MFORCE BIKE Holdings Sdn Bhd held its first 3 days 2 night Media Ride to Betong, Thailand and we were invited to participate and test out MForce’s range of Benelli, Brixton and SYM latest models. With eight models to choose from we took the SYM VF3i 185, which is the largest capacity moped in Malaysia and in the world.
Besides the VF3i we were riding , there were also
Benelli Leoncino 500
SYM Cruisym 250
Day 1: MForce HQ, Bukit Mertajam – Pengkalan Hulu – Betong, Thailand (95km)
We started around 3.30 pm from MForce’s factory in Bukit Mertajam, via Kulim to Betong, which was around 95km away.
Flagging us off was En Asri Ahmad, the General Manager of Mforce Bike Holding. The heat was around 35 degree from Penang to Pengkalan Hulu, where we had our 1st stop and rest. The air felt cooler at Betong as we pass immigration.
At the border, we stop and took group photos with Thailand immigration and we were also greeted by Mr Halim the owner of Betong Route 410 store. Mr Halim was our host throughout the 2 days. We check-in to Butterfly Princess hotel nearby Betong Route 410 store.
Dinner at Laila Ikan Bakar, Betong
Day 2: Hotel, Betong – i-Yerweng, (Sea of Mist) Betong District, Yala (47km) – Betong Town – Piyamit Tunnels (25km) – Betong Hot Springs
We started Day 2 at 4am (5am Thai time) and we took tuk tuk to i-Yerweng as the roads leading to i-Yerweng is pretty dark in many places till the peak.
The 47km journey out of Betong and took almost one hour to get there in the chilly morning was a really very nice experience. The scenery around the valley of mist was simply amazing as it was worthwhile to wake up so early and experience the chilly morning.
We chilled at i-Yerweng till around 10am Thai time and headed for breakfast in the river yup really in the river! it’s pretty shallow but really cold and refreshing. Ordered omelette with rice.
After breakfast, we headed back to the hotel and some got some rest, next agenda was to visit the Piyamit Tunnels with the Thai Tourism Authority escorted by Betong Police traffic, so around 4pm Thai time we rode our bikes to Piyamit Tunnel, the roads leading to Piyamit Tunnel was pretty twisty!
This tunnel winds through a mountain for approximately 1 kilometer and is nearly 20 meters wide at certain points, with multiple entrances. It was built in 1976, taking three months to complete. Though the area is presently part of a village belonging to the Thai National Development Front, it was once a stronghold of the Communist Party of Malaya. It was once used as an air raid shelter and food storage area.At present there is an exhibition about the history of Piyamitr Tunnel, including the way of life in the forest. It is open to the public from 8.00 am-4.30 pm daily. The tunnel is located at Ban Piyamit 1, Tambon Tano Mae Ro. To get there, take the same route as the Betong Hot Spring route, going past the hot spring for an additional 4 kilometres.
There was a Benelli RFS 150i gathering dinner at a nearby hotel
Day 3: Betong – Gurney Plaza, Penang Island (120km)
Breakfast was late an hour as fellow media couldn’t wake up in time, never the less we had a good breakfast after he eventually came down from his room. and then we head to Betong Plaza for some last minute shopping for t-shirts and some souvenir before head back to Malaysia to Penang Island for the Niu Smart eScooter launch at Gurney Plaza.
The ride back after border we swapped our VF3i with a fellow media whose VF3i clocked 76,000 mileage, this VF3i is reported to have gone around the world, our surprise is that this VF3i seem to perform well even after this mileage clocked. Only complaint we had was the suspension has gone a bit softer compared to our VF3i which had a 9,000 mileage on it when we started the media ride. This was sort of a durability test for the 185cc moped.
Handling on the SYM too was good and the VF3i felt solid even during when the twisty roads were pretty bumpy, well planted, but just lack of feel on the Kenda tyres.
We had the traffic police escort during our 100 corner ride.
Thanks to MForce Bike Holding for organizing the Media Ride
SYM VF3i 185 consists of a 183cc SOHC single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine which makes 17.7hp at 8,500rpm and 15.3Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. The SYM VF3i 185 is priced at RM8,467 for the standard model and RM8,785 for the Special Edition which comes with a six-speed gearbox with a wet-disc clutch. The thing which makes this moped unique is its best in class engine capacity which makes it outstanding amongst the rivalry mopeds like Benelli RFS150i, Honda RS150R, and Yamaha Y15ZR.
Fuel also was pretty good as we just had to refuel RM5.20 at Pengkalan Hulu petrol station before we enter the border.
YM VF3i Specifications
Type Liquid-cooled, single cylinder
Valve arrangment SOHC, 4 valves
Bore & Stroke 63.5 x 57.8 mm
Displacement 183 c.c.
Rated Output 13.2kW at 8500 r/min
Compression Ratio 11.1:1
Gearbox 6 – speed
Lubrication Forced circulation and splashing
Clutch Wet multi Disc Clutch
Fuel Supply Electronic Fuel Injection
Certification Euro 3
Ignition Full Transistor Ignition
Frame Telescopic forks, travel 80 mm
Front Suspension Telescopic coil spring oil damped
Rear Suspension Single shock absorber, travel 32 mm
Front Brake Single 250 mm disc
Rear Brake Single 200 mm disc
Front Wheel MT 1.85 × 17
Rear Wheel MT 3.5 × 17
Front Tire 90/80- 17 (Tubeless)
Rear Tire 120/70-17 (Tubeless)
Wheelbase 1290 mm
Ground Clearance 150 mm
Weight 124 Kg
Fuel Capacity 7 Litre