At the end of last year I bought a Yamaha MT 03 brand new and last month saw the BMW G310R advertised here, found a review or two of it and decided it would have been a bike I would probably gone for if it had been on sale back when I got the Yamaha. Went and looked at one, test rode it and confirmed my belief, deciding to make the change.
Here's a comparison of the two bikes for anyone interested.
In short, they are quite similar, but also quite different! Here are the some...
- Obviously the major thing is the motor - Yamaha's MT 03 is a 321 cc parallel twin, compared to the BMW's 313 cc single, rearward facing set up.
- Seat height - BMW is 785 mm, Yamaha is 780 mm (but the MT 03 passenger seat is much higher up making it more of stretch to get over)
- Inverted front forks on the BMW, standard on the MT 03
- Front brake - 300 mm on the BMW, 298 mm on the MT 03, but 4 piston fixed caliper on the BMW
- Back brake - 240 mm on the BMW, 220 mm on the MT 03
- Fuel tank - 11 litres for the BMW, 14 litres for the Yamaha.
- Tyres - BMW sports a 150/60 R17 rear to the Yamaha's 140/17 R17, front are the same at 110/70 R17 (all Michelin Pilot Streets)
- Power - 25 kW @ 9500 rpm, 28 Nm @ 7500 rpm for the BMW against 30.9 kW @ 10750 rpm and 29.6 Nm @ 9000 rpm for the Yamaha
The Yamaha was a nice bike - nothing wrong with it's build quality, everything was well made, no complaints. Quite capable too, with specified gearing, I think it could be easily up to a 180 km/h top speed given right conditions etc, but you do have to be prepared to use the revs. Red line is at 12500 rpm and the real performance comes in from 7000 rpm. But, reality is that I'm not that type of rider - I'm mostly commuting on 80 km/h speed limit rural roads (with a bit of urban stuff at one end), with the need to keep up motorways every so often (100 km/h limit here). I always found the MT 03 tricky to ride at lower revs, down shifting was not as smooth as I wanted and on mine the clutch action was a bit harsh, tending to grab a bit - I worked out ways to compensate, but it was always a detraction to the bike for me.
Lets move to the BMW and the first test ride, because that is where the differences were so obvious.
The engine was happy to "poodle" through the gears in traffic, clutch light and smooth and the shifts were sweet both up and down. It obviously had some "get up and go" taking the revs higher. Handling was light and responsive, leaning in and out of corners with certainty. Braking was nice and obviously powerful enough if needed - the rear brake being noticeably far more effective than the Yamaha's. I was more comfortable on the bike - riding position better suited to me with less weight on my wrists (the Yamaha was obviously just a bit more lean forward and down) and despite the seat being slightly higher, it was actually easier to get on due to the lower passenger position.
Fifteen minutes (I didn't have time to go longer) was all it took for me to realise that I was having FUN
riding it, and that was what was missing with the MT 03 - I just wasn't enjoying it.
So some bargaining was engaged in, and 5 minutes after returning from the test ride, I'd traded the MT 03, picked up my new G310R 2 days later from them. First service tomorrow. The past 1000 km have just reinforced the impressions I had on the test. This bike is seriously fun and a real joy to ride, it just begs to be taken to the roads with hills and bends. It's no slouch either if you did want to use the top end, my calculations on gearing etc would suggest 160 km/h
If there are things anyone would like to know about other difference's I haven't commented on (there's lots more), feel free to ask!