Minsk motorbikes from around the world
Bob spotted this Minsk in Kabul
One of the most effective weapons in the mountains along the so-called "Kabul-road" in Afghanistan is off-road motorbikes. With a diligent driver and a heavily armed soldier at the backseat these units are getting around almost everywhere, hitting fast and disappearing, before the opponents have established any defense. They even defend themselves strongly on the retreat. The photo shows such a two-wheeled mini-tank from the Northern Alliance. The small fighting unit is in "no-mans-land" between the positions of the Taliban and the positions of the Northern Alliance." (From a Danish newspaper.) Take that Bush Obama!!!!
Also in Afghanistan the slogan is: In Minsk We Trust!
Another spotting in Bargam, 60 km from Kabul, July 2002 " Hey man you have a spare Spark plug."
My name is Andrés Cárdenas and I’m writing from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve got two beautiful 1992 MMVZ 3 – 11212. Out of them, the light blue one is been hitting the roads every day since 16 years ago. The other, the black one, I bought it unassembled a year ago for very little money, just to put it together and have it as nice as you see it now. These are my joy and I know every last piece of them, that’s why I endorse all complements given to the Hanoi Minsk Club, of which I’d like to be a member, at least symbolically, being as I am an absolute fan of these beautiful Soviet machines.
Here in Buenos Aires, there are many of us who own Russian motorbikes and are in touch via Internet, especially riding models by Voshkod and Minsk, but also by Ural, Planet, IMZ, Muravey and other brands.
Greetings to everyone! I’ll wait to hear from you. Take care! In Minsk we trust!!! also in Argentina!!
Minsks are being imported but as yet this only amounts to 3 bikes in a small display centre. Demand is yet to take off. Call Horst. Check out the Minsk at the Vienna Festival on Vietnam in 2002.
Marcelo writes the club and sends image of Minsk in the Andies
"Hello again i send to you some pictures sorry for the bad resolution i try to send more en the future i want to be a member and please add bolivia to the list of countries in what exists a minsk thanks pals waiting for reply", Marcelo
In minsk we trust!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Francyra:"I read in the updates of international network's Minsk Club, the news from Gilberto Miranda telling about Minsks in Brazil I'm owner of two Minsk, one of them appearing in the international networks, running in Ilhabela, Brazil, and the other storing in my house 0 kilometer. If Gilberto or another people want make contact with me, my email is email@example.com. Thank you and greetings from Brazil."
News from Gilberto Ferraz tells us that there are indeed Minsks in Brazil. Well there is one and he needs some indicators. More than just a machine!
Francisco Alves Neto`s Minsk is running for Ilha Bela (pretty island) near Sao Paulo, Brasil.
I´m Carlos, from São Paulo City, State of São Paulo, Brazil.
I found the hidden and unpaved road that leads to your very, very cool Minsk Club of Viet Nam!
Less than a month ago I got a pretty interesting 1992 Minsk, blue, still "made in USSR". I´m cleaning it, and preparing it to take some pictures. It was very dirty, but in good conditions. My Minsk is pretty similar to to Pawel Starobrat´s one, from Poland. By the way, could you send his email address to me or send mine to him? What about the other Brazilian owners? I tryed to reach Francyra but the message came back. Can you, please, put me in touch with them?
Evelio Palomino Marín: "I am not sure how many MINSKs are in Cuba, but I can calculate about a hundred, perhaps and half. At the moment I don't have idea how to organize a MINSK Club in Havana, but I can assure to you that I will do something."
and MIGUEL GOMEZ CALVO in La Habana sends us his bike.
Can Minsk Club Vietnam come over for a road trip around Cuba you are always welcome in Vietnam?
Leonardo has a nice bike from Cuba.
Hi, I'm from Cuba, my name is Leonardo Morales and I own a Minsk, it belonged to my father he bought it in August 1981, in other words, this bike has 25 years old. A year ago, I painted it with a red shining color and replaced all original spokes with stainless steel spokes, and polish both wheel rims. I replaced the exhaust pipe with a modern one usually installed on JAWA bikes. Here in Cuba, spare parts are very difficult to buy, because this bike is discontinued. I believe this is one of the greatest motorcycles ever, it never get broken, it's so simple you will always be able to start it with no unfortunate surprises. I love this bike. The picture I'll send you is a shot taken from my apartment.I'm thinking about the idea of creating a club with a web site in Cuba. Please post my name and pic of my minsk, thanks.
Mila from the Czech Republic sent us his brown beauty
News from Raid Minsk on its way from Ha Noi to Paris... "Arrrived a few days ago back home in France - let me a few days to get back to civilization, you know using forks and this kind of stuff, and then I will joyfully share the knowledge with the fellow members. Just a foretaste - I had a complete visit of the factory they repaired my whole bike for free I will be in the company magazine and my T-shirt should be right now in the factory museum! Also the competition for the longest Minsk trip should mention a crazy engineer of the factory who 10 years ago did the longest trip possible for a Russian just to prove that the bike was reliable, that is Minsk - Vladivostok - Alma Ata. Mine should be the longest, I am now far over 15.000 kms, but well his is very impressive - Crazy, crazy guys and long live the Belarussian people and their bikes. Cheers to everybody!" (Mathias Brandewinder)
One Minsk believer has taken her bike back to parade the Low Countries. Dutch customs officials had no listing for such agricultural machinery but with a few dodgy papers from Viet Nam the bike is reportedly now on the road.
Frederick is cruising in snowy Finland. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also news of a couple of guys cruising with the 2-wheeled tank from Hanoi to Jakarta....."We're planning to take the bikes all the way to Jakarta. We'll see how far we get. The situation on spare parts in and around Saigon is kind of miserable.(Thank God we bought heaps of them in Hanoi).The dealer in Saigon listed in the manual is nothing more than a dealer. He doesn't repair and he has no spare parts at all (or not willing to sell them). There's one other dealer we found. He repairs big bikes for expats and other foreigners." (Koen and Roland)
For more pictures of Koen and Roland's trip check: www.photoisland.com (login: globalpictures, password:welkom)
Recently the Club had a first contact with a Minskie in Iran seeking advice on how to adjust his carburettor.
"The Minsk interests me because I ride a Regent 125 motorcycle. Having seen your site I now realise Regent is a UK import name for the Minsk motorcycle you feature on your website as my Regent bike (model No MMVZ 3.113) is identical to your Minsk in almost every way. Unfortunately it seems to be the type with the cable operated rear brake and weak alternator/generator you mention. The owner's manual states that the Regent was made at the Minsk motorcycle and bicycle factory in the Republic of Belarus. I believe there were many of these motorcycles imported into the UK and Ireland and sold at very affordable prices although I do not know anyone else in my neighbourhood who has one. I purchased the bike for the purpose of getting to and from my work but in the fine weather I will often ride quite long distances, I hope you all get as much fun from your Minsks as I do from my Regent" Mr John Maguire, Belfast, Northern, Ireland.
The Club made first contact with a Minsk trader in the Ivory Coast. Unfortunately, the Club is not able to help them at the moment.
Well, that's close. Finally a picture from any of the many trips over the border to Laos.
Ogix in Lithuania has a minsk club and has a new site, so visit http://minsk.dtiltas.lt to check what's up with the Minsk in the former CCCP. oh it is in Lithuanian
Also, Marius has a Minsk Photo page up at: http://minsk.bizhat.com/foto_use.html
Ole Askeland: "As I live in the suburbs of Oslo, the Minsk is a perfect machinery for transport in heavy traffic morning and evening. With a Minsk, the rush hours just don't exist! Built for the country roads, it easily tackles the bad Oslo roads, which at times seem to be worse than those in the open country."
Pawel Starobrat: "My name is Pawel Starobrat. I live in Poland. More exactly in Lublin.I would like to become member Minsk Club. I would like be first member from Poland. I ride my bike since April till November, because weather in Poland it is not good for motorcyclists."
and we have a another rider in Poland send in his bike
"Greeting from Poland Hello!!! I`m very glad that I found website consecrated MINSK. I send picture of my MINSK. I since a long time sought persons keen on with this machine."
Hy again from Romania! I`m Alexandru Chitu from Alexandria, jud Teleorman. The Minsk is incredibble. I start with it from Alexandria and I made with it Trans Fagarasan, a road over Carpaths mountain. In one 2 days i se all kind of weather: springtimes at field in Alexandria, summer not far Bucharest , automn not far Brasov, and winter on Fagaras mountain. to 40 ` C to 0 `C. Minsk is cool. Only 2 little repair on the road. 1. to change the handbrake cable and 2 to change the bulb from left orange. 1000 km in 2 days. It was cool.
In Minsk we trust!
Congratulations for Minsk!
Andrej let us know that his bike which has covered more than 16000km still starts first time in sub-zero temperatures.
Although no Minsks are yet running in Switzerland the Swiss Support Chapter provides the Club with moral and financial backing.
First reports of the Minsk in Blighty and the upcoming Soviet bikes festival.
"Came across your site yesterday and was delighted to learn that somebody somewhere is getting so much fun out of these little bikes. They were imported into the UK for a few years in the late 70's and sold as dirt cheap "ride to work" bikes. They received some apalling reviews in the magazines of the time, mainly on account of their apalling brakes, which it has to be said were not really up to life on the UK's overcrowded maniac infested roads. I came across one (a 78 model) advertised a couple of years ago, the guy selling it kicked it into life, revved up, dropped the clutch and promtly shot off backwards!! At this point I knew I had to have it, and so paid £60 and took it home (on a trailer). The little beast has lived in my garage ever since, seeing your web site has now renewed my determination to get it back on the road. I notice from the club statistics page that there are 38 British members - presumably all folks lucky enough to have ridden with you in Vietnam. Do you know of anyone running these bikes in the UK who might be able to advise me on the availabilty of spares etc? As mentioned above the brakes on the older bikes are not even good enough to qualify as crap, new linings will probably help but the main problem seems to be the length of the operating lever on the hub - it's about 2/3 the length it needs to be. The Bylorrussian engineers were obviously very keen to prevent unsuspecting riders from being catapulted over the handlebars! Perhaps somebody knows a trick to get around this. Anyway, thanks again for brightening up this grey rainy English spring day, any info on improving the brakes and other UK Minsk riders would be gratefully appreciated."
(Dave Jones, North Devon).
We have an update from dave on his Minsk trouble. can anyone help?
"Dave Jones here from Poole in the UK, you might recall I emailed you a couple of years ago with a picture of my somewhat ancient Minsk sitting sadly in my garage without a front wheel, as I was in the process of fixing the front forks. Well I'm sorry to say it's still there in exactly the same state and I've decided to make a really early New Year's resolution and make every effort to get the old beast back on the road and then undertake some UK Minsk adventures. The big stumbling block is finding some replacement fork bushes - the bike seemed to have some very poorly fitting home made ones when I originally bought it, which had siezed up solid. Spares here are just about non-existant, a friend offered to make me some but has just managed to temporarily loose the actual fork legs whilst moving house, although he assures me they have now turned up. I'm turning to you guys then in a final desperate bid to get the old beast back to life - is there any chance you could find the parts in Hanoi and mail them to the UK? - if so just let me know how much to send and where to send it! My bike is a 1978 model 3.115, and the forks according to another contact who tried and failed to get the bits in Moscow differ from the later type ones. The attached picture is a diagram from the manual, the bits I really need are the upper and lower bushes marked in yellow, whilst the seal marked in red would be nice as well. Many thanks in advance if you are able to help out with this deserving cause, I'll keep my fingers crossed and wait to hear from you! Cheers for now"
Russell Irwin, Technical Director, JailDog™
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7738 6188,
Mob: + 44 (0)77 7957 6565,
Fax: + 44 (0)797 6776 536
The Minsk Wildcat is on sale in the States at US$1300! Have a look at this latest model.
News from Michael Grenier (USA) about his trip to the northern mountains in 2002. Check out page 3 of the following photo gallery to see how to get your Minsk over the more tricky of avalanches.
News from Tommy Smith (North Carolina USA) about the Minsk Wildcat; bought a new blue Minsk Wildcat for $900.00, plus $250.00 shipping last year. He reports that he has had numerous problems with the bike......Check out the Bike page for detailed damage report.
Having bought a Minsk/Regent this year which had been registered but never used, and having serviced it etc, I looked forward to buzzing around on it. And did - until this week (29 Sept 2004). Unfortunately, the local bike-stealers thought this a good idea too, and broke into my locked back yard to give the bike an un-authorized test-drive! My 125 being the generator-only typem they levered off and threw away the speedo, and had no problems running it. I got it back, fairly undamaged otherwise, but desperately need another speedo head with lock and matching key. Also a decent speedo head wiring diagram as the manual I have is so tiny I can hardly see which wire goes where! Anyone in UK who has a used speedo head complete with key and can let me have it (cheap as possible, as I am semi-retired), please email me on PAUL23249@aol.com , as I like this traditional-style bike
and would like to get it back on the road.
Francis Tyers: "http://gallery.thinkgeek.co.uk/minsk - my Minsk in Aberystwyth... sadly now I'm in Galway and can't ride it but thought you might appreciate the pics... I also have had the "reverse gear" problem
The new model of Minsk has been found and tested on the dusty streets of Harare.