Most Americans would probably have a hard time finding Belarus on a map, but the same isn’t true in Vietnam. That’s because Minsk motorcycles — named after the Belarusian capital, where they’re built — are hugely popular in the Asian country. There, the Minsk has been the vehicle of choice when the going gets tough and the roads get rough since the early 1950s. Times change, however, and so does the motorcycle business, which is why this latest electric, Bauhaus-inspired Belarusian two-wheeler deserves a look. Reader, meet Punch Moto.
As you can see from the CAD model above, the guys at Punch Moto may not be officially affiliated with Minsk Moto, but they aren’t amateurs, either! Instead, they’ve put together a sharp-looking, minimalist design that features a no-nonsense, industrial-looking electric motor good for about 30 HP in a sturdy frame that should be more than up to the task of Belarus’ — and Vietnam’s — rougher roads and lighter trails.
That kind of power puts Punch Moto squarely in the middleweight acceleration class occupied primarily by 400-500cc bikes or entry-level electric motorcycles, along with a top speed just shy of 80 MPH. Range, according to Maxim Russia, is somewhere between 65 and 70 miles. Not a lot, sure, but it’s just a setup to this bike’s best trick: a set of swappable batteries.
Punch Moto Battery Swap
The battery “panels” on each side of the bike are quickly and easily removable for storage, charging in an office/apartment, or swapping for “fresh” batteries in an imagined future kiosk. Without much appetite for competing Japanese brands in Vietnam, and probably Belarus itself, some kind of proprietary infrastructure may not be off the table.
Check out these photos of the first Punch Moto built, below, then let us know what you think of this little urban runabout — especially the slick digital readout! — in the comments section at the bottom of the page.