What is the CC on a Motorcycle? How is it Calculated? [Explained]

The number of cc (cubic centimeters) on a motorcycle refers to the capacity of its engine, which is also known as displacement. In other words, the CC on a motorcycle simply means its engine size. As a rule of thumb, the more CC the motorcycle has, the more horsepower and torque it can deliver. (However, this also depends on the number of cylinders.)

If you would like to learn more about motorcycle engine displacements, you are in the right place.

Along with the basics, we, at PowerSportsGuide have gathered the most popular engine categories into a motorcycle cc chart!

What Does the CC Mean on a Motorcycle?

Simply put, the CC on a motorcycle refers to its engine displacement. This means a 500cc motorcycle is powered with an engine that features one or more cylinders with a total capacity of 500 cubic centimeters. In line with this, 1000cc motorcycles have a capacity of 1000 cubic centimeters, and etc.

How is the CC Calculated on a Motorcycle?

The CC on a motorcycle is calculated using the dimensions of the cylinders. This means that if you want to determine the displacement, the first step is to measure or locate the bore and stroke of its cylinders. To calculate the CC of the motorcycle, you have to multiply these numbers using the appropriate formula, which is as follows:

(bore) x (bore) x (stroke) x 3.1416 (Pi) = cc

For example:

  • Motorcycle: Kawasaki ZX-6R (636cc)
  • Bore: 6.8 cm
  • Stroke: 4.38 cm

6.8 (bore) x 6.8 (bore) x 4.38 (stroke) x 3.1416 = 636 cc

Here’s a good tutorial video on how to calculate the cc on a motorcycle:

What is the Average CC on Motorcycles?

The average CC on motorcycles is about 400cc-1000cc. The smallest motorcycles are considered to be “lightweight” bikes and feature 50cc-350cc engines. Middleweight motorcycles are typically powered with 400cc-950cc engines, while the heavy bikes come with pretty large, 1000cc-6500cc engines.

You can also find some unique models on the market like Boss Hoss cruisers that feature incredible 4000-6500cc engines. Yes, they definitely stand out in a crowd!

In a nutshell, the average motorcycle displacements by category are as follows:

Motorcycle categoryDisplacement cc

Motorcycle CC Chart

For your convenience we’ve gathered the most popular engine displacements into this motorcycle cc chart:

Motorcycle categoryDisplacement (cc)

The chart is for general informational purposes only and shows the average motorcycle cc numbers.

Besides these main categories, you can find many bikes on the market with other engine displacements.

Where is the CC on Your Motorcycle Found?

You can find the CC number of your motorcycle in six different ways:

  • Name: the name of the motorcycle often refers to its engine displacement. For example, Honda CBR600RR features a 599cc engine.
  • Stickers: You can usually find the same numbers on stickers on the side of the bike, which is often part of its design.
  • Stamped on the engine: You may find the CC on your motorcycle stamped on its engine (typically on the right side).
  • Documents: The official documents of you bike will likely indicate the displacement of its engine. These could be the official registration documents, bill of sale, or even in the owner’s manual.
  • Online search: If you can’t find the displacement of your motorcycle you can still research online to find the specs of the engine.
  • Measuring and calculating: If you can’t find out any other way, your only chance is to measure the cylinders and do the math. However, keep in mind that this is a rarely used method!

Related Questions

What does it mean if the CC is higher on a motorcycle?

If the CC is higher on a motorcycle it means that the engine has a higher displacement.

What is the advantage of a higher CC in bikes?

The main advantage of a higher CC in bikes is that it has more power and torque. But keep in mind that besides the displacement of the engine, the type of motorcycle and the number of cylinders also greatly affect the performance of the machines. The general rule is that the more cylinders a motorcycle has the more power it delivers.

What’s a good CC for a motorcycle?

It’s hard to tell what a good CC is on a motorcycle since the design and the characteristic of the machines differ from one model to the next. However, it’s safe to say that most owners consider 250-1000cc a good engine size for a motorcycle.

What is the highest CC on a motorcycle?

The highest CC on a motorcycle is no less than 8300cc. This engine can be found in a concept bike known as the “Dodge Tomahawk,” which is powered with an 8300cc V10 engine that puts out 500 HP. Regarding production motorcycles, you can find the biggest engines in Boss Hoss bikes. These motorcycles feature 4000-6500cc engines depending on the model.

Can you increase the CC of a bike?

Yes, you can increase the CC of a bike, but keep in mind that this is considered a major engine modification. To increase the displacement of a motorcycle you have to bore the cylinders (or install new ones with a larger displacement), then you have to install bigger pistons and rings as well. These aftermarket setups are known as “big bore kits.”


The CC on a motorcycle refers to the size of its engine. The CC stands for “cubic centimeters,” meaning that a 600cc motorcycle is powered with an engine that has a displacement of 600 cubic centimeters.

You can locate this number on stickers on the side of the motorcycle, stamped on the side of the engine, or in its official documents/owner’s manual.

If you can’t find the cc number of your motorcycle, you can still calculate it based on the bore and stroke measurements.

The majority of production motorcycles feature 50-1500cc engines, but you can find some custom and concept bikes with 4000-8000cc engines.

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