200cc Small frame, fast pickup?

Don't need fast Top Speed, I prefer to stay under like 30MPH anyway.
I want fast Pick-up though. Pick-up and mini bikes don't go hand in hand. A 2 cycle dirt bike like an Apollo 125cc would be better but I don't want one now.
If possible I prefer something already built like this, but also OK with building it.
5'8", 165 lbs, very able-bodied.

I'm good with small engines, youtube tutorials makes it easy too.

Want 196-212cc, front shocks, headlight. Doesn't need great shocks because not riding crazy in woods or jumping, nor need great braking because aren't going too fast.

Want small frame like Coleman BT200X which has front shocks and a light, or the TrailMaster Storm 200 (doesn't have front shocks and unsure if even available, doesn't have light either). BT200x is about 7" longer at 5 feet overall and prefer that.

To fit a torque converter on a BT200x might need to cut the frame, raise engine w spacers, loose exhaust heat shield etc, but I'm ok with that if I choose a BT200x unless there's a better option.
Some guy on youtube torq converted his BT200x and thinks it actually had better pickup as stock but got faster top speed with the converter, someone replied should have just used a different tooth sprocket and/or aluminum flyweights for better pickup, or that uphill the torque converter will really show. I don't really have hills but still want fast pickup. Some mentioned that it might be better to use a Predator 212 to 'just throw a tav on" (and not have the problems the guy had with a cheaper torque kit having to use shaft adapters and bang on things and shave things down etc). But I think they meant because he used a 3/4" crank kit with adapter to 5/8" which needed adapters. The 200 series Coleman torque kit should fit no problem but is about +$200 and unsure if worth it.

Sprocket size, pre-stretched chain, torque converters, stage 1-3 upgrades, removing govenor, etc, are all new to me but I think I need these for faster pick up.
But I don't want the engine to blow when I'm miles into the woods. I can replace a blown engine cheap though for like $150 212 Predator Harbor Freight.

I'm in NJ and have within decent driving distance Harbor Freight, Camping World, Tractor Supply, Walmart, in case I can get something shipped to store free and save on that.

I watched some Predator 212 vs Tillotson 212 videos but they go too in depth and lost me but I think in terms of pick-up it doesn't make a huge difference to justify double price of a Tillotson if I buy a kit and a Predator instead. Tillotson might be able to charge a headlight and not the predator but I'm ok with even just using some battery powered headlight if available or even just one or two 18650 battery bicycle lights.

Is there a small frame kit (not kid size though) with shocks that can use a 212 predator and get very good pickup with some of the easier mods?


Well-Known Member
The guy on youtube probably used an out of the box torque converter on stock Coleman gearing. With the jackshaft it's a 10:1 ratio the whole way. With the torque converter there's a major gearing change disruption at the belt shift which happens way too early with an out of the box torque converter on stock Coleman gearing.


Active Member
I have a Coleman CT200U, 196cc, with the front suspension kit, a stock torque converter and a 60 tooth sprocket - It has lots of pick up, and will accelerate UP a hill, if I goose it in the middle of a climb.
YMMV though, as I don't weigh a lot - It might not act so lively with a 280 pounder on it ;~)


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This bike is tillotson stage 1 with a china torque converter. 10-60 gear. It’s a beast. Accelerates pretty quick, climbs like a mule, and runs out right near 40-43mph.

I have several period correct vintage bikes and this is the bike I get on to ride nearly every time.

also I’ll add you don’t need to hack up either the ct200u or bt200x frame to get a tav on. And honestly there isn’t a huge reason to even get rid of the jingadingdong clone that’s on them. The cranks are usually 5/8 but that’s easily fixed for less than 30 bucks by swapping out the crank. The go power sports kit with the adapter is a scam imo. 60 dollar tav. New crank and some 1x1 or 2x2 square tubing will save you a 100 bucks. Plus It has no more or no less power than a predator.

I swapped mine out because I’m a hoarder and have a HF ghost, ducar, tillotson, and a predator sitting on my shelf waiting for frames. The OEM motor is on a lo splitter now.

also removing the governor isn’t going to give you more acceleration down low. It will give you more rpm and more speed. Plus dependent on the cam more power in that range.

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Active Member
I've seen the photo of your bike before, Strigoi, and wondered - Did you fab the converter cage, or buy it?
I like it, either way :~)

Never mind - I found the place that makes them .
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ok so I basically figured this all out now, sorta.
correct me if I'm wrong:

stage 1 kit is easy to do for most people and cost about $150 and increases overall power/speed but I'm not sure if it'll add much speed from a dead stop, it probably would though but not much, same with removing the internal governor.
Using a larger rear sprocket gives better pickup speed, that's what a rep at Go Power Sports (apparently the go-to site for bikes/kits/parts etc) suggested, plus a better chain and better chain tensioner roller kit.
If there's hills involved then a torque converter should help speed, but for flat ground/street a TC doesn't do much for pickup from a stop.
Basically all mini bikes are 4 stroke even these racing ones on youtube doing 100 MPH, but for as fast as they go they don't go so fast off the line, that's just basically the nature of a 4 cycle engine, it's more torque'y than zippy like a 2 stroke dirtbike which is fast off the line. I think of it like lawn equipment - a zippy high RPM common 2 stroke string trimmer is fine for cutting grass but if you use a stick edger or mini attachment tiller to dig through high resistant dirt then the 4 stroke Torque (not RPM) works better but isn't as zippy. It's kinda like a small tug boat pulling a ship instead of a speed boat pulling a ship.

Most racing 100 MPH ones are super customized with stage 2-4 which you can say does 'give fast pickup off the line" but it's kind of a culture like mini choppers to get that type of sound only a 4 stroke engine has especially with aftermarket mufflers. A 2 cycle would be faster off the line but once it picks up into the engine's power band or whatever it's called then it doesn't really matter if it's 2 or 4 stroke.

stage 2, 3 , 4 is basically replacing many of the internal engine parts with stronger heavier parts like valve rocker springs and then lighter aluminum parts like the flywheel instead of the heavier stock steel one. These kits run about $250. These kits max out what the engine is capable of in terms of top speed, and from a stop, and sound. They can be a bit risky to blow up or overheat an engine and have to tune them (valve clearances etc) now and then.

Basically with the cost and work of 2-4 stages, if speed off the line is what you really want you might be better just buying something like a $850 Apollo 125cc which gets great reviews.
If you're riding side streets with a souped-up stage 3 type mini bike, even slowly, but with a screaming loud (or even silenced but with obvious customized aftermarket carb and air filter etc), it basically screams CONFENSCATE MY BIKE AND ARREST ME! Just like riding a dirt bike on the street.
Larger frame kits like the bigger Colemans and the mega moto 212 (great kit BTW with TC, shocks, dual hydraulic brakes) basically look like normal size motorcycles and not toy-like and I think are more likely to get one in trouble especially if no helmet.
Rather than basically playing dumb with something like a stock, small-frame coleman that you picked up from the local Walmart/Lowe's/Tractor Supply etc even though your state might have strict laws.
You can still get the same 212cc etc power on a smaller frame though like the BTX200, or 80/105 frame, or Storm 200 etc and I think these look more harmless riding slowly on side streets even w stage 1. Although some TC kits on smaller frames might need to cut the frame etc.

That's basically my thoughts, personally I don't want fast take off speed on the street nor to go fast top speed, but on trails, sand, mud, hills etc it's best to have some good pick up speed rather than putting along, also if some whacko or bear or something goes after you in the woods you can be out faster if you can't carry a gun or something in there.

for now I'm getting one of these smaller frame bikes with 212 and likely stage 1 and TC and that should be fine..

lots of states now you totally legally ride an electric bike anywhere that you can ride a regular bicycle (as long as it/you doesn't exceed certain MPH) and some of them are pretty damn fast and powerful and good pick up but there's just something about a gas engine a lot of people like, plus you can refill gas a lot quicker than recharging.
I'm excited to get a mini bike.
I had a Suzuki FA50 moped back in the day when I was like 14, rode it all over town WOT no helmet no worries, deep into the woods even with my heavy-set friend on the back seat it kinda moved decently, never had a problem, that thing was fun,, until my brother took it for a spin once and rode past a house that warned my friend a few months prior not to ride it near there, then a cop came, towed my bike and threw the book gave him every ticket imaginable because it was considered a motor vehicle.
Some years ago I tried buying another moped off craigslist and basically got scammed by some scumbag something like ''nah you really shouldn't test ride it around here but it runs good though' he idle'd it for like 5 seconds probably on just starter fluid or something until it stalled out or something, and by the time I got it home and tinkered with it for a few days and realized I couldn't get it to run for nothing and not really worth taking whole engine apart or driving all the way back to him, I parted it out on ebay and doubled my money.
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Well-Known Member
Mini bikes are a labor of love. We all build them because we love the idea or reliving memories of a minibike as a kid.

I have close to 1500 In my ct200u. Is that crazy? Probably…..ok yeah it’s crazy. But I love that bike. Reminds me a lot of my childhood bike.

Are pit bikes faster and more comfortable? 100%. But I’d rather have my minibikes.


Active Member
but for flat ground/street a TC doesn't do much for pickup from a stop.
I think you're not quite right on this - A torque converter automatically starts the bike moving in a lower gear ratio, and then seamlessly increases the ratio, as the engine rpms increase.
So it will indeed give you more pick up on flat ground (or anywhere else), as well as give you a higher top speed, as it shifts into "overdrive".
The best of both worlds, IMHO.


Well-Known Member
I think you're not quite right on this - A torque converter automatically starts the bike moving in a lower gear ratio, and then seamlessly increases the ratio, as the engine rpms increase.
So it will indeed give you more pick up on flat ground (or anywhere else), as well as give you a higher top speed, as it shifts into "overdrive".
The best of both worlds, IMHO.
The problem with the TAV is the dramatic gearing change. It's basically a 2 speed transmission. On a Coleman 200 with stock 10/50 gearing you are going from around 13:1 to a 4.5:1 ratio without much time spent in between the two. And think about that 4.5:1 ratio. Imagine straight chaining a 10 tooth clutch to a 45 tooth sprocket with a 19 inch tire. Horrible even at higher speeds.

This is why I use 9/60 gearing. I'm going from 17.5:1 to a 5.9:1 ratio. This works well with a 5K RPM and under engine. Those with high RPM engines take it a step further and use a Juggernaut or Tork-Zilla driver where they may be running 7.5:1 or higher after the belt shift.

IMO when it comes to gearing there are no solutions, there are trade offs.


Active Member
Maybe my cheap Chinese TC has enough belt slippage to mask it, but it never seems to have much drama shifting - Always seems pretty gradual to me. I am running 10-60 gearing, though, so that probably helps, as you say.
Also, I've never even had the bike fast enough to get up into the "overdrive" range, so I also guess I'm missing that part of it.


Well-Known Member
toomanytoys posted a great picture showing the right side of the bike. Here's a picture of mine from the left side. The short header and mini 91 were just painted and the bike was yard ridden. The mini 91 was starting to rust.



Active Member
That's a nice bike - Can you post a link to those shock boots ?

And why is it, that the longer I hang out here, the more stuff I need / want to buy .............?