In 1996 two versions of the standard Minsk were made. They look exactly the same but on the inside one is better because its alternator is stronger and easier to fix. If you buy the bike new then for an extra US$10 they will put in the better version. The weaker alternator is easily recognized because it has a number of round holes drilled through its cover.
Both the 1996 models have a more economical carburetor which is fine on the flat but a little short of power in the mountains. This carburetor is easy to recognize because the top of it is circular and can be unscrewed. Again, ask the dealer to put in the older, rectangular-tube shaped one for better performance in the mountains. Also opt for the round shaped head-lamp rather than the square one – it’s easier to remove and replaced if smashed.