What is the Meaning of CC in Bikes? (Easy Explanation)

What is the meaning of CC in Motorcycle

What is the meaning of CC in Bikes?

CC is short for Cubic Centimeters.

CC is a metric value or cubic inches for the imperial system and theirs numbers represent an engine displacement capacity.

The higher the CC numbers the more powerful is an engine.

But that is only a insights.

CC will not give you the whole picture of a motorcycle capacity.

Does more cc mean more speed?

It is a common misconception that More CC = More Power = More speed.

Want to know how I lost 20$ thinking precisely that?

I was a complete beginner motorcyclist with my Yahama Vstar 1100. I was riding along with my brother with his Aprilia Tuono V4 1100. 

We stumbled upon a smooth straight roadway with nobody around.

What is the meaning of CC in Bikes

My brother asked ‘’Wanna race?’’

‘’Sure, 20$ on the line.’’

And there, my mistake. I thought I had a chance. XD

Here was my logical but very wrong thinking:

Both our bikes are 1100cc. I could win, or a least put on a good fight.

Nope. Not even close. XD

From the beginning, I pushed my bike to its limits, thinking I was in the lead.

The ‘’lead’’ being my brother who knew better, waiting with a smile at the starting line, giving me a head start.

Then a couple of seconds later, there was a speeding ‘’blur’’ vaguely resembling the shape of my brother and his bike passing me.

So here is the moral of the story.

Even if CC is related to a motorcycle’s speed, CC alone does not represent how fast a motorbike can go.

You could have a 600 CC motorcycle with far superior acceleration and top speed than a bike with a 1000 CC.

What the CC Number Really Mean for Motorcycles

CC numbers represent the volume of an engine displacement.

Engine displacement is the space that the piston inside a cylinder head covers during each stroke movement. 

It means how much volume of air and fuel your engine cylinder can ‘’Breathe’’ and burn at each cycle. 

More Displacement means more room to burn more fuel resulting in more CC. 

If you want to nerd it out and learn how to calculate CC, here is the mathematical formula.

0.785 x Piston Bore x Piston Bore (again) x Stroke height x Number of cylinders

If you’re still confused, watch this.

All right, nerd session is over.

Moving on!

What is the Advantage of Higher CC, and how does it affect a Bike?

What is the meaning of CC to bikes? Put simply, CC is the ‘’potential’’ power output of an engine. 

When designing an engine, CC is like a currency to be spent on a Type of engine power.

Either horsepower or torque.

Motorcycles need both, but an engine concept can favor one over the other.

More CC = More power to allocate.

Higher horsepower means your motorcycle can go faster.

Increased torque means your bike can push heavier mass more efficiently. 

But there drawbacks to high CC. 

An engine needs to be bigger and heavier to accommodate more displacement.

Also, a larger engine increases fuel consumption.

Keep in mind this is an oversimplified explanation. 

I skipped many details, but you now know the core principles.

Others Importances of CC in Bikes.

What is the meaning of CC in bikes for Beginner Riders

Lower CC often represents a more lightweight motorcycle. 

They are more forgiving of mistakes and easier to handle. 

Which is more suitable for beginner motorcyclists.

Also, a general rule of thumb is that low CC bikes are more budget-friendly for starting out.

What is the meaning of CC in Bike Laws

Many government authorities write their motorcycles laws and regulations based on CC numbers.

For instance, here in Québec, Canada.

There are 3 types of driver licenses for riding motorcycles according to their CC. 

  • 125cc and less 
  • 125cc to 500cc 
  • 500cc and more.

Classifying of motorcycles based on their CC is often referred to as ‘’Motorcycle Class.’’

What is the Minimum cc Motorcycle Allowed on a Highway?

In specifics countries or certain states in the USA, a low CC number could restrict you from riding on Freeways. 

The general baseline is 51cc or more and you are good to go. Yet, some USA states and specific countries require a minimum of 125 or even 150cc.

What is the meaning of CC in bike Insurance Quotes

Insurance companies often use CC numbers to evaluate the value and risk of your motorcycle.

Statistically, the bigger your CC number, the more you increase your accident risk.

So usually, the higher the CC, the pricier your quote will be.

What is the Meaning of CC in Bikes? Now You Know.

It took me a while to understand what is the meaning of CC in bikes.

I hope I helped you get the hang of it quicker than I did and made you realize the importance of CC in motorcycles.

It is important, True. But it is not the only thing that matters like I used to think.

Be well and Ride safe.