Minarelli was founded in Bologna in 1951 by Vittorio Minarelli. By the mid 50s the company began exclusively manufacturing two-stroke engines which were sold predominantly across Europe and South America.
In 1967 the company changed its name to Motori Minarelli and within a few years they were producing 250,000 engine units per year. This had doubled by the early 90s. In 2002, Motori Minarelli became a member of the Yamaha Group.