Regarding motorcycles, many technical terms can be confusing for beginners. One such term is “cc.” If you are new to the world of motorcycles, you may wonder: what does cc mean in motorcycles? CC, which stands for cubic centimeters, measures the engine’s size and power.

In other words, it is a unit of measurement used to determine how much air and fuel can be mixed in the engine’s combustion chamber.

Understanding the meaning of cc in motorcycles is essential for choosing the right bike that suits your needs and preferences.

What is a Good CC For a Motorcycle

Regarding motorcycles, the term “CC” refers to engine displacement, the volume of air and fuel mixture the engine can suck in and burn during one complete cycle.


A higher CC generally means more power but also more fuel consumption.

If you’re looking for a bike with good mileage, a 250-300 CC range is often recommended, as these bikes are typically lightweight and fuel-efficient.

Choosing a motorcycle with a high mileage rating can also help you save on gas and maintenance costs in the long run.

Engine Options

The larger the engine displacement, the more power, and torque the motorcycle can generate.

Motorcycles come in various engine options, ranging from small engines of 50cc to large ones of 2000cc or more.

The most common engine options for motorcycles are 125cc, 250cc, 500cc, and 1000cc, each offering a different level of performance and riding experience.

When choosing a motorcycle, it is crucial to consider the engine displacement that suits your needs, as it affects the overall performance and handling of the bike.

What Is Displacement?

When it comes to motorcycle engines, displacement is an important term to understand.


Displacement refers to the volume of space the engine’s pistons move through during a single cycle.

It is typically measured in cubic centimeters (cc) and is used to describe the power and performance of the engine.

A higher displacement generally means more power and better performance, but it also usually means lower fuel efficiency.

How Many cc’s Do You Need?

The amount of cc you need depends on your riding style, the type of roads you’ll be riding on, and your experience level.


For beginners, it’s generally recommended to start with a lower cc motorcycle, around 300-500cc, as they’re easier to handle and less intimidating.

Intermediate riders may prefer a mid-range motorcycle with a cc range of 500-800cc, while advanced riders may opt for a larger motorcycle with a cc range of 800-1000cc or more.

It’s essential to remember that a motorcycle with a higher cc engine may also come with a higher price tag and require more maintenance.

Looking Beyond cc’s

When it comes to motorcycles, cc (cubic centimeters) refers to the volume of the engine’s cylinder. However, cc alone doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s also essential to consider torque and horsepower.

  • Torque: Torque is the twisting force that moves a motorcycle forward. It allows you to accelerate quickly and pull away from a stop. The higher the torque, the faster you can accelerate.
  • Horsepower: Horsepower, however, measures how much work the engine can do over time. It’s a combination of torque and RPM (revolutions per minute). Higher horsepower means the engine can sustain higher speeds for more extended periods.

While cc is a factor in determining a motorcycle’s power, it’s not the only factor. A smaller engine with a high level of torque and horsepower can outperform a larger engine with lower levels of both.

The Engine Capacity’s Impact On CC

  • CC in motorcycles refers to the engine capacity or the volume available inside the engine’s tank.
  • The engine capacity affects the motorcycle’s power output, torque, and fuel efficiency.
  • Bigger engine capacities provide larger combustion spaces, resulting in better power output.
  • However, larger engine capacities also mean higher fuel consumption and lower mileage.
  • On the other hand, smaller engine capacities are more efficient and provide better mileage.
  • Motorcycles with smaller engine capacities are ideal for those who prioritize fuel efficiency.
  • The engine capacity is just one factor to consider when choosing a motorcycle; other factors, like music on the motorcycle, can also impact the riding experience.

Does Higher CC Mean Better Speed?

CC stands for cubic centimeters, measuring the engine’s swept volume or the total volume of air and fuel drawn into the engine’s cylinders.


Generally, the higher the CC, the more powerful the engine, which translates to better speed and acceleration.

However, the rider’s skill level and the vehicle’s weight also play a crucial role in determining a motorcycle’s speed.

It’s important to note that a higher CC doesn’t necessarily mean a better motorcycle for everyone, as the rider’s preferences and intended use can vary greatly.

USA Motorcycle Laws

When it comes to motorcycle laws in the United States, there are no restrictions based on the engine’s CC (cubic centimeter) capacity.

You can choose any motorcycle you prefer if you are over 18 years old and have a valid license and insurance. However, some states require riders under 18 to have a motorcycle permit.

You’ll need to pass a supervised road test to obtain a license, and if you don’t have a driver’s license, you may need to take a written exam. A recognized training course is highly recommended to ensure you know the rules of the road.

What Does CC Mean in Motorcycles FAQs

How many cc’s are in 1 hp?

According to experts, a 32.2cc four-cycle engine will produce one horsepower, giving us a formula of HP and engine capacity.

What is the use of High CC in Bikes?

A higher cc engine generally produces more power and torque, which can provide better acceleration and higher top speeds. This can be useful for racing or performance-oriented bikes.

Does CC Influence Insurance?

The engine size, including cc, can be a factor in determining insurance premiums. Bikes with larger engines may be more expensive to insure than those with smaller engines.

Why Are Bikes With Small CC Sometimes Better Than Larger Engines?

Bikes with smaller cc engines can be more fuel-efficient, easier to handle, and less expensive than those with larger engines. They may also be better suited for city driving or beginner riders.

What does 1000cc means?

1000cc refers to the displacement of the engine, which is the volume of air and fuel that the engine can process in one complete cycle of all its cylinders combined. A 1000cc engine can process one liter of air and fuel in one cycle.

How fast is 150cc?

The top speed of a 150cc bike can vary depending on various factors such as weight, aerodynamics, gearing, and more. However, typically, a 150cc bike can reach a top speed of around 50-60 mph.

Wrapping Up!

CC refers to the engine displacement or the total volume of air and fuel that can be pushed through a motorcycle’s engine. This measurement is critical in determining a motorcycle’s power, speed, and overall performance.

The higher the CC, the more powerful the engine and the faster the bike can go. Choosing the right CC for your needs is essential, whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider.

Always consult a professional or experienced rider when selecting a motorcycle based on its CC.

What do you consider when selecting a motorcycle based on its CC?


Steve Hector is a writer for Biker Aware, specializing in all things motorcycles. With over many years of experience on two wheels, Steve is passionate about sharing his knowledge and insights with fellow riders. His love for motorcycles began at a young age, and he has since explored countless roads and destinations, fueling his writing and inspiring others to experience the thrill of the open road. When he's not riding, Steve enjoys tinkering with motorcycles and sharing his expertise with us.

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