My favourite genre of motor-based enthusiasm is putting a big engine in a small thing. Small engine in a big thing is a close second, however, and this Harbour Freight Predator 212cc-powered Harley Davidson Ultra Classic certainly qualifies. It’s so exceedingly dumb that it must be 100 per cent cool. Who doesn’t want to pull-start their big cruiser?
Harbour Freight’s Predator motor is on sale for a whopping $US99.99 ($156) right now, and it provides a very loud and very buzzy 6.5 horsepower. OK, so they spent a few hundred dollars upgrading that engine to about 18 horseponies, but that’s still a pretty noticeable change from the bike’s big V-twin engine, but is it really a downgrade? Nothing can be bad when it has a totally rad name like Harbour-Davidson. Even if the noise-to-speed ratio is remarkably worse than a traditional Harley bagger.
It’s basically the exact opposite of this thing.
Can 18 horsepower even push around a massive and heavy Harley frame? Well, without changing the gearing or optimising anything, it’s a big downgrade. For one thing, it now has a 0-60 time of infinity as it won’t even go that fast. But it still has enough shove to tootle around at 53 mph (85 km/h). I’d be willing to bet that if they dropped some of the bike’s weight, like the hard bags and the giant fairing with crudely covered-up airbrushed devil art, it might gain a bit of speed.
All I can say is that this is a totally pointless and ridiculous project bike that I’d be proud as hell to commute to work on. I’d probably get super annoyed with it after a week of riding, but for that week I would be a deity and it my obnoxiously slow chariot.