10. BMW G310R

From what was once largely a 250cc one-horse affair (Kawasaki Ninja 250), the beginner-ish sportbike category has grown in both the size of its engine displacement as well as the amount of available models. Joining the Ninja (now 300) is the Honda CB/CBR300, KTM RC390/390 Duke and Yamaha YZF-R3 (and for markets outside the U.S., the Kawasaki Z300 and Yamaha MT-03). Add to that mix the G310R, BMW’s first roadster under 500cc. The small-displacement sportbike category has never been this strong, and the vitality of the segment is certain to have positive impacts on the motorcycle industry in general.

Beginner-ish Sportbike Shootout + Video

Powered by a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, four-valve DOHC 313cc Single, producing a claimed 33.5 hp at 9500 rpm and 20.7 lb-ft. of torque at 7500 rpm, and wearing less than full-fairing coverage, the G310R looks to be a direct competitor for KTM’s 390 Duke and Honda’s CB300F. The G310R isn’t expected to reach dealerships until the third quarter of 2016, so any riding opportunity is most likely months away, with a direct comparison to the KTM and Honda after that. Rest assured, the BMW G310R will get ridden and held accountable to its competitors.

The BMW G310R Versus The World

  • Ser Samsquamsh

    These are some nice rides and I can’t wait to see the Thruxton in particular. However the bike I’m most anticipated is the one I have just as soon as this stinky snow goes away. Only 5 more short months!

  • Old MOron

    Brutale 800! MT-10!

    • Vince Noridin S. Niguel

      Funny I was thinking these were actually the ugliest bikes on the list :p

  • SteveSweetz

    It’d be nice if we got the Yamaha XSR700 here as I think it’s a fantastic looking bike, and better than the XSR900 that we do get, but that’s probably not going to happen.

    Conspicuously absent from this list: Honda Africa Twin. Already uninterested?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      There is nothing to compare the Africa Twin to. Cannot compare it to the KTM 1190 R or BMW R1200GSA. DCT ugh! Just enough power for solo riding on pavement without luggage. OK in dirt without DCT. Not for extreme off-roading. I am sure people will try to do RTWs on it just because of the name. Besides, the list was limited to 10 names (none of them Honda).

      • Ser Samsquamsh

        Pretty sure you could compare the Africa Twin to the Vstrom1000, Tiger800, and BMW GS800. I’m not a gambler but I bet there will be a much commented on comparo-article like that in about six months. Throw in a Zero e-bike in a side bar about hunting with a BAR and MO is in click-through heaven.

        Duke- you can have that for free!

    • We’ve already ridden and reviewed the Africa Twin. This list is for bikes we have yet to ride.

  • spiff

    There can be only…2…#7 and #1.

  • TalonMech

    Just a nit, but why do competitor’s sites put top 10 lists and such on a single scrollable page, whilst yours is a clickfest?
    First world problem, I know. But a minor annoyance none the less.

    • John B.

      You got [sic] a problem with free? The Chief answers your question in the article below.

      “The only cost to you is your clicks on MO, whether it’s the click to arrive on our pages or the click to mute or pause a video. Compared to the thousands of dollars I’ve spent through the years on motorcycle magazines with small photos, delayed info and no video, these few clicks on MO are a small price to pay – it’s a genuine bargain.”

      “Same goes for the button pushes we request when you browse our Top 10 lists. The clicks you make add to our page-view count, which is one of the metrics ad buyers look at when deciding which publication to support with their dollars. Without ad revenue, we can’t pay for all the good stuff that costs money like video productions and the best staff in the moto industry.”


    • TheMarvelous1310 .

      I suppose you think magazines should be scrolls, so you don’t have to turn any pages there either?

      • John Sumser

        That would be helpful . . . and when will Google come out with a self-drive motorcycle?

  • Auphliam

    I’m done waiting on Victory to do anything meaningful with the 156 project. Any hope I might’ve had was pretty quickly dashed after seeing the Ness concept, with the same dumbed down front end that’s currently on the Scout. I have a strong feeling the Octane is going to be nothing more than a parts bin Victory Scout.

    Polaris will have a bike just like the V-Rod. A stonking quick motor in a clamshell cruiser. Then people can lament “why don’t they put that motor in a proper sport bike” for years to come.

    With that said, I’m most looking forward to seeing the new Thruxton R.

    • Old MOron

      Ha ha ha, “clamshell cruiser.” I’ve always thought those bikes look like punishment. Don’t these guys look comfortable?



      • TroySiahaan

        I don’t remember, but that guy on the V-Rod might be me! Rider Mag was where I got my start, and the timeframe would line up.

        • Old MOron

          Well look at the torture Rider Mag put you through. Aren’t you glad to be a MOron? 🙂

      • Ducati Kid


        Imagine a new TRIUMPH rider (5’10” thru 6’+) looking the same …

        Remember these are NOT your Fathers TRIUMPH as the intended riders are ‘small in stature’ while ASIAN!

        Read scribe Julia LaParme’s TRIUMPH Bonneville report – she LOVED it’s reduced size!

        • Ducati Kid

          Update –

          The compact size was confirmed by VISORDOWN’S (YouTube) video report and their short, appreciative tester.

          One GREAT ‘short people’ motorcycle – I’m going to love it! 🙂

          Suspected as much by HINCKLEY’S limited information …

          • Ducati Kid

            Revised –

            2016 Bonneville ‘Street Twin’ –

            Stateside legal, further finished sans the Fuel Tank Lip …

    • Ducati Kid


      Fixed … an INDIAN ‘Scout’ (concept) employing VICTORY and new technology.

      Specifically – Electronic Suspension (E.T.F.S.)

    • John Sumser

      That anyone would go to Ness shows how out of date they are.

  • sgray44444

    Thruxton and the new ZX10 are both good choices. I can’t wait to see them. That Yamahaha is UGLY! I love what they are doing mechanically, but all of their bikes have been beaten with the ugly stick big time.

  • Ted

    I’m probably the only one, but this is the first futuristic (?) Headlite nacelle that I actually like. MT-10. Makes me think of a mean and hungry praying mantis. Suzuki’s attempts at cool are just kind of , well, pathetic. Kinda like thier whole GW -250 thing. But have hope Suzuki fans. They finally decided to do something with their great 650 V-twin engine, other than just the Wee-Strom. It just takes them a few more years to wake up to what they have done when they trip over a giant diamond.

  • Mike Simmons

    Sad to say, I am once again disappointed in the Victory offering. I was hoping that 2016 would (finally!) be a breakout year for them, but , it is not to be. Can’t the leave the cruiser/Ness schtick to Harley and think outside of their feet forward box?

  • schizuki

    C’mon, Guzzi, put the V9 in a cafe bike! Own your heritage and stop with the cruisers!

  • TheMarvelous1310 .

    I’m really, REALLY excited about a forward control motorcycle with a 40 degree lean, particularly since everyone says it’s impossible.

    • Ducati Kid


      Bologna argues with their forthcoming xDiavel!

      Revised including Floorboards, extended Passenger Seating and Belt Drive Service Access…

  • TC


  • Zack Crowther

    Yamaha, hurry up and bring the MT-10 to the USA!!!

  • None of them do anything for me. ​

  • gcf1965

    As a cruiser aficionado, I have to say I am tired of the “sci-fi” bikes, the retro look, and more sport/super-sport clones. Where have the creative designers of big bore V-twins gone? Oh, and let’s see something under $20,000; this is directed at you Indian, Harley, and Victory

  • Konrad Bieniek

    Yamaha xsr900

  • Eyam TheZombie

    The KTM is sick and the Yamaha looks like a transformer.