1951 - 2002
Motori Minarelli S.p.A was an Italian company founded in the 1950s that produced small engines. Many Minarelli engine parts can be interchanged with Morini and Franco Motori engine parts due to the extreme similarities in design and construction.
The origin of Motori Minarelli dates back to 1951, when Vittorio Minarelli and Franco Morini founded a company named Fabbrica Bolognese Motori (F.B.M.). The company’s first products were complete motorcycles, among which was the original Gabbiano (125 cc) with a 2-stroke horizontal single-cylinder engine and the 200 cc 4-stroke Vampir, with 4 speeds and able to reach 110 km/h. In 1954 the company began to produce 48 cc moped engines in addition to motorcycles.
In 1956 F.B.M. gave up its motorcycle production and focussed full-time on the production of 2-stroke moped and motorcycle engines. The two partners split up in the same year and Vittorio Minarelli founded F.B. Minarelli in a 2.000 sqm area where, with twenty mechanics, the daily output of up to 70 engines between agricultural and road destinations was reached. The engines left Bologna to Italy, Europe and Latin America.
The company continued to grow and in 1967 changed its name to Motori Minarelli and opened a new plant in Lippo di Calderara di Reno. In the 70s the company’s rapidly growing production reached 250.000 engines per year. It was also in the 70s that Motori Minarelli machines began to win a long string of titles in motorcycle racing, including four manufacturer titles and two rider titles in 125cc world championships. Among the titles from this period are some world speed records still unbeaten.
1990 is another historic date for Motori Minarelli, marking the beginning of scooter engines production in collaboration with the Japanese Yamaha, in addition to the existing 50 cc and 125 cc motorcycle engines. The success of this venture soon published Motori Minarelli’s production levels past the record levels of the boom years in the 70s.
In 1995, yearly production reached 410.000 units and the company employed 350 people. A period of growth and big new investment spread to all areas of the company’s operations. Motori Minarelli succeeded in winning supply agreements with MBK and Yamaha Motor España and also with several brands such as Aprilia, Malaguti, Betamotor, Rieju and more.
The two wheelers market has lately undergone a remarkable fall due to the competition of developing countries, the saturation of the 50cc scooters market and the European economic situation; Motori Minarelli has been striving to vary its products range launching the production of 4-stroke engines of bigger capacities (125/180/250/270 cc for scooters and 660 cc 4-valves with fuel injection for motorcycles).
Motori Minarelli has been member of Yamaha group since 2002. Source
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