After switching Malaysian distributors from Benelli Keeway Malaysia to M-Force Malaysia – currently distributor of SYM scooters – Benelli has introduced the 2017 Benelli RFS150i supercub. Priced at RM7,407 for the base RFS150i and RM7,778 for the RFS150i SE (including GST), this is Benelli’s entry in to the 150 cc supercub segment.

Popular in the region, especially locally and in Indonesia, the supercub category is currently dominated by the Yamaha Y15ZR and Honda RS150R. For the Benelli RFS150i, power comes from a liquid-cooled single cylinder 149 cc power plant that produces 15.5 hp at 8,500 rpm and 13 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.

Unique to the RFS150i is a three-spark plug cylinder head configuration – called B3SP – that, in conjunction with the bike’s ECU and fuel-injection system, is designed to optimise fuel efficiency and produce optimum power, while reducing emissions. Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox with wet clutch, as is typical in this class of machine.

As “RFS” means “Riders For Speed” in Benelli terminology, the RFS150i comes with proper racing-style upside-down forks along with a monoshock rear-end. Braking is with hydraulic disc front and rear, with the front carrying a 240 mm petal brake disc, and a 220 mm diameter disc at the back.

Fuel for the RFS150i is carried in a 4.8-litre tank under the seat, and dry weight is claimed to be 115 kg. Seat height is set at 787 mm, and top speed for this new supercub is claimed to be 100 km/h, but, from experience, we know that supercubs are somewhat faster than this.

There are three colour options for the 2017 Benelli RFS150i – yellow, red and blue – while the RFS 150 SE comes in matte grey, with availability in local Benelli showrooms starts immediately. Competitors to the RFS150i in Malaysia are the Yamaha Y15ZR at RM8,210, and the Honda RS150R goes for RM8,213 for the standard model, and RM8,372 for the advanced in Repsol racing livery.