My favorite 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 Harbor Freight Predator 212cc-powered Harley Davidson Ultra Classic certainly qualifies. It’s so exceedingly dumb that it must be 100 percent cool. Who doesn’t want to pull-start their big cruiser?
Harbor Freight’s Predator motor is on sale for a whopping $99.99 right now, and it provides a very loud and very buzzy 6.5 horsepower. Okay, 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 Harbor-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 optimizing 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. 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.