Motorized Bicycles with Predator 212 Engines

212 Predator motorized bikes - Huge block for a bicycle.

The Ultimate Guide to Motorized Bicycles with Predator 212 Engines

Motorized bike enthusiasts are always keen to get more grunt from their ride. After all, a bike with a motor is an exciting, and efficient way to get around, and nobody likes to pedal up hills.


Other than the utter detest of having to slug up hills, there is also the desire to get to your destination faster and have a great-looking set of wheels to get there on. Temper inspiration with a budget and you have the perfect motivation to build a motorized bicycle.


When there is a “need for speed” the  Predator 212 is a standout bicycle motor kit.


These grunty, reliable motors can transform your ordinary bicycle into a thrilling motorized vehicle that’s a perfect all rounder. 


We examine the range of options available with their benefits and features. 


So, let’s unleash the beast.

What is a Predator 212 Engine?

As the name suggests, the Predator 212 engine is a 212 cc, single cylinder, gas-powered recoil start motor. The motor can produce 6.5 HP and has a retail price of less than $160.


This is a general purpose, 4 stroke, OverHead Valve (OHV) gas engine manufactured by California based Harbor Freight. 

Board track racer with Predator 212 engine
Predator 212 engine on a Board Track Race Replica

There are several models in the Harbor Freight range, beginning with the smallest (and cheapest) 3 Horsepower, 79 cc motor up to the 999 cc electric start V-Twin.


The entry level 79 cc unit retails for 1 cent under $140. However, Harbor Freight provides a $20 discount for subscribers brings the true starting price of entry level motors to just under $120.


In addition to the standard, flat head motor, there are two alternative versions of this 212 cc engine. There is a California compliant version of the flathead and a Hemi Predator 212 which has a hemispherical cylinder head. 


The hemi does run slightly cooler and has a fractional power advantage over the stock flathead, however, there are more tuning options for standard engine configurations.


Product index numbers are:

 69730 – regular non hemi flathead

 69727 – California spec. flathead

 60363 – 212 hemi


For an extra $140, (almost double the price) you can opt for the race prep’d Predator Ghost. 


On brochures, Harbor Freight claims 15.8 HP out of the crate. This seems a little exaggerated, although additional tuning should reach this claimed output.


For less than double the price, the Predator Ghost develops a little less than double the grunt, producing 12 HP in tests. 

These lightweight small engines deliver more punch to the rear wheel than the similar spec Honda GX200 at 3 times the price. That presents a massive “Bang For Buck” appeal for motorized bicycle enthusiasts.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Benefits of a Predator Motorized Bicycle

There are many advantages to owning a motorized bicycle with a performance motor. The key benefits are:

  1. Increased Speed and Range: Your motorized bicycle has a speed limit of around 30 MPH, depending on the drive gear of course. This allows you to go further, and faster, without tiring.
  2. Cost-effective: Predator bicycle motors are very affordable, especially when compared to other brands of similar horsepower. 


3.  Low maintenance: When stacked up against an electric bike, scooter, or motorcycle, they require less maintenance.

4.  Lower fuel costs: They are extremely fuel efficient making them a cost-effective mode of transportation.

5.  Eco-friendly: Small 4 stroke OHC single cylinder engines are a green alternative to gas driven cars. By using a motorized bicycle, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment.

6.  Versatility: Bicycle motors are versatile and can be used for various purposes, including commuting through traffic, collecting groceries, or simply enjoying a leisurely ride. They have massive torque to tackle every terrain, from smooth city streets to rugged off-road trails providing the freedom to explore new destinations.

7.  Fun and Exciting: Riding: A bike fitted with a powerful 4-stroke engine is an exhilarating experience. The feeling of cruising effortlessly, enjoying the wind on your face, is hard to beat. It’s a perfect blend of the freedom of cycling and the thrill of powered transport. 


Simply put, Predator engines are great for commuting, exploring, and having fun.

Installing a Gas Engine

Known for durability, torque, and ease of use, DIY aficionados can install the engine. Be aware that they are general purpose motors, which are not supplied with mounting brackets, cables, throttles, sprockets, chain, or muffler.


To fit your bike motor there are several items to note that will help your conversion:

Bicycle Motor Conversion Kits

V-Twin motor skull

As Predator engines are a popular choice for motorized bicycle conversions, after-market bicycle conversion kits are available. There are several conversion kits which supply a few different types of mods.

Kits feature a transmission, which is the essential, core component. Most kits also include a chain, rear sprocket and sprocket mount. 


Some kits provide throttle, cables, gas tank, exhaust, and a wide pedal crank. 


4-stroke engines are wider than 2-stroke bicycle motors. A wider pedal crank is required to allow the pedals to clear the motor casing

Bicycle Frame

4 Stroke motor kits require a little more frame space than Chinese built, 2 stroke bicycle engines. They are best suited to a cruiser, cargo, or chopper bike frames. 


Although not always ideal, mountain bikes, road bikes, and other styles can be converted to mopeds if they have sufficient space, so there is some freedom to select your preferred style of bike.


The frame should be sturdy enough to accept the 37.5 lb (17Kg) lump with this horsepower. Look for frames made of durable materials, preferably steel, and ensure that they have sufficient space. Cruiser, chopper, or cargo bike frames are usually good choices, where a mountain bike is often too restrictive.


The frame should have sufficient reinforcements to support the weight and power.


You should fix the motor mounts to both the front and rear of the frame. There are often helpful mounting brackets included in conversion kit parts, however, these will most likely require some DIY.

Predator 212 engine with cowling and gas tank removed
The recoil start Predator 212 engine is a popular bicycle engine. Shown here with gas tank and cowlings removed.

Fuel Tank, Cowlings, and Air FIlter

All Harbor Freight motors have a fuel tank mounted on the engine. The gas tank can hold sufficient gasoline for several hours of riding, however, the standard tank is not aesthetically pleasing for motorized bike projects. 


Most fitters will remove the standard fuel tank and grind the mounting brackets flush with the casings. 


Replacement fuel tank should be easy to fit above the crossbar of the bike frame and provide easy access to fill with gas.

Removing the covering for the recoil start and replacing the air filter with a velocity stack, is visually pleasing. Removal is not essential, however, they are simple modifications which expose the spark plug, carb, cooling fins, and valve covers for a more motorcycle-like appearance.

How Fast Will A Predator 212 Go?

With the governor removed, a standard Flathead and Predator 212 Hemi engines have a top speed of 30 mph. The Predator 212 Ghost has a top speed of 40 MPH.


These typical speeds will vary depending on the weight of the rider, bike gearing, and terrain.


This low revving torque makes uphill climbs easier, allows faster commuting, and provides an exhilarating experience for riders who crave higher speed and thrills off the public highway.


Note that laws in most states require the rider to hold a driver’s license and the motor vehicle to be registered as a motorcycle, or a motor driven cycle, before riding on public highways.


Board track race replica with oversized engine
Large engines look cool although engines over 100cc can be complicated to fit to a bicycle frame.

Predator 212 engines are high power, 4 stroke bicycle motors. The engine allows DIY enthusiasts to build a reliable motorized bicycle with impressive performance, great looks, and a fantastic soundtrack. 


Compared to other types of engines commonly used for motorized bicycles, such as 2-stroke bicycle engines or electric motors, these engines are larger, heavier, more powerful and low cost. 

They are a popular option for DIY builders on a tight budget or looking for an economical and stylish way to motorize a bike.


For a few dollars extra, the higher speed Predator Ghost almost doubles the output of the basic motor. If you enjoy tuning, dozens of inexpensive upgrades are readily available.


212cc Predator engines provide a superb blend of torque, fuel efficiency, and a slow, deep engine throb, to suit a variety of applications and take your cycling experience to the next level. 

Motorized Bikes
The Ultimate Guide to Motorized Bicycles with Predator 212 Engines
Power Bicycles
The Ultimate Guide to Motorized Bicycles with Predator 212 Engines
Information about motorized bikes
Predator 212 engines are extremely popular for motorized bicycle conversions. We investigate why the 212 Predator is such a popular bicycle motor.
Power Bicycle
Power Bicycle