namun begitu ianya dihasilkan untuk penunggangan ‘off-road’ yang ringan.


  • The BMW r nine T Scrambler is BMW Motorrad’s answer to the “scrambler revolution.”

  • It shares the same chassis and engine architecture with other r nine T’s.

  • But it is meant for light off-roading.

BMW has been steadily adding new variants to the r ninet T heritage line-up since its introduction in 2013. The BMW r nine T Scrambler was introduced in 2016, on the other hand, to offer buyers a scrambler option from other manufacturers.

The r nine T Scrambler is meant for light off-roading fun, and thereby wears a 19-inch front wheel. Customers can opt for tubeless spoked-wheels.

The bike is powered by the previous generation BMW oil-cooled, horizontally-opposed Twin “Boxer.” The engine is the common platform which the r nine T range is built around. It produces 110 bhp and a huge 116 Nm of torque.

As with all BMW Boxers, power is sent through a six-speed transmission and a Paralever-controlled driveshaft on its way to the back wheel.

The standout feature of the Scrambler among the r nine T line-up is the high-mounted dual exhaust pipe tips.

We have since tested almost every variant of the r nine T including the (base) r nine T, r nine T Racer, and r nine T Urban G/S, but this time, BMW Motorrad Malaysia extended an r nine T Scrambler for the ride to the recent Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2018 in Melaka.

Auto Bavaria Motorrad BMW r nine T Ride to Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Melaka 2018

This r nine T Scrambler was extra special, by the way, as it wears the BMW Motorrad Community fuel tank. It is covered in signatures of BMW motorcycle owners. (I was extra careful with the bike, I swear.)

The ride consisted of a good mix of highway, trunk road and urban riding, giving us a good taste of the r nine T Scrambler’s capabilities and versatility.

Out on the highway, the bike drones along at 110 – 140 km/h, with a soft rumble accompanying us. However, the Akrapovic pipes on this one this one sure had plenty of bark, which sounded a lot like a group of piston-engine fighter planes when mixed with other r nine Ts.

The r nine T Scrambler doesn’t like being rushed during highway rides. Instead, it’s big torque should be put to great use to cruise and overtake other vehicles with ease. You could keep it in 6th gear all the way down to 60 km/h, and a twist of the throttle would have the bike roaring back up to speed in a hurry.

But it’s on country roads where the bike comes into its own. Here, the wave of torque accelerates you from corner to corner in a quick yet smooth fashion. It soon became addictive as the exhausts sing “the Boxer rumble” when you grab fistfuls of throttle at corner exits.

Handling is commendable although it could benefit with some more suspension tuning, as it felt a little harsh over sharp bumps. The “relaxed” chassis geometry requires you to trace graceful long arcs through corners. You can hard-flick the bike but without the chassis complaining, though. However, if blasting corners is your game, the base r nine T is the better option with its sport-oriented suspension.

BMW R nineT Review – You Have the Power

But that doesn’t mean the r nine T Scrambler is bad. The bike is made for relaxed and unrushed riding. Treating it as a sportbike is just wrong.

We rode into the Melaka city centre on a couple of occasions and we were thankful for the bike’s torque and upright sitting position. Its torque allows you to hold on to higher gears even at low speeds and that smoothens out your riding.

Characteristic of BMW’s Boxers, it was also easy to maneuver at low speeds. Those cylinders that jut out into the breeze provide low-down stability; while the crankshaft which spins longitudinally along the bike’s centre line produces its own centrifugal force to keep the bike upright even at very low speeds.

The r nine T Scrambler is as pure as it gets, being a heritage model. Apart from ABS and fuel injection, there is no ride mode or traction control. Consequently, you feel as a part of the bike instead of the feel being filtered through a gaggle-load of electronics.

The BMW r nine T Scrambler sells for RM 88,900 inclusive of SST but no on the road.


Engine type Air/Oil-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontally-opposed (Boxer) Twin
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Bore X Stroke 101 mm X 73 mm
Displacement 1170 cc
Fuel system Electronic intake pipe injection
Maximum power 110 bhp (81 kW) @ 7550 RPM
Maximum torque 116 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically actuated
Gearbox Constant mesh, 6-speed, shaft drive
Front suspension 43mm telescopic forks, 125mm travel
Rear suspension Single central shock absorber adjustable for preload and rebound damping. 140mm travel
Front brakes Two 320mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston radially-mounted calipers
Rear brake Single 265 mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS, front and rear
Front tyre 120/70-R19
Rear tyre 170/60-R17
Frame Three-part frame consisting of one front and two rear sections; load-bearing engine and transmission; rear set frame removable for single rider
Swingarm Cast aluminium single-sided swingarm with BMW Motorrad Paralever
Trail 110.6 mm
Rake 28.5 degrees
Wheelbase 1527 mm
Seat height 850 mm
Wet weight 220 kg (Read to ride with full fuel tank)
Fuel capacity 17 litres



  • The 2018 Honda CBR650 is a sporty all-rounder, just like the CBR600F and CBR600RR series.

  • It should appeal greatly to beginners and advanced riders.

  • Priced from RM 44,453 (basic selling price with 0% GST).

When it comes to the hallowed “CBR” name, one conjures up images of red, white and black sportbikes howling at the redline, including the infamous CBR600F and CBR600RR that rule the middleweight class. How about this 2018 Honda CBR650F we tested here then?

We had an earlier impression of the CBR650F during Honda’s iftar event and during the RC213-V test ride, both at the Sepang International Circuit last year.

On the track, the CBR650F was a joy to ride, due to the smooth surface (compared to public roads). I remember fondly of it being flickable and the torquey engine.

First and foremost, the bike looks great, like a pure sportbike. The bodywork leaves a number of bits exposed, such as the magnesium-coloured engine cases. The bodywork which covers the subframe is duly sculptured and gives the bike a very slim waist. The seat reminds one of the CBR600F’s.

The seating position is also sporty with more weight on the front and high-mounted footpegs, hence putting your face just behind the small windscreen. There are two small LCD screens underneath that windscreen. The LED headlamp can be regarded as distinctive.

Quality as you’d expect of a Honda is readily apparent throughout the entire bike. From the paintwork to how the panels join, most cables and wires are hidden way, the switchgears don’t feel tacky. Honda always goes OCD about the tidiness of their bikes.

For a four-cylinder engine, the engine actually rumbles during idle. Blip the throttle and you’ll hear a warble from the airbox underneath the fuel tank.


You need to slip the clutch in order to pull away, not due to the engine but because there’s only a clutch cable adjuster. So, the problem is if you adjusted it to bring the clutch lever closer to the handlebar, the clutch takes a long while to engage and vice-versa. But you’ll get used to it after a while or fit an aftermarket adjustable lever

Another point scored is its low seat height, which should cater to all riders. The seat cushioning is pretty comfortable, too.

But once underway, the CBR650F’s engine belies the “stereotype” of inline-Four engines. It’s torquey! Unlike certain 600cc inline-Fours of the same class we’ve ridden, the Honda’s engine doesn’t wait until it hits midrange to be of use. Instead it charged forward as soon as the throttle was twisted.

It picks up speed really fast all the way to its top speed, without feeling strained. However, it did feel like the bike was geared short for urban and casual riding. In my personal opinion, I would reduce two teeth on the rear sprocket to give the bike longer touring legs.

On congested city streets, the smooth throttle, linear power delivery and torque makes for an easy bike to ride; meaning you’re hardly ever find yourself in the wrong gear.

The steering felt a little “heavy” at first but was because I was pressing down onto the handlebars. However, in a sporty crouch with the arms straight out, the bike was predictably nimble.

That didn’t mean the ergonomics was designed by Marquis de Sade, though.

Around corners, you could do your best impression of Marc Marquez (well, maybe 30% of it). You could hang off very nicely by using the deep knee cutouts on the tank to support your lower body and the tank to support your outer arm as you carve through corners at some pretty scary speeds.

This is when the chassis showed its class as the Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) forks provide good feedback to the palms of your hands while the rear shock handled damping pretty well, for a basic set up. The CBR650F was stable through corners without a tendency to either stand up or shake its handlebar.

Of course, being a basic suspension system, the bumps on KL roads are its worst enemies. Still, you don’t get kicked out of the seat.

On congested city streets, the smooth throttle, linear power delivery and torque makes for an easy bike to ride; meaning you’re hardly ever find yourself in the wrong gear.

The brakes are up to the job although it lacked an initial hard bite. It’s not a problem if you came up from smaller bikes but remember to brake earlier and harder if you’re used to four-piston calipers on bigger bikes.

But what can one expect from a RM 44K bike? Öhlins, Brembos, Bosch IMU?

There were a couple of things that I found at odds with the bike, though. First was the LCD screens. While they aren’t difficult to decipher, I’d prefer one large screen. Secondly, I’d prefer the front brakes to have a harder bite.

Those are just my personal opinion as the Honda CBR650F is a sweet, entry-level middleweight to ride. It has the kind of comfort and performance you’d find on the early CBR600F models. Being a simple bike, the rider could learn much from riding as you need to learn the fundamentals of motorcycle control.

Speaking about the CBR600RR, that’s a pure sportbike. The CBR650F, on the other hand sits comfortably between other anemic 600/650cc middleweights and the CBR600RR’s hardcore edge. While the former’s engine produces 120bhp, the CBR650F’s brings 90bhp (4bhp up from 2016) to the table. That’s already way more powerful than the rest of its class; it’s 20bhp more than the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and only 16bhp more than the Yamaha MT-07.

In conclusion, the 2018 Honda CBR650F is a great as a daily commuter and weekend thrill chaser. It wouldn’t be out of place on the racetrack, either. So yes, you could say the 2018 Honda CBR650F is the best of both worlds.


2018 HONDA CBR650F

ENGINE TYPE 4-stroke, DOHC, 16-valve, liquid-cooled, inline-Four
BORE x STROKE 67.0 mm x 46.0 mm
POWER 90 bhp (67 kW) @ 11,000 RPM
TORQUE 64 Nm @ 8,000 RPM
FUEL SYSTEM PGM-Fi programmed fuel injection
CLUTCH Multiple-plate wet clutch, cable-operated
FRAME Steel diamond
FRONT SUSPENSION ø 41 mm Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) telescopic forks
REAR SUSPENSION Monoshock with adjustable spring preload
FRONT BRAKE 2 X Two-piston caliper and ø 320 mm discs
REAR BRAKE 1 X Single-piston caliper, ø 240 mm brake disc
TIRES FRONT/REAR 120/70 ZR-17; 180/55 ZR-17
TRAIL 101 mm
WHEEL BASE 1,449 mm




  • The Yamaha XMAX 250 is the biggest scooter officially sold by Hong Leong Yamaha.

  • It is more of a GT scooter compared to the NMAX and NVX.

  • The new basic selling price is at RM 21,225.00 with 0% GST.

Sure, scooters are the embodiment of convenient motorcycling, to the stage of being lazy – nothing else you need to do but to fill up, twist and go. Besides that, I don’t need to worry about slinging a backpack hence neckaches and backaches, since I could throw everything into the storage space under the seat.

But, I’ve never actually considered owning a scooter prior to this; due to the fact that their suspension gets hammered followed by my spleen over sharp bumps or potholes. If that’s not bad enough, their front tyres weave about when cornering. Those two factors alone had always put a damper on my enthusiasm.

But what about this new Yamaha XMAX 250? I was looking forward to testing the new MT-09 and was a little smitten when Hong Leong Yamaha Motor only had this XMAX available during the time. Well okay, for the benefit of our readers who do like scooters, I acquiesced to the offer.


Hong Leong Yamaha Motor is the one manufacturer who offers a wide selection of scooters in the Malaysian motorcycle market.

The XMAX 250 on the other hand, is powered by a 250cc, single-cylinder engine, making it the biggest scooter officially offered by HLYM. While the rest could be considered “city” scooters, the XMAX is of the maxi/GT type. As such, the XMAX is much larger in size, complete with a large windscreen and bigger fuel tank. The underseat trunk is also much bigger and you could fit a couple of helmets, or a helmet and a backpack filled with a 15” laptop.


There instrument panel is also large in size, dominated by a large speedometer and tachometer, flanking an LCD multi-display in between.

There are storage compartments on each side of the front panel – the left is locked with the ignition while the one on the right is unlockable. A 12V cigarette lighter type outlet is on the left, enabling you to charge your phone on the go.

The XMAX also features the SMART Key system first seen on the NVX. It needed a little figuring out at first, but it becomes second nature soon enough. Once you’re used to it, you’d swear that it’s the best motorcycle locking system. For example, it’ll warn you if you’ve forgotten to arm it.

The XMAX is one of the best-selling scooters in Europe, therefore it’s equipped with ABS and TCS (traction control) as standard equipment.

Those beautifully designed headlamps are fully LED with LED “positioning lights” (other manufactures call them daylight running lights). The taillights were equally good-looking and they were LED too. The turn signals remain as normal bulbs, though.


The seat was taller than it looked. Although the spec sheet described the seat height at a low 795mm, I had to move one cheek off the seat just to tip toe on one foot like I was on an adventure bike. The wide portion under the seat was the cause. And surely enough, the test bike had been dropped on one side.

The handlebar is placed lower than on most scooters and it felt sporty. That placement also meant that my view of the instrument panel wasn’t blocked at all.

The seats were definitely comfortable and supportive.


The 250cc, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine features Blue Core enhancements, including variable valve timing (VVT). It started up quickly every time and there was very little vibration for a scooter.

The fun of a twist ‘n’ go is of course the acceleration and the XMAX accelerated very quickly all the way to its redline. Hold on to it and you’ll hit a little more than 140 km/h. However, the bike was very economical. We managed to obtain 324 km from 11 litres of fuel despite our heavy-handed testing and we had to fill it up only once in the nine days that we had the bike.

But best of all, the XMAX 250 never once shook its handlebar when we blasted it through fast, sweeping corners unlike other scooters.

The handling was confidence-inspiring, and I didn’t hesitate in taking up to Genting Highlands. At night. On these roads, it was a joy to ride the XMAX as I could just swing it into the corners. It had plenty of cornering clearance and took lots of lean angle to scrape the centrestand. Even then, it never once threatened to chuck itself down the road (or off the mountainside) at full lean.

The brakes were superbly strong although they felt a little vague at full pressure, possibly due to the rubber hoses. However, that’s just a personal preference as I’m sure owners will find them pretty strong in standard trim. Another thing I noticed was the brake levers didn’t pulsate when ABS was triggered. Instead, the levers actually extended slightly to the front when that happened, allowing me to maintain maximum brake pressure.

The headlights were bright as a much-welcomed feature in the fog.

Down Karak Highway, I could ride the XMAX almost as if it was a normal bike, surprising a few car drivers along the way.

As for the suspension, it was a good balance between comfort and performance. Big potholes still translated to big hits but they were a lot more damped out than other scooters and mopeds.


The Yamaha XMAX 250 is a great scooter for the daily commute and also some touring. Its great looks is matched by its great performance, especially because it doesn’t wobble in corners, but also due to its practicality and economy.


So I guess I’ve found the scooter that I’ve been looking for.


Artikel oleh: Wahid Ooi Abdullah

  • Bmw G 310 GS adalah motosikal adventure-tourer dalam rangkaian motosikal G.
  • Ianya lebih cenderung ‘off-road’ berbanding dengan model G 310 R.
  • Sesuai untuk penunggang berpengalaman, baru, mahu pun yang baru bermula kembali.


  • The BMW G 310 GS is the adventure-tourer of the G-family.

  • It is more offroad-oriented than the G 310 R.

  • It is suitable to veteran, returning and new riders.

When people discover that part of my job is to test and review new motorcycles or every kind, their first words would be, “Oh, how lucky you are.”

And then I’d brace myself for the next questions, which invariably includes, “What’s your favourite bike among those you’ve tested?” Uh oh. That’s like the missus asking whether she should go on a diet.

Now, it’s not that I mind sharing my personal Top Ten Bikes (which consists of Triumphs, KTMs, BMWs, Yamahas, Ducatis, et al – not necessarily in that order), nor am I afraid of being called biased and risk angering our advertisers, instead I dread the prospect of having to debate (read: argue) about my choices for two hours. And there’s no place for contravening views or dissent these days – everyone wants to be right and you’re always in the wrong.

On the other hand, there are bikes that are truly worth defending.

When BMW Motorrad launched the G 310 R, the whole world went ga-ga over the prospect of owning a BMW that’s accessible to a wide range of audience, judging from the point of unintimidating power output and of course, price (story of the G 310 R launch here).

Sure enough, BMW Motorrad was inundated with overwhelming orders, justifying their decision to build a small capacity motorcycle. However, the G 310 R couldn’t shake its “BMW for beginners” assumption., although it isn’t by a wide margin.

Then, BMW Motorrad pulled the wraps off the G 310 GS at the Malaysian MotoGP in October this year (story of the launch here). Many took an instant liking to it especially for its looks which consists of many styling cues from its F 800 GS and R 1200 GS brethren.

But the questions from the market are “Good no cheap, cheap no good, right?” based on the Chinese saying of, “Yat cham chin yat cham for (1 sen for a 1 sen good).” The second question is, “Has BMW Motorrad compromised on their quality?”

Okay. It’s time to address these queries.

First up, yes, the G 310 GS is based on the G 310 R (R for roadster), which means both share many common components, including the 313cc, DOHC, 4-valve, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. It’s worth mentioning that the cylinder block is rotated by 180-degrees for the exhaust to face the rear and throttle body to the front. The whole block is also tilted backwards into the frame, for better mass centralization and lower center of gravity.

Another positive consequence is a much more compact power and drivetrain unit, since there isn’t the need to create a space if the exhaust was up front. From this, BMW Motorrad could use a longer swingarm for more stability, while still maintaining a short wheelbase for agility and front wheel feel.

The frame of the G 310 GS is similar to the roadster’s but the suspension has gained extra travel by 41 mm up front and 48mm out back, to a total of 180 mm on both ends. The front is suspended by non-adjustable upside forks, while the rear shock is adjustable for preload only. Seat height is 835 mm.

But how does it perform since it’s wearing the infamous “GS” (for Gelände/Straße – offroad/road) moniker? Does the G 310 GS deserve that honour?

Approaching the bike for the first time, it looked pretty much like any of BMW’s adventure-tourer bike, especially the R 1200 GS. Its profile is slim and tall, with many wedges in its lines. Getting on confirmed that it was tall, but it wasn’t difficult to lift off the sidestand since its super light (170 kg wet weight).

The single-cylinder engine fired up without fuss, but it needed some revs to get going. Out there on the road, the long travel suspension was supple leaning towards soft and soaked up every bump. Slamming the bike into fast corners produced a perceptible compression while the Metzeler Tourance tyres dug into the road. But there was hardly any wobble. However, the front forks dived quickly under hard braking. Those Bybre brakes are good!

With maximum revs is at 10,000 RPM, 130 km/h comes up at 8,000 RPM. At this juncture, you’re reminded by the buzziness in the handlebar and footpegs that you are riding a single. It didn’t numb my hands, but I believe the addition of dampers to the handlebar mount would be sweet. Torque is commendable, although you need to be in the correct gear.

But oh my, the bike was really agile. The biggest fun about riding it on the daily commute was the enjoyment of sitting high up over traffic, giving you a view far ahead. Besides that, you could actually swing the Baby GS in and out of traffic. Ah, the joys of a lightweight bike. The seats are pretty comfortable too.

We’ve tested its Strasse capabilities so it’s now over to the Gelande part.

Where’s the best place to do some offroading? At Oh Kah Beng’s Most Fun Gym, of course. We had also wanted “Foreman” Oh or KB, as some call him, to ride the G 310 GS and provide his feedback since he’s the Sifu. KB had also trained his nephew, Oh Jin Sheng who went to qualify second on the first day of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Asia Qualifier.

But KB was caught up at the bank when we arrived so we decided to go ahead and ride the bike around the basic flat-track course.

I started out gingerly since the tyres were 50/50 offroad/road, compared to knobbies. Apart from that, the seat is rather far behind compared to a pure-bred motocrosser, hence I had some reservations if I could really lean the bike into dirt corners. (Cornering in the dirt calls for the rider to sit as up front as possible and stick out his inside leg to put more weight on the front tyre.)

But as soon as it hit the first berm it was apparent that the G 310 GS was setup towards offroading. Standing up on the straights the bike exhibited a totally natural balance at both ends. I went faster and faster, even did a couple of small jumps as confidence picked up.

The track’s surface was dry with loose soil and sand, but the tyres surprisingly slipped very little. I had to kick my leg further out to displace my weight and give it lots of throttle to slide the rear around. Otherwise, it was as if the bike has traction control (it doesn’t, it only has ABS).

While the suspension soaked up the bumps on the road, on the offroad course it was magic! It ran over those offroad bumps as if they weren’t there. It suddenly didn’t matter that the fuel tank was tall and slightly long, the G 310 GS was amazingly well-balanced whether I was seated or standing up (as I’ve mentioned earlier).

The only gripe I had with running it offroad was the road-oriented rear sprocket size. For true offroading, a 4-teeth bigger sprocket would provide the punch out of corners by rear wheel slide-steering.

KB showed up a little later in the afternoon, a bit agitated from his experience at the bank.

But his expression lit up as soon as he saw the G 310 GS, “Whoa, that’s a beautiful bike! Really looks very close to the R 1200 GS.”

He didn’t waste time in suiting up and hopping on. “The seat’s a little tall for most Malaysians, but the rear shock compresses when you sit on it, like a motocrosser’s.”

As soon as he hit the corner berm, he remarked, “Wow! The balance!” He proceeded to traverse down a steep slope. Both of us wanted to find out about the ground clearance. Nothing touched down.

Next, KB rode the bike down a trail behind the “pit building.” A trail that I would never for the life of me ride on. He just kept going, “Wow this is really good,” and continued on up the hill to the Expert’s Course. He kept riding steadily without jumping, “I don’t want to risk bottoming out the suspension and injuring the bike,” he explained.

And he just kept going and going, with a smile underneath his MX helmet, while I chased him around to grab a few shots.

When he finally pulled in, there were nothing but superlatives from him. “This bike is truly amazing. It soaked up the bumps, it steered beautifully, gripped a lot, and the throttle was very smooth.” (A smooth throttle response is of utmost importance when riding offroad or on slippery surfaces.)

His conclusion was, “It may be an affordable bike at 29K, but it felt like something way more expensive. Plus, it’s really pretty. BMW should extend a test bike at MFG so those who visit MFG could take a look at it. It’s capabilities and quality.”

If a racing legend and super coach who has done it all, seen it all says that, then the G 310 GS is truly special. The bike truly caters to both new and veteran riders. It’s practical for the daily commute, comfortable for long-distance rides and fully capable when the paved road disappears.

Just like in the opening story, the BMW G 310 GS is one bike worth defending – not because it’s a BMW.


Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves, single-cylinder
Compression ratio 10.6 : 1
Bore X Stroke 80.0 mm X 62.1 mm
Displacement 313 cc
Fuel system BMS-E2 electronic fuel injection
Maximum power 34 bhp (25 kW) @ 9,500 RPM
Maximum torque 28 Nm @ 7,500 RPM
Clutch Cable-operated, multi-plate, wet clutch
Gearbox 6-speed synchromesh
Front suspension 41mm USD forks, 180 mm travel
Rear suspension Single shock, adjustable for preload, 180 mm travel
Front brakes Single 300 mm disc, single four-piston radially mounted Bybre caliper
Rear brake Single 240 mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS
Front tyre 110/80-R19
Rear tyre 150/70-R17
Frame Tubular steel
Swingarm Solid die-cast aluminium
Trail 98.0 mm
Rake 26.7 degrees
Wheelbase 1420 mm
Seat height 835 mm (unladen)
Wet weight 169.5 kg (ready to ride)
Fuel capacity 11.0 litres



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