Tillotson 212 Vs Predator 212: Which One is Better?

If there’s a discussion about 4-stroke engines, it’d be incomplete without talking about the Tillotson 212 and Predator 212. They have always held the top 2 spots in the market. While their design has some similarities, they are not the same.

Our question is that if we put Tillotson 212 vs. Predator 212, who will come out as the winner?

In terms of raw performance, the Tillotson 212 seems to edge out the Predator engine. There’s a 40% difference in output between the two. But it is not the end of the discussion, especially if you take the customer base into account. It is not just the case of being better; rather, it needs to be better for you, the customer.

In this article, we’ll try to compare the two most popular 4-stroke engines and find out which one is better for you!

Tillotson 212 vs. Predator 212: A brief comparison

In this section, we’ll be going through the common features of both engines and find out how they differ in detail.


Tillotson 212 has two models for mainstream customers. It’s the Tillotson 212E and 212EE. And they are both Hemi head engines.

  • Tillotson 212E is a pull-start engine
  • Tillotson 212EE uses an electrical start mechanism

There is a 3rd model called 212R, which is produced solely for racing purposes.

Predator 212 gives you the option to choose either a Hemi or a non-Hemi engine. It also has an engine for racing enthusiasts, the Predator Ghost 212cc.


There is a clear difference in performance evident from the specs sheet given by the manufacturers. Have a look at this chart below-

Specs Tillotson 212E Predator 212
Displacement 212cc 212cc
Horse Power 8-9 hp 6.5hp
Torque (from Dyno Tests) 10.5-11 ft-lb @ 3000 9-10 ft-lbs @ 2500 RPM
Max RPM (Governor removed) 5500 4700

The above chart shows that the Tillotson engine stays far ahead of the Predator in every aspect, especially in horsepower and torque. But the picture isn’t complete without looking at the Dyno chart and analyzing the behavior of the engine.

The Dyno graph of the Tilly 212 engine shows how the torque production is stable even at high rpm. On the other hand, the predator engine starts to show a down torque curve when the rpm gets too high.

As you can see, the Tillotson 212 easily beats the Predator 212 when it comes to maintaining torque and high speed.

But how does it manage to do that? Well, it has to be with a few better structural components, such as the valve springs. The compression in the Tillotson is also comparatively higher.


While both the engines were modeled taking inspiration from the Honda GX 200, neither are exact clones of their inspiration. We discuss them below-

  • Cylinder Head

Tillotson’s two models, 212E and 212EE, both come with Hemi heads. But Predator 212 has both Hemi and non-Hemi heads.

And the piston on the Tillotson block is flatter than the Predator Hemi engine.

  • Carburetor

The carburetor specs in your engine will vary depending on regional environmental restrictions. Tillotson 212 and Predator 212 both use carburetors with similar specs, except that the Predator doesn’t come with an adjustable screw due to environmental restrictions.

But you can swap out the fixed screw with an adjustable one for a couple of bucks.

  • Flywheel

Anyone who used both engines will tell you that the flywheel inside the Tillotson is much more durable. Out of the box, it can handle speed up to 10,000 rpm without trouble. It’s a Honda cast aluminum flywheel.

But the Predator 212 will struggle if you go to 5,000 rpm. It’s made of simple cast iron. You may need to change the flywheel if you want to go beyond 5,500 rpm.

  • Connecting rod

There is no mentionable difference in the connecting rods. They are both made of cast iron and vulnerable to cracks in high rpm.

  • Valve spring

The Tillotson engine has valve springs of 24 lbs which is much stiffer than Predato’’s 18 lbs springs.

Tillotson can perform in performance mode without any modifications done to it. But Predator 212 needs stiffer springs installed to give performance mode results.

  • Valve size

There is a slight difference in size specifications between the two engines. Here’s how it looks:

  Predator (HEMI)   Predator (Non-Hemi)   Tillotson 212E  
Stem size 5.5mm   5mm   5.5mm  
Intake diameter 27mm   25mm   27mm  
Exhaust diameter 25mm   24mm   24mm

There is no significant difference between the Tillotson 212E and 212EE.

  • Stage 1

Tillotson 212 stage 1 engine comes with an air filter, no governor, and performance header pipe. A stage 1 Tilly engine can give you 11.5 horsepower and reach 5,500 rpm.

On the other hand, the Predator 212 stage 1 engine can only go up to 9-10 horsepower and less than 5,000 rpm.

  • Stage 2

Stage 2 engines are for performance-grade tasks. Tillotson 212 stage 2 engine has all the features and parts of stage 1 and more. And it has an upgraded valve spring, billet flywheel, billet rod, and a better carburetor.

On the other hand, Predator 212 stage 2 kit comes with a billet rod, billet flywheel, bigger jets, and an 8-degree advanced timing key. This is in addition to the stage 1 kit.


Now comes the hard part. While it is undeniable that the Tillotson 212 is better performing than the Predator 212, you also have to consider the price difference.

You can get a Tillotson 212E and 212EE, paying around $250-300. And you can get a Predator 212 at almost half the price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which engine is better, Hemi or non-Hemi?

It depends on what you want. The non-hemi’s customizations make it the better choice if you are comfortable with customizing to get more performance out of the engine. However, if you don’t want the hassle, the hemi will give you better stock performance.

Final Words

Comparing Tillotson 212 vs Predator 212 gives us a crystal clear answer. Tillotson is undoubtedly the better-performing engine. But most people won’t need the power it produces. They can fulfill most of their needs with a cheaper Predator 212.

So it’s all up to you, the customer. Choose whichever gives you the most value.

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