BMW Motorrad surprised everyone when it launched the 2020 G 310 GS with a massive price drop over the outgoing BS4. The updated BMW G 310 GS is priced at Rs 2.85 lakh while the outgoing model commanded a premium of Rs 3.49 lakh. The price cut and addition of new features has certainly managed to rekindle the interest in the baby GS. And it is only obvious that we compare it with the KTM 390 Adventure, a feature packed motorcycle priced at Rs 3.04 lakh.
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: Engine
The G 310 GS and 390 Adventure are both powered by BS6, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engines with four-valve heads and double overhead cams. The engines are paired to a six-speed gearbox and both have a slipper clutch as standard. They also feature ride-by-wire technology and here’s where the similarities between the two, end.
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: PowertrainBMW G 310 GSKTM 390 AdventureEngine 313cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled373.2cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooledPower34hp at 9,500rpm43hp at 9,000rpmTorque28Nm at 7,500rpm37Nm at 7,000rpmPower to weight200.58hp/tonne242.93hp/ tonneGearbox6-speed6-speed
The table below shows that the BMW G 310 GS’ 313cc mill produces 34hp at 9,500rpm and 28Nm at 7,500rpm. The specs of the 373.2cc KTM 390 Adventure’s engine, on the other hand, are proof that there is no replacement for displacement. It develops 43hp at 9,000rpm and 37Nm at 7,000rpm, clearly a big advantage over the BMW’s engine. Not only does the KTM’s engine produce more power but it also peaks at a lower rpm than that of the BMW. It is a similar case with the torque as well that peaks 500rpm below the BMW’s engine. The greater power and torque should translate to quicker acceleration and a higher top speed than the BMW G 310 GS’ claimed 143kph figure.
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: Chassis
The KTM 390 Adventure and BMW G 310 GS employ tubular steel trellis frames for their respective motorcycles. Both motorcycles have a USD telescopic fork at the front and an adjustable mono shock at the rear. The alloy wheel sizes are the same as well, with a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel setup, and both motorcycles ride on tubeless Metzeler Tourance tyres. That said, the BMW has wider front and rear tyres than the KTM.
The other areas where differences begin to show are in the size of the forks, brakes, suspension travel and ground clearance. Where the BMW has a 41mm front fork, the KTM has a beefier, 43mm WP Apex unit. However, the BMW’s suspension has longer travel (180mm front / rear) than the KTM’s which is 170mm front and 177mm at the rear. 
The 390 Adventure is also larger in size and has a longer wheelbase at 1430mm versus the BMW G 310 GS’ 1420mm. That said, the G 310 has a higher ground clearance (220mm) than the 390 Adventure (200mm). Clearly then, the BMW should be much more adept at riding over big rocks or offering a comfier ride than the KTM, owing to its longer suspension travel. 
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: UnderpinningsBMW G 310 GSKTM 390 AdventureKerb weight 169.5kg177kgGround clearance220mm200mmBrakes (front)300mm320mmBrakes (rear)240mm230mmSuspension (front)41mm USD fork41mm USD forkSuspension (rear)MonoshockMonoshockTyres (front)110/80-R19100/90-19Tyres (rear)150/70-R17130/80-17Fuel capacity 11 litres14.5-litres
As far as the brakes are concerned, the KTM’s front disc is 20mm larger in diameter than the 300mm disc on the BMW. But its rear disc is 10mm smaller. Both motorcycles offer dual channel ABS and the option to switch off the system at the rear, to enable the rider to slide the motorcycle on off-road surfaces.
The BMW G 310 GS is also the lighter motorcycle of the two, tipping the scales at 169.5 kg while the 390 Adventure has a kerb weight of 177kg. 
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: Design and ergonomics
The KTM 390 Adventure’s design is clearly inspired by the KTM 790 Adventure while the G 310 GS is modelled on the lines of the bigger BMW GS’. Both motorcycles aren’t particularly pretty but the design appears as a good mix of form and function.
The KTM 390 Adventure looks striking with its Praying Mantis like headlamp, with a small windscreen above it. The 14.5 litre fuel tank, made of plastic, adds some visual mass and the sleek tail section gels with the rest of the motorcycle. KTM offers the 390 Adventure in two colours- white and orange.
The BS6 BMW G 310 GS shares the same body panels as the BS4 motorcycle but the new colours add a dash of freshness. The new ‘Style Rallye’ and ’40 years of GS’ paint schemes look rather fetching while the all-LED lights (also on the KTM) enhance the appeal of the motorcycle.
Since both motorcycles are designed to cover long distances on paved roads and trails, the ergonomics are pretty relaxed. Their handlebars are wide, the foot pegs aren’t excessively rear-set and the seats are flat and wide. Speaking of seats, the KTM’s seat height at 855mm could turn out to be a deterrent for short riders who may instead prefer the G 310 GS’ relatively lower 835mm perch.
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: Features
This is one area where the 390 Adventure blows the G 310 GS out of the water. The Austrian motorcycle’s long list of features include a 5-inch TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity, traction control, up/down quick-shifter and cornering ABS. 
The BMW G 310 GS, on the other hand, has none of the above features and a relatively simpler digital LCD dash. It displays the speed, engine rpm, fuel level, gear position, time and trip meter. It is informative but the cluttered design is a bother and it has begun showing its age. Maybe, BMW G 310 GS should have got a TFT display like the one its Platform cousin, the TVS Apache RR 310.
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: Verdict 
There is no denying that the lower price tag has surely made the BMW G 310 GS a proposition worth looking at. It has a powerful engine, the feature set is decent and it carries the BMW badge that holds a lot of prestige and value. Plus, its high ground clearance and longer suspension travel should give it an advantage while tackling tricky off-road sections.
BMW G 310 GS vs KTM 390 Adventure: PriceBMW G 310 GSKTM 390 AdventurePrice (ex-showroom, Delhi)Rs 2.85 lakh Rs 3.04 lakh
But, for an additional Rs 20,000 over the Rs 2.85 lakh BMW, the KTM 390 Adventure brings a whole lot more to the table. It is the more powerful and hence quicker motorcycle of the two. The features list is unmatched in the segment and not to forget, the KTM sales and service network is larger than the BMW’s. All things considered, the KTM 390 Adventure does have a slight edge over the BMW G 310 GS.
All prices, ex-Delhi
Also see:
2020 BMW G 310 GS, G 310 R image gallery
2020 BMW G 310 GS launched in India at Rs 2.85 lakh

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