What does CC mean in motorcycles?

The size of a motorcycle’s engine typically correlates to how powerful the bike is.

CC, or cubic capacity, is all about the motorcycle’s engine size.

Cubic capacity (CC) communicates the volume of the bike’s combustion chamber – i.e. the cylinders.

CC is given in cubic centimeters and is derived by a volume formula to measure the total combustion area inside all the cylinders on the bike.

An engine with higher CCs has more volume inside the engine, which means there is more room for air and fuel within each combustion cycle.

This means each stroke of the cylinder converts more energy than a smaller cylinder would. More energy = more power all else being equal.

In general, higher CCs mean a larger-sized engine and a heavier bike compared to a bike with lower CCs.

This also means that a larger CC engine will consumer more fuel than a smaller engine.

The configuration and design on the engine will have a big effect on the final “power” output as well, but comparing CC is a good starting point.

When a bike’s CC is listed as part of the model name, it’s typically rounded up.

i.e. A 1,200cc motorcycle engine may actually be 1,198cc or something like that.

If you’re doing high-mileage maintenance or performance upgrades, boring a motorcycle’s cylinders will increase the actual CC of the bike.


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