Jenny Morgan traveled a long way to get to Moab. Originally from the United Kingdom, she spends six months a year living near San Jose, Calif. The week of May 20, she spent some time in Moab on the course of a trans-continental road trip, to road-test the new BMW G 310 GS motorcycle.
Morgan works for a UK company called Rally-Raid Products.
“[Rally-Raid] make[s] an upgraded wheel and suspension kit for a number of bikes including this one. When this bike came out, it was designed to be a sort of budget affordable bike for Asian markets but also an entry-level bike in all markets. It’s a world market bike but it means they cut a few corners with the specification. BMWs engineer quite high specifications with adjustable suspension and tubeless wheels and all that sort of thing. So what we’ve done is put some of functionality back onto this bike that you get with a more expensive bike … [with] adjustable suspension [and] heavy-duty wheels.”
The motorcycle came out in February in the U.S., Morgan said. “I came over in April and bought this one on the East Coast and I’ve actually just ridden it all the way across the country. I’m now on my way back east again with it, which is why I’m in Moab.
Morgan is riding the Trans-American Trail, which she says is one of her favorite things about the U.S.
“It’s a cross-country trip, over 5,000 miles now, all the way from Virginia to Oregon in the west. It crosses through such diverse scenery and it also takes the road less traveled. You get to see a lot of rural communities, particularly farther east that you’d probably not see unless you knew someone that lived there … Then once you get towards the Rockies, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, you get some epic scenery and certainly anyone who has ridden the trail will say that. The trail passes right through Moab and quite rightly so. You’ve got just some wonderful scenery and it’s a great place to stop off. A lot of people like to stop here, spend a few days just to take a break. Typically it coincides with your tires probably being worn out [so] you might need to service your bike.”
Morgan said that her trip is a long-term road test of the suspension and wheel kit, which Rally-Raid spent the winter developing. She said that although they have done plenty of road tests and know that the kit works, her trip is testing “what the bike is like to live with in general.”
“People expect adventure bikes to be large-capacity ever since the Long Way Round … Ewan [McGregor] and Charley [Boorman] rode around the world on these huge big BMWs,” Morgan said. “Everyone thinks you need a 1200cc bike but yet prior to that everyone went around on 650cc single cylinder bikes. So everything has gotten bigger and larger and more technical. It’s really refreshing that even BMW has seen that actually smaller bikes are a bit more fun, it’s a lot lighter weight so if you’re riding it on the dirt and the trails, it’s much more manageable whether you’re a novice or whether you’re really experienced.”