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I’m 69 years old 5 ft 9 in and about 200 lbs. I’ve had many bikes over the years but haven’t ridden for the past 4 years. Last bike was an R1150R which I had put about 60000 miles on. I want an easy bike to manage and have narrowed it down on paper to either of these two. Trail riding will be quite easy. At least 70 percent will be back roads. Freeway less so. Which is smoother at 60 mph? Which is easier to handle on the trail? Any thoughts? Thanks for your help.
 

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Sounds like ideally you need to arrange a test ride on each.
I've riden hondas in the past and find they are a good brand to go for.
This is my 1st bmw ... and will, I'm afraid be my last.
I fooloishly thought bmw would be better than honda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like ideally you need to arrange a test ride on each.
I've riden hondas in the past and find they are a good brand to go for.
This is my 1st bmw ... and will, I'm afraid be my last.
I fooloishly thought bmw would be better than honda.
Thanks for the frank input. I had no trouble with my previous R1150 but have seen issues with the 650 owners in our area. In fairness the 650s were new bikes and in their first year of sales at that time.
Test rides are great but they can’t give feedback from a year of ownership and various riding experiences.
I’d love to hear from somebody that has owned both a 310 GS and a Honda 500 x for some time.
I’m leaning towards the Honda because the proximity to the dealer is a two hour time difference. As well, I’m thinking that the 500x, although maybe not quite the answer for myself because it is is a little heavier and less good looking, is still a bullet proof ride.
 

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Hi,
I can relate to your dilemma: I'm 60, 5' 9'', 150 lbs., 32 inside leg ( you'll see why this is important later), and hadn't ridden for 28 years !
I wanted a small capacity 'trail bike' ( as we called them ). I had always been a crutch-rocket fiend with a twitchy right hand, and wanted something that might at least give me a chance of keeping my license for more than a week....
I researched all the options by price, performance ( as far as I could find it- Seems that no-one is so bothered about this anymore. I remember track tests where 0-60, and top speed passes in 2 directions were simply the norm on every published road test. ), power to weight, and all the available reviews and comparisons, Then I went to a show to at least sit on all the contenders, since Manhattan dealers all claim that road tests are illegal- Pure BS, of course.
I was on a short list of BMW G310GS, Honda CB500X, Suzuki DRZ400S ( hard to beat the heritage of this bike ).
In the end, I was swayed by an unbelievable deal on a 2019 hold-over G310GS.

Challenges on the BMW:
Height
Now that inside leg measure comes in: You're going to have really swing that leg up high to get over the back seat and rack. If you're having trouble, I suggest to cheat by lining the bike up alongside the curb and gain a good 4''!
Delicate clutch
Clearly acknowledged by all: This bike is easy to stall, as the clutch just bites very quickly. Don't worry; you'll get used to it.
High centre of gravity:
Compared to what I had been used to ( I had one of the very first Kawasaki GPZ600Rs- Very small and low), the COG is very high. I found that I had to be 'thinking about' where the weight was. It was like sitting on top of a heavy fence, instead of being 'inside' and part of the GPZ. Naturally, this applies to any 'Adventure' bike.
Headlight
It's like a candle in a thunderstorm- crap. Get an LED and actually see a beam of light !

Now the good news:
Performance
It is surprisingly perky. You can really work it, as long and you're prepared to play a little tune on the gearbox.
It's alleged that I got 85 MPH, two up, with luggage, without really trying. It was still not flat out.
Handling
Is fine, but the original tyres do not inspire confidence on black top. They love tracking any ripples/grooves in the road surface. But, they are an onroad/offroad compromise. I'm hoping the set of road tyres I've got to put on will make a significant difference.
Frugal
I do 120 miles a week, which cost me all of $6 in gas.
Summary
Overall, I'm very happy, especially given how much I paid for the bike. It has outperformed my expectations significantly.
I hope this helps.....
 

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I'm 67, 165 pounds, 5'10" 34 inseam, can pretty much ride any bike seat height no problem.Been riding for 53 years (54 bikes) I had a 2016 CB500F, great motor smooth pulls good up to 85, tops out at 100. I put 21,000 miles on it. Nothing bad to say about it at all. Looking back I wish I had gotten the CB500X, seat would have been better. I never took my honda on "trails", but also the trails where I live are all sugar sand. They aren't even easy with the 310GS.
I now have a 2019 G310GS, and yes (as Imperiton1 mentioned) you WILL have a hard time swinging your leg over the seat. The power is not on par with the Honda. And if you do more pavement than dirt, I would choose the CB500X. Fuel mileage is about the same with both bikes, mid 70's.
 

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I'm 61, 210 lbs. 15 bikes. Right now I have a 2018 Triumph Street and a 2019 G310GS. I love this BMW, I have had three beemers, so much fun to ride.
15364
15365
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To those responding so far, thank you so much for the feedback. I’m aware of some issues with the new GS310 and although I understand that this is common for any new bike - the potential for delays with the BMW is concerning. For example, I know of one fellow here in Nova Scotia, Canada that bought a new 650 GS only to have it sit at the dealers (which is almost 3 hours away) for a period of 7 weeks. No loner provided!
This can happen to anyone and doesn’t mean the bike itself isn’t a good machine.
I am 70 next year and really don’t want to end up doing endless road miles so am also very concerned that the Honda 500x is not necessary for me. Believe it or not, I’m now closely considering the Honda 250 Rally or Adventure as it is called here in Canada. I can go reasonable highway speeds for a short time, it is forgiving on the trails and is hopefully a great runabout in town. I also own an MX5 and would prefer to take the wife along on the longer trips. She is no longer interested in being a passenger on the bike and I can’t say I blame her for that. I’ve done a lot of 5000 mile trips and longer over the years and I don’t want to tempt myself into doing that in any way. Let’s be honest folks- the Honda 500X would be sweet on a long lazy 5000 mile jaunt. It just isn’t a two-up bike. I do not want to manage a larger two-up capable machine at this point in my life.
so now I’m looking at the 310 GS vs the Honda 250:Rally. Test rides will not be an option for the GS unless I can convince a local owner to lend it out to me. These bikes are close in price and are both very capable. I do believe that the 310 is the perfect all rounder for the likes of me. The extra capability on the highway is nice to have and the extra 60 cc’s may make a big difference. Also, lighting is now LED and some other refinements are coming along I’m sure.
Thanks again for the feedback and for putting up with my lengthy uncertainties.
 

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I would take a hard look at the Kawasaki Versys 300, people seem to like them. About the same price as the Honda Rally but has the big bonus of having ABS which I would not ride without now. It is the same weight as the G310GS.🇨🇦
 

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Love my R but I honestly think all main manufacturer's bike are OK these days. So like Hasselman says, go with the one that pleases you and you should be OK. If not .....just try another.
 

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I had a similar dilemma. I'm now 66, just about 6ft tall / 90kg clothed ready to ride. I sold my 650 V-Strom after a heart attack threatened my biking future, because at 250kg with luggage it was just a bit too heavy.
I didn't consider the CB500X at the time (can't recall why) but a good deal appeared on a 3 month old G310GS and, after watching several youtube reviews decided to go for it.
Good points - STYLING! It's definitely a 'looker' and it looks far bigger than it actually is. Many people I talk to think it's a 650ish size. It's comfortable, especially with my Puig touring screen and MRA blade fitted. Also put on 32mm bar risers.
BUT.......you've got to work the engine to keep up with others. It's happy pottering around on the twisty, mountain roads where I am at 75 to 85kph, but if you need to travel at 100 - 110 kph on the straight bits, the engine is now between 6500 and 7000rpm and buzzing! And to be honest, I don't want to have to thrash the little single almost to the red line to make decent headway. At pottering 80kph speeds I'm getting 32-35km/L economy. This falls off RAPIDLY when you try upping the speed to 100! Then it's burning more than my 650 V-Strom was!
So......would I buy another. NO. I'd be outside the Honda dealer giving him the extra money for the CB500X. It's just better for everything I want to do. 75% of the time the little BM is fine, but for touring with luggage and maybe a passenger......NO. I'd need the Honda's extra power and cylinder.
 

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To those responding so far, thank you so much for the feedback. I’m aware of some issues with the new GS310 and although I understand that this is common for any new bike - the potential for delays with the BMW is concerning. For example, I know of one fellow here in Nova Scotia, Canada that bought a new 650 GS only to have it sit at the dealers (which is almost 3 hours away) for a period of 7 weeks. No loner provided!
This can happen to anyone and doesn’t mean the bike itself isn’t a good machine.
I am 70 next year and really don’t want to end up doing endless road miles so am also very concerned that the Honda 500x is not necessary for me. Believe it or not, I’m now closely considering the Honda 250 Rally or Adventure as it is called here in Canada. I can go reasonable highway speeds for a short time, it is forgiving on the trails and is hopefully a great runabout in town. I also own an MX5 and would prefer to take the wife along on the longer trips. She is no longer interested in being a passenger on the bike and I can’t say I blame her for that. I’ve done a lot of 5000 mile trips and longer over the years and I don’t want to tempt myself into doing that in any way. Let’s be honest folks- the Honda 500X would be sweet on a long lazy 5000 mile jaunt. It just isn’t a two-up bike. I do not want to manage a larger two-up capable machine at this point in my life.
so now I’m looking at the 310 GS vs the Honda 250:Rally. Test rides will not be an option for the GS unless I can convince a local owner to lend it out to me. These bikes are close in price and are both very capable. I do believe that the 310 is the perfect all rounder for the likes of me. The extra capability on the highway is nice to have and the extra 60 cc’s may make a big difference. Also, lighting is now LED and some other refinements are coming along I’m sure.
Thanks again for the feedback and for putting up with my lengthy uncertainties.
I am 74 now and about the same size as you. Couple points. About 6 years ago I was considering a second bike to compliment my then 1200rt. Found a 2009 Kawa KLX250S in great shape and I thought I had an ideal bike for trails and back roads. It was only on my first ride that I discovered that its seat is killing my but after about half an hour. All these small displacement dual purpose/adventure bikes tend to have rather narrow and uncomfortable seats. So pay attention to it on Honda 250 Rally. If I was looking now for a lighter adventure bike, I would go for CB500X or V Strom 650. Rode the later for one season, very comfortable.
As for g310 bikes, they feel peppier then the 310 ccs would suggest, my 310r is ideal around town and for back roads up to some 90 km/h, which I seldom go over even on my larger bike. It’s a pity that here in Atlantic Canada most dealers won’t let you test ride a bike (there is this Toys for Big Boys dealer in Moncton that does) so unless they revive these demo rides, your only real life experience is to sit on it.
Same as you, I have a 2006 MX5 LTD and it is becoming more and more “vehicle of choice” for fun and recreation purposes. 😢🤗
 

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I am 74 now and about the same size as you. Couple points. About 6 years ago I was considering a second bike to compliment my then 1200rt. Found a 2009 Kawa KLX250S in great shape and I thought I had an ideal bike for trails and back roads. It was only on my first ride that I discovered that its seat is killing my but after about half an hour. All these small displacement dual purpose/adventure bikes tend to have rather narrow and uncomfortable seats. So pay attention to it on Honda 250 Rally. If I was looking now for a lighter adventure bike, I would go for CB500X or V Strom 650. Rode the later for one season, very comfortable.
As for g310 bikes, they feel peppier then the 310 ccs would suggest, my 310r is ideal around town and for back roads up to some 90 km/h, which I seldom go over even on my larger bike. It’s a pity that here in Atlantic Canada most dealers won’t let you test ride a bike (there is this Toys for Big Boys dealer in Moncton that does) so unless they revive these demo rides, your only real life experience is to sit on it.
Same as you, I have a 2006 MX5 LTD and it is becoming more and more “vehicle of choice” for fun and recreation purposes. 😢🤗
At age 80 I wanted to ride again but no more big BMWs thank you. The 310R took my fancy, I watched it on the net for about a year before i ventured to go and actually see one at a dealership. The salesman listened to my waffle and simply gave me a hat, jacket, gloves and the keys! I was back 20 minutes later and wrote out a check. I have since upgraded to the 310 GS and I think these make great “exit level” bikes. Dynamite comes in small packages! :cool: PS. Don’t tell anyone but the GS seat is way more comfortable than the R seat -it’s actually a little wider!
 

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I had a similar dilemma. I'm now 66, just about 6ft tall / 90kg clothed ready to ride. I sold my 650 V-Strom after a heart attack threatened my biking future, because at 250kg with luggage it was just a bit too heavy.
I didn't consider the CB500X at the time (can't recall why) but a good deal appeared on a 3 month old G310GS and, after watching several youtube reviews decided to go for it.
Good points - STYLING! It's definitely a 'looker' and it looks far bigger than it actually is. Many people I talk to think it's a 650ish size. It's comfortable, especially with my Puig touring screen and MRA blade fitted. Also put on 32mm bar risers.
BUT.......you've got to work the engine to keep up with others. It's happy pottering around on the twisty, mountain roads where I am at 75 to 85kph, but if you need to travel at 100 - 110 kph on the straight bits, the engine is now between 6500 and 7000rpm and buzzing! And to be honest, I don't want to have to thrash the little single almost to the red line to make decent headway. At pottering 80kph speeds I'm getting 32-35km/L economy. This falls off RAPIDLY when you try upping the speed to 100! Then it's burning more than my 650 V-Strom was!
So......would I buy another. NO. I'd be outside the Honda dealer giving him the extra money for the CB500X. It's just better for everything I want to do. 75% of the time the little BM is fine, but for touring with luggage and maybe a passenger......NO. I'd need the Honda's extra power and cylinder.
Update......
After a couple of days touring with VERY LIGHTWEIGHT passenger, I’m upping my attempts to sell my little GS and buy the CB500X.
Why? ......
1)- Handling. The GS was just too clumsy carrying the extra weight, even though my passenger was a mere 40kg.
2)- Engine! It was STRUGGLING and NOISY trying to cruise at 85 to 90kph .... not comfortable on the ears at all.
3)- Fuel economy. Again the extra weight increased my fuel consumption by around 15% best guess.
4)- Future touring. If I now add panniers and racks and fill them with luggage that’s another 25kg.
Add to this that the NEW 2021 CB500X is $400 CHEAPER than the GS....
Sorry BMW. You’ve lost the next battle.


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Update......
After a couple of days touring with VERY LIGHTWEIGHT passenger, I’m upping my attempts to sell my little GS and buy the CB500X.
Why? ......
1)- Handling. The GS was just too clumsy carrying the extra weight, even though my passenger was a mere 40kg.
2)- Engine! It was STRUGGLING and NOISY trying to cruise at 85 to 90kph .... not comfortable on the ears at all.
3)- Fuel economy. Again the extra weight increased my fuel consumption by around 15% best guess.
4)- Future touring. If I now add panniers and racks and fill them with luggage that’s another 25kg.
Add to this that the NEW 2021 CB500X is $400 CHEAPER than the GS....
Sorry BMW. You’ve lost the next battle.


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Yeah, I think that both g310’s are are a solo rider bikes. Not sure about GS, but I have the R and It is adequate and enjoyable up to 90 km/h, maybe 100 max. I think that at some point I will sell my both 1200gs and 310r bikes and go middle road - Yamaha XSR700 . I like its retro looks, ample legroom, power and it is still fairly light. I think the CB500’s as a universal do it all bikes are still too small.
 

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Yeah, I think that both g310’s are are a solo rider bikes. Not sure about GS, but I have the R and It is adequate and enjoyable up to 90 km/h, maybe 100 max. I think that at some point I will sell my both 1200gs and 310r bikes and go middle road - Yamaha XSR700 . I like its retro looks, ample legroom, power and it is still fairly light. I think the CB500’s as a universal do it all bikes are still too small.
Tenere 700 would be a good call. Albeit at quite a bit more cash than the CB500X .
I’ll have to wash more dishes and laundry for that option :-/


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