7 Common BMW G310R Problems (Explained)

The BMW G310R is a lightweight, entry-level motorcycle with a 313cc engine producing 34 hp and 28 Nm of torque.

It features a steel frame, upside-down forks, ABS disc brakes, and a digital cluster, making it ideal for new riders and urban commuting.

However, like all machines, the 310R has its issues. This article addresses the most common ones and offers potential solutions.

1. Gearbox Issues

Some BMW G310R owners have reported problems with the gearbox, especially the first gear. The issues include difficulty shifting into first gear, the bike shifting to neutral from the first gear on its own, and clunky, sloppy gear changes.

Here’s what a few real-life G310R riders had to say about the bike’s gearbox function:

“I’ve had my G310R for three years now and have always found the gear-change ‘notchy’ and not very helpful at all when an unexpected rapid stop leaves me in, for instance, 6th gear and at a standstill, the amount of ‘rocking’ backward and forwards to get to 2nd gear say to get underway easily is very embarrassing. Another irritating thing is when the green neutral light is on at a stop, and suddenly the bike ‘jumps’ into either 1st or 2nd gear unexpectedly—more embarrassment.”

“I’m now on my 2nd 310R, done about 2,500k since purchase in Oct 2022. It’s not a great gearbox, is it!! My main gripe is the same as it appears a lot on this forum, i.e., difficulty finding neutral when cruising down through the gears to a standstill at the lights…. you go through neutral into 1st when wanting to just stop at neutral. In my experience, about 33% of the time… Then when at a standstill, attempting to flick up into neutral only to have it click up past neutral into 2nd. I suppose, given that it’s a budget bike, one cannot expect too much; nevertheless, it’s a constant irritation.”

To address clunky gearbox problems on the BMW G310R, ensure the clutch cable and lever have correct free play and lubricate the shift lever and linkage. Regularly change engine oil using the recommended grade and avoid extreme RPMs in first gear to prevent wear.

If issues persist, consult a BMW service center; parts like shift forks or bearings might need replacement.

2. Coolant Levels Keep Dropping

BMW G310R owners have reported observing dropping coolant levels without finding visible leaks. Coolant circulates through the engine and radiator, maintaining optimal engine temperatures.

Regular checks and top-ups with the recommended coolant are essential, according to the 310R’s owner’s manual.

On the BMW BG310R, a compromised head gasket can leak coolant into the combustion chambers. Symptoms include white exhaust smoke, oil contamination, power loss, and overheating. Replacing the head gasket and flushing the system rectifies this.

An improper seal on the radiator cap can release coolant. This cap maintains system pressure, preventing boiling and evaporation. If worn out or damaged, your radiator cap should be replaced.

Finally, trapped air in the 310R’s coolant system can cause pressure fluctuations, pushing coolant out. This can happen if the system isn’t bled properly post-refill. Follow the manual’s procedure to bleed out the air.

3. Low Power Output/Intrusive Rev Limiter

BMW G310R owners sometimes critique its 313cc engine’s 34 hp power output and its abrupt 10,500 rpm rev limiter, finding its power output less impressive than competitors. Some riders feel the bike’s intrusive rev limiter affects the G310R’s momentum and smoothness.

“Whenever I open my throttle wide on a straight road, the bike suddenly twitches for a brief moment, with lights coming on for a second or two afterward. The previously mentioned lights turn on whenever I drive between 120-140 km per hour, and whenever I get above or below those speeds, the lights turn off. I kind of know what the cause of this issue may be, but I always get a “Drive malfunction” light, possibly due to one of the exhaust screws being loose because of no threading inside…”

“If the « white snowflake « light is on, you are hitting on the overspeed limiter of the injection system. If so, this is normal, i.e., stay below the red line of the tachometer.”

“The [BMW G310R’s) Rev limiter is the culprit.”

The BMW G310R’s engine is tuned for Euro5 emission regulations; high-rev performance may be compromised. Solutions include custom ECU remapping or installing devices like power commanders to adjust fuel and ignition maps.

Furthermore, its stock exhaust is heavy and limiting. Replacing it with a lighter, free-flowing aftermarket system can enhance performance and sound.

Finally, the G310R’s stock filter may be too restrictive. A high-performance filter can increase air intake, boosting engine performance.

4. Engine Vibrations/ Rattling Noises

Some BMW G310R owners have noted experiencing engine vibrations and rattling noises from their bikes. The engine vibrations can be felt on the handlebars, foot pegs, and seat, especially at higher speeds and RPMs.

The rattling noises are reportedly heard from the engine or transmission, especially when it is cold or idling.

“I had a discussion today with my mechanic that got me worried. The engine is noisy (too noisy for his standards), and the noise seems to come from the top of the cylinder block (maybe valves). Does anyone know about any engine issues, or is it the “normal” sound of this bike? “

“I can hear some ugly knocking noise somewhere under [my BMW G310R] from the very first time I bought the bike. I can’t tell exactly where it comes from. Maybe it’s absolutely normal for the price of the GS, but it is still annoying me. I can’t even decide that it comes from the clutch, or maybe somewhere from the chain, or even from the kick-stand.”

“My G310R makes a chain-slapping noise when starting to move. Once you begin to pick up speed, that sound disappears. The BMW maintenance guys even couldn’t fix the issue.”

The G310R’s single-cylinder engine inherently vibrates and produces noise due to its reverse orientation and absence of balance shafts.

That said, loose or worn mounts can escalate vibrations. Regularly inspect and, if necessary, tighten or replace these mounts.

Ensure the oil level is sufficient and of good quality by regularly changing the oil and filter using recommended specifications.

Finally, misaligned valves can increase your G310R’s engine noise. Check and adjust valve clearance as per the rider’s manual.

5. Starter Failures

Some BMW G310R owners have reported starter failures on their bikes. The starter is the part that engages the engine and turns it over when the ignition switch is turned on.

The starter failures can cause the bike to not start or start with difficulty. The symptoms of a starter failure are a clicking sound, a slow or weak cranking, continuous cranking after the bike has already started, or no cranking at all.

“2021 310R with 505 miles on it. I went to pull out of a parking lot and had a driver attempt to pull into me. I killed the bike, started it immediately after, and stayed on as I finished my 1/4-mile commute home. I got home and used the kill switch to attempt a shutdown, but the starter was cycling, keeping the bike running. I removed the key, then the seat. I removed the positive terminal and finally got the bike to shut down. Any time I attempt to reconnect the battery (kickstand down in gear, kill switch off, no key, doesn’t matter), the battery sparks and immediately cycles the starter again…”

“I have a G310R 2019 with 13000 km. After following the cold start solutions and putting in a lithium battery, the engine starter turns faster but with a strange noise, or it can be just stuck (the fuel pump turns but nothing) … I hit it with a harmer on the starter, and the bike fired! Since this was my only solution to start the bike, I will change [the starter]. But my bike no longer has the warranty, and the OEM part is expensive.”

Your G310R’s starter clutch is the part that connects the starter motor to the engine flywheel. If damaged or worn, it can prevent engine turnover.

Your starter motor spins the clutch and engine flywheel. A faulty motor may not spin or turn slowly.

Furthermore, a low or dead battery might not supply adequate power.

And finally, in some cases, the G310R’s starter issues are caused by faults in the wiring that links the battery and starter components. Damaged wiring can disrupt the electrical flow from the battery to the starter.

6. Charging System Burns Out Early

Another problem that some BMW G310R owners have reported is the charging system burning out early. The charging system consists of the alternator, the regulator/rectifier, and the wiring that work together to generate and regulate the electrical power for the battery and other electrical components.

“I had my g310r Stator die on me 2 hours away from home. It was a nice time pushing the bike back from the middle of nowhere at 12:30 am.”

“After riding it for about 3 km, the ABS light came on. Then, the battery light came on, and the vehicle stalled. Like in the first case, the headlight and console were working, but the vehicle would not start. I got confirmation that the bike’s alternator needs to be replaced and that it will be done in 2-3 weeks.

They did further investigations on the wiring of the bike on 14th Dec and shared the diagnosis that the issue was with a Voltage regulator. It was changed and recalibrated, and subsequently, the vehicle was returned. There are two separate posts in my riding group that three bikes are down this week itself because of battery issues.”

If your G310R’s charging system burns out, it can cause the battery to drain, the lights to dim, or the engine to stall out.

7. Cold Start Issues

Some BMW G310R owners report problems starting their bikes, especially in cold conditions. The G310R’s cold start issues can manifest as weak cranking, erratic idling, poor throttle response, or a false start.

“I have the normal [BMW G310R] cold start issues. After 3-4 pushing, the bike generally starts, but nothing. I try to recharge the battery. Nothing again, but this time the engine starter sounded “slow.” I followed some solutions for cold start issues and put in a Lithium Battery.”

“My 2019 310r has been having trouble starting lately in the morning, especially when temperatures are below freezing. It turns over for a second or two and then will stop trying. I can take my thumb off the starter and retry, and there will be enough battery to do this for a while but not indefinitely. Occasionally, it will turn over for more than a few seconds, and at that point, it will most often start. I keep the bike on a trickle charger at night; the battery is about a year old. I brought it in to have it load tested, and it passed (the battery was at room temperature when I brought it in if that makes a difference or not).”

“Has it happened to you that your G310 did not start easily, especially when cold? It happens to me quite often. Today I had to crank 3times, and the engine didn’t even pop. Then, I tried to start it with open throttle, and it finally fired up..”

Some say the culprit is the G310R’s weak battery failing to supply sufficient power.

Worn or fouled plugs might also fail to provide a strong enough spark to start the engine in low temps.

Fuel system clogs and contamination can reduce fuel flow—using low-quality fuel is theorized to be the leading cause of the G310R’s faulty cold starts.

BMW stocks the G310R with an Engine Temperature Sensor, which sends engine temperature data to the ECU. A faulty sensor can misinform the ECU, altering fuel mixtures and causing hard starts.

Finally, the BMW G310R is equipped with an Automatic Idle Boost to make it more beginner friendly. While this auto boost increases idle speed in cold conditions, aiding engine warm-up, it can negatively impact the bike’s idle speed and throttle if the idle boost malfunctions.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the BMW G 310R?

Pros:

  • Affordable Price
  • Lightweight and Agile
  • Stylish Design
  • Good Fuel Economy
  • Smooth Power Delivery
  • Adjustable Brake and Clutch Levers
  • LED Headlight and Indicators
  • Excellent Starter Bike
  • Slipper Clutch and Low-RPM Assist

Cons:

  • Gearbox Issues
  • Coolant Levels Keep Dropping
  • Low Power Output/Intrusive Rev Limiter
  • Engine Vibrations/ Rattling Noises
  • Starter Failures
  • Charging System Burns Out Early
  • Cold Start Issues

What Are Some Alternative Models?

Make/Model MSRP MPG
BMW G310R $4,945 71
KTM 390 Duke $5,499 58
Honda CB300R $4,949 71
Kawasaki Z400 $4,999 56
Yamaha MT-03 $4,599 56

What’s the Resale Value of a BMW G 310 R?

Year Mileage Used Listing Price
2018 3,080 mi $3,000
2020 989 mi $4,593
2021 1,164 mi $4,595
2021 6,652 mi $4,890
2021 3,659 mi $5,460
2022 830 mi $4,991
2022 353 mi $5,150
2023 44 mi $4,999

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The G310R is a real surprise to ride and makes for an excellent city bike. If you want to zip through traffic, its lightweight and low seat height means this is a breeze, and U-turns are an absolute doddle.”

“A bike meeting BMW’s standard for quality that belies its $4750 price tag. Taking a quick walk around the G 310 Rs at the press launch showed that refinement is visually evident in clean welds on the tubular-steel frame, quality castings, precise fit of every plastic body panel, and extensive use of Allen head fasteners.”

Sources:

BMW G310R (2021 – on) Review | MCN (motorcyclenews.com)

2018 BMW G 310 R, First Ride Motorcycle Review | Cycle World

BMW G310R Motorcycles for Sale – Motorcycles on Autotrader.

BMW G 310 R motorcycles for sale – MotoHunt.