Minsk Motorcycle, (Russian: мотоцикл Минск) also known as Minsk-Moto (Мотоциклетная компания Минск-Мото), is a company that produces motorcycles and bicycles. Minsk Moto is located in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
|Type||Public limited company|
The company produced a two stroke 125cc motorcycle based on a pre-World War II DKW RT 125 design made in Minsk in the former Soviet Union (now Belarus). This model was imported into Great Britain by Neval Motorcycles, marketed as "Neval".
Minsk motorcycles were among the Soviet motorcycles that were distributed by SATRA, UK, under the brand name Cossack, (Satra was originally located in Surrey, England, later moving to Carnaby) from 1973 to 1979.
The plant presently manufactures motorcycles and bicycles on parallel assembly lines. 70% of its bicycle production is exported to Russia, while 90% of its motorcycles are exported to countries outside of the former Soviet Union: Iran, Vietnam, Turkey, Mexico, UK, France, USA and Germany.
The plant was privatized in the 1990s with most of the share going to workers. The Minsk Moto has been in decline, some experts attribute this to the rapid increase of steel price from Russia in 2003-2005. Also Vietnam - a major importer of Minsk Moto production - introduced a 40% import duty for the Belarusian company forcing it to lose to cheaper Chinese production.
On 25 November 2005 some 600 employees of Minsk Moto rallied and blocked a Minsk street in protest at low salaries (average $200/month) and poor work conditions. On 16 December 2005 the majority stock (90% of stock options) was transferred to the Belarusian state to save the plant. In the Belarusian socialist economy, this means that the plant should have an influx of state money.
Christopher Hunt wrote about his experience in riding a Minsk motorcycle along the Ho Chi Minh trail after the Vietnam War in his book Sparring With Charlie: Motorbiking Down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. A Minsk was featured in Top Gear's Vietnam Special, ridden by Richard Hammond.
- Sparring With Charlie: Motorbiking Down the Ho Chi Minh Trail by Christopher Hunt (1996), ISBN 0-385-48128-4; Anchor Books
-  RussianMotorcycles Cossack Motorcycles (Retrieved 30 November 2006)
- http://naviny.by/rubrics/economic/2004/11/08/ic_articles_113_138072/print/ (rus)
- http://minsk.kp.ru/2005/11/29/doc92488/ (rus)
-  Expat Bikers Fall for Beast From Belarus(Retrieved 9 September 2009)
-  The Minsk and the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance (Retrieved 4 September 2009)