"Minsk", also known as M1NSK, is a Belarusian brand of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and snowmobiles, produced by the Minsk Motorcycle and Bicycle Plant (MMVZ). First M1A motorcycle was released in 1951. Since 2007, the company is a private enterprise. More than 6.5 million Minsk motorcycles has been sold worldwide.
By the Order No.494 of the Ministry of automotive industry of the USSR dated July 12, 1951 the production of M1A was transferred from Moscow to the Minsk Motorcycle and Bicycle Plant (MMVZ, then Motovelo).
Minsk motorcycles rapidly gained popularity both in the USSR and in foreign markets. They have been delivered to and sold in 45 countries, and the total number has exceeded 6.5 million.
From the early years the Minsk brand has been actively involved in motor sports, especially in motocross and circuit racing. Minsk-Pamir (1969) and Brest-Vladivostok (1971) rallys became the Iconic milestone in the Minsk brand history.
The new models code name system was introduced in 1973 with the new Minsk MMVZ-3.111, which received the State Quality Mark of the USSR.
Codename system developed by the USSR Moto Industry Institute:
- MMVZ - factory;
- 3 - motorcycle class (up to 125 cm3);
- 1 - type (road bike);
- 11 - factory model code.
Reliability and simplicity made Minsk motorcycles a cult brand in Vietnam, which was the most extensive export market. Since 1988 Vietnamese Minsk motorcycles fan-club holds the meetings, which annually attracts more than a thousand people. Minsk motorcycle was featured in Top Gear's Vietnam Special, ridden by Richard Hammond. Chris 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.
Minsk motorcycles were among the Soviet motorcycles that were distributed by SATRA, UK, under the Minsk Saturn 125 and Cossack brand names from 1973 to 1979. Satra was originally located in Surrey, later moving to Carnaby.
By the early 90s the Minsk motorcycle production was brought to 220,000 units per year. In 1999, the Minsk brand received the Arch of Europe award for the approval on the international market.
In 2010 introduced new logo and M1NSK signature, echoes the name of the first motorcycle of the Minsk brand. Also the current models codename system has been introduced in addition with existing world standards and also easier to understand.
Сurrent M1NSK codename system:
- C - the model code;
- 4 - four-stroke engine;
- 250 - engine capacity.
Today, the factory can boast a full production cycle and a modernly equipped R&D center.
In 2014 М1NSK received People's brand Award in Belarus.
M1NSK is the only mass motorcycle brand on the today's market which has the State quality mark of the USSR.