The two stroke, single cylinder Belorussian Minsk is a 125cc dirt bike capable of getting you anywhere in Vietnam. In its manual it says: “These motorcycles are especially suitable for service in the country-side with bad or no roads.” If you tinker with it, keep it clean and make regular inspections then the Minsk will become a true friend.
It’s got a top speed of around 85 kilometers an hour, its tank’s about 11 liters which will get you around 200 – 250 kilometers – the reserve will get you around 15 kilometers.
The bike has a simple design and has no battery. We have heard of one guy using a coke can as a clutch plate. You can open up the engine and have a look in side as there is no pressure seal. The tyre’s traction is excellent and capable of covering clay, rock or wet and its suspension is great.
The bike is ideal for any trip into the mountains of the north of Vietnam. Its drawbacks are its lack of speed on the strait and its Russian heritage which doesn’t like the heat. In hot weather you really need to keep the engine from overheating.