Dilemma - Purchase BMW G 310GS or Svartpilen 401? - BMW G310 R/GS Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Dilemma - Purchase BMW G 310GS or Svartpilen 401?


New inmate here. I've been lurking for a couple of months and reading up on the G 310GS. It's time for a new bike next week and I winnowed down my list to a couple of bikes. My criteria was for small, lightweight, and able to handle some roads in rough condition. Most of my riding would be about 90% street with my "off roading" (if you can call it that...) on gravel or dirt roads making up the rest. I'm currently in the States for awhile but will be taking the bike back to the Caribbean and the roads there can be full of potholes, gravel, covered in sand, etc... typical tropical paradise .

I'm down to 2 bikes: the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 or the G 310 GS. Both are roughly the same price out the door...
I've tested the 310GS and will be testing the Svartpilen this weekend. I suspect it will be as good as the BMW.

The Svartpilen is lighter and faster but I suspect the Beemer is more reliable.
Parts and Service you might ask? It's amazing how resourceful one can get living on an island!

Interested in hearing any thoughts, rants, or opinions on which bike would be better to ride than the other! Especially if anyone has experience with both bikes.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 01:34 AM
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No experience riding both motorcycles. Try them both is the only way.

I already bought the G310R from the catalog, and was flabbergasted by the Svartpilen when it was introduced.
At the annual motorcycle exhibition in the Netherlands this year, the Svartpilen was not so special as in the brochure, rear side made another impression, and it felt a bit strange sitting on it.
It seemed not very ergonomically to me.

If the value after 2-3 years is important, I would take the BMW G310R.
But comparing them in real life is fun to do and riding for test purposes is always great.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-15-2018, 09:05 AM
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Ah, Husqvarna (KTM 390) or BMW? Go with the 310GS. The engine on the Husq is the same that is on the KTM 390 with all its issues such as valve clearances that magically go in and out of adjustment not to mention the cost to have them checked. Head gaskets are troublesome to that engine also.

I have both a KTM RC390 and the BMW 310GS and the service costs less and is easier on the 310GS. Yes, there maybe a little more power to be had from the 401.

401 is mainly an all street bike vs the 310 street and some off-road. The 310 gives you a little over an inch more suspension travel than the 410. Wheel on 401 is 17/17 vs 310 at 19/17.

With the unpredictable roads and hurricane/storms you may get... I would go with the BMW310GS.

2018 BMW G310GS White
2017 Hyosung GD250R Black/Gray
2016 KTM RC390
2014 Kawasaki Ninja 300 SE (sold)
2008 Hyosung GT250R (crashed)
199x Kawasaki Ninja 250 (engine failure)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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WELL NOW! That was an eye opener... I drove 90 miles down to the closest Husqvarna dealership and took a look at the 'Pilens. They had both the Vitpilen and the Svartpilen and the 701. I was so underwhelmed that I declined a test ride. I stayed for maybe 5 minutes at the most and turned around and left. I consider the trip very well spent as it cleared up any dilemma that I had.

Everything that @Worldbeater had to say was accurate. I thought they were too small to be anything but a city bike and just awkward in looks when seen in the flesh and the ergo was just "off". They look fantastic in the pictures and online but in reality... nothing to write home about. Now the 701 was just right and I would be comfortable with it but for the price. At US $12,000... there's a lot of better options.

I know the G310GS is small but I would not be uncomfortable on the highway with it if a secondary road is not available. No way would I want to spend a substantial amount of time on the highway with the 401 Svartpilen.

I asked this very same question on the Vitpilen forum and the responses were much the same as here (but from the opposite perspective, naturally) with the exception of one comment. A guy wrote that everyone will always look at the G310GS as the "baby beemer" and that might be true to some, but I suspect there are places you could take the "baby beemer" a whole lot easier than the gargantuan G1200GSA.
And I don't know one person who could take a Vitpilen across the width of this country... and you CAN do that on this "baby beemer".
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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@Charles A , In my reply I wrote about the size of the Vitpilen and how it's just too small. Yesterday, I ran into a guy who works at my grocery store and he just purchased a used 2015 RC390. It looks great and while it's basically the same size as the 401 Vitpilen... it doesn't seem awkward in the least. I would be more than comfortable on the RC and gladly ride one. Funny the difference between how KTM executed the design and Husqvarna!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 07:15 PM
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Cannot comment on Husqvarna but the Baby Beemer has been ridden across the country. I would not! On my R staying with traffic around Jacksonville is doable, but neither the traffic, the construction nor the bike at that speed is fun. The bike shines on two lanes running around the speed limit and hitting some tight roads in the Appalachians. The bike blows around in the wind.

Reliability? It has known problems such as stator and coolant leaks. Both are repairable by a reputable dealer. In all honesty these problems are only reported a few times on this forum.

Adventure rider has a thread about minimalist touring and those posting express their preference for light weight when riding off road. As an aging rider the 310 is much easier to handle in dirt parking lots and pushing around the shop than the 1100.


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