Motori Minarelli | Member of Yamaha Motor Group
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 50 cc 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, and together they are developing state-of-the art motorizations in line with the challenges globalization brings.
Just like all Italian -and European in general- manufacturing factories Motori Minarelli has had to face a complicated world economic situation and this led to the need to bring itself into question, trying to understand what a correct strategy for its own future could be.
Let’s just mention the new assembly factory inaugurated in 2001, the new assembly line for 660 cc engines in 2003. Or rather the continuous development in terms of equipments and human resources of the Research&Development department, that benefits from the collaboration and know-how of Yamaha engineers.
The power of numbers has been replaced by the power of ideas, and where a solid production structure was enough little time ago, now a difference in quality of innovation and designing is required.
This concept has turned into a broadening of products range,
(4-stroke cycle, fuel injection) and into the extension of the business to auxiliary activities such as the supply of components to Yamaha factories all over the world and the sale of complete engines manufactured by the Japanese company.