The Belarusian capital city of Minsk has a bit of motorcycling history to it – as part of the Soviet Union after World War 2, the city became home to a motorcycle and bicycle manufacturing plant in 1951 that remains in operation to this day.
Minsk motorcycles are still huge in Vietnam, of all places, which is where I first encountered them back around 1999. None of the locals wanted Japanese scoots for their serious off-road work, the Minsk was the mule of choice when the going got tough. They weren’t glamorous, but they were tough and simple.
And I’m getting a bit of the same vibe from the new Punch Moto that popped into our inbox last week. Built in Minsk – although not by the Minsk company – it’s a practical, modestly powered electric supermoto with a unique look. One that will probably remain unique.
Punch has developed its own highly industrial looking motor, rated for a nominal 15 kW, with a peak of 25 kW (20/33 horsepower). That’s a highly relevant level of power in our estimation; bikes around this level bridge the gap nicely between ebikes and motorcycles, acting as super simple city getabouts that are easier to live with than gasoline-powered scooters, since they basically never require maintenance and refueling is as easy as plugging in at home or the office.
The bike maxes out at a useful 120 km/h (75 mph), which again is about right for this kind of machine. Another version, limited to 11 kW (15 hp) and 105 km/h (65 mph) is planned to meet European A1 motorcycle license requirements.
As for range? Well, we don’t have any official word, but Maxim Russia says the Punch bike is good for 110 km (68 miles) around town, which is a useful range. The batteries also pop off the sides of the bike with a quick-release mechanism, so you can take them inside to charge if that’s convenient. On the flip side, they don’t appear to have a lock, and if that’s the case, anyone that feels like it might “quick release” them and run off giggling into the night.
The looks won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and Punch seems fine with that, calling it a “suprematist” design “focused on Generation Z’s request for a unique visual language” and “free of imitation and bling decor.” It is certainly free from bling, and visually unique, but we had to look up the term “suprematist.”
Suprematism, as it turns out, was an art movement pioneered a little over 100 years ago by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, which Wikipedia describes as “focused on basic geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines, and rectangles, painted in a limited range of colors.” Malevich described it thus: “Under Suprematism I understand the primacy of pure feeling in creative art. To the Suprematist, the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth.”
This Malevich painting, titled “Suprematism,” is typical of the genre:
So I guess, with a bit of background, the Punch Moto’s weird looks start to make a little more sense. Either way, it doesn’t look like anything else, and if it’s as bulletproof and practical as the Minsk bikes of yore, who knows, Punch may yet become another Belarusian export brand.
We have no information on price or availability; Punch doesn’t even appear to have a website going yet, sticking with just a Facebook page for the moment.
Source: Punch Moto
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