What Is The Significance Of Cubic Capacity (CC) In Bikes?

by SMCIB on Friday, 24 May 2024

What Is The Significance Of Cubic Capacity (CC) In Bikes?

Picture yourself standing in front of a dazzling array of bikes, each one flaunting its distinct style and allure. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure which one to choose. But amidst their glossy exteriors and sleek designs, there is a crucial factor you need to consider CC.

CC full form in bike is Cubic Capacity, which refers to the cubic centimetre capacity of the combustion cylinder. It is a crucial component of the engine that generates power for the rider. Bikes with higher CC feature larger cylinders capable of accommodating more air and fuel, resulting in increased power output.

This natural process facilitates the combustion of more gasoline with each stroke, leading to heightened power and torque output. By following this technique, the engine completes one cycle after utilising the combined capacity of all cylinders, often referred to as engine capacity.

This article explores the importance of cubic capacity (CC) in bikes, its importance, and how it influences various aspects of motorcycle performance.

So, let’s get started!

What Is CC In Bikes?

As mentioned earlier, the term CC full form in bike is cubic capacity, which signifies the engine's overall size and potential. This measurement indicates the volume of the engine chamber, which influences the air-fuel mixture and ultimately affects the bike's performance and power output.

Engines with higher CC values tend to deliver increased power, torque, and speed, catering to enthusiasts who crave high performance and acceleration. On the other hand, lower CC engines are known for their fuel efficiency and cost-effectiveness, making them an attractive choice for daily commuters and those prioritising practicality over raw power.

Importance Of CC In Bikes

Here’s why CC is an important component of bikes -

  • Power Output
    Typically, a higher CC suggests a more powerful engine, equating to increased horsepower and torque. This is particularly significant for bikes geared towards performance or for riders seeking greater power, whether for adventurous off-roading or long-distance touring.
  • Speed And Acceleration
    Motorcycles equipped with higher CC engines tend to exhibit superior acceleration and higher top speeds. This can prove beneficial in scenarios where quick overtaking or navigating congested traffic is necessary. 
  • Torque
    Motorcycles featuring higher CC engines typically boast increased torque, which is crucial for quick overtakes and carrying heavier loads.
  • Weight Handling
    Motorcycles boasting higher engine capacities are better equipped to accommodate heavier loads or passengers, as they possess greater power and torque to manage the additional weight effectively.
  • Fuel Efficiency
    Typically, motorcycles with smaller engine capacities are more fuel-efficient compared to the larger ones. However, advancements in technology have enhanced the fuel efficiency of many larger-capacity bikes today.
  • Riding Experience
    The engine's cubic capacity significantly impacts the riding experience. Bikes with higher CCs tend to offer smoother and effortless rides, particularly at higher speeds.

Now, let’s get to know how you can calculate your bike’s CC with ease!

How To Calculate A Bike’s CC?

To calculate a bike's engine displacement in CC, you'll need to know its bore (the diameter of the cylinder) and stroke (the distance the piston travels in the cylinder). Here's the formula -

Displacement (CC) = (π/4) x bore² x stroke x number of cylinders


  • π = 3.14 (the mathematical constant)
  • Bore = Each cylinder's diameter in millimetres (mm)
  • Stroke = Piston stroke's length in millimetres (mm)
  • Number of cylinders = total number of cylinders in the engine

Now, let’s understand how you can do it step-by-step-

Step 1: Measure the bore, which is the cylinder's diameter, in millimetres (mm).

Step 2: Measure the stroke, which is the piston's travel distance within the cylinder in millimetres (mm).

Step 3: Check the cylinder count, as most bikes typically have a single cylinder, but some may feature two or more.

Step 4: Apply the values to the formula by squaring the bore, multiplying by the stroke, and then by π/4. Then, multiply the result by the number of cylinders to determine the engine's total CC.

How Do You Choose The Right CC When Buying A Bike?

Selecting the appropriate cubic capacity (CC) for a bike in India hinges on various factors, such as your riding requirements, skill level, and budget. Here are some things to keep in mind when determining the ideal cc for your bike-

  • The Bike’s Purpose
    Take into account your intended usage of the bike. For daily commuting in city traffic, a lower CC bike (100-150cc) might be more practical and offer better fuel efficiency. However, higher CC bikes (200cc and above) are typically more suitable for long-distance journeys or off-road adventures.
  • Experience Of The Rider
    For novice riders or those with limited experience, starting with a lower-CC bike can help foster confidence and skills before you buy a high-powered motorcycle.
  • Budget
    When contemplating higher CC bikes, it's important to factor in their increased costs of purchase, insurance, and maintenance. Make sure to think about your budget for buying and owning the bike, including things like fuel and maintenance.
  • Comfort And Ergonomics
    Higher CC bikes are often heavier and may require a more aggressive riding stance. Take into account what feels comfortable for you and whether you will be able to manage the bike's weight and riding style physically.
  • Resale Value
    When deciding on a bike, keep in mind that higher CC models have a better resale value than lower CC ones. So, consider the bike's long-term worth before you choose.
  • Model And Brand
    Explore the bikes offered by different brands and models, comparing the CC and other features. Prioritise selecting a bike from a reputable manufacturer known for reliability and performance, specifically backed by positive feedback.
  • Test Ride
    Consider test-riding bikes with different CCs to assess their performance, handling, and comfort. This hands-on experience can empower you to make a well-informed decision aligned with your individual preferences and riding expectations.

Did you know that your bike's cubic capacity can also impact its insurance premium? Let’s take a look!

How Does Your Bike's CC Impact Its Insurance Premiums?

Your two-wheeler insurance premium is decided based on various factors, including its engine displacement (CC). The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has established a standardised set of third-party motorbike insurance rates based on cubic capacity.

Motorcycles with smaller engine capacities produce lower power output, leading to more affordable premiums. Below is a table displaying third-party bike insurance costs across different cubic capacities -


TP Charges

More than 350

Rs 2,804


Rs 1,366


Rs 714

75 and below

Rs 538

Other Factors That Affect Bike Insurance Premium

Third-party insurance premiums are regulated by the IRDAI, but if you decide to get comprehensive insurance, the premiums can differ depending on the insurance company you choose. Numerous factors contribute to the varying rates of comprehensive insurance premiums. Let’s take a look at them -

  • Insured Declared Value (IDV) And Age
    The Insured Declared Value (IDV) reflects your bike's current market worth and the highest sum for which it is insured. As the bike ages, its market value diminishes, resulting in reduced premiums.
  • Make And Model
    The insurance premium for a standard model bike is typically lower than that for a designer or sports model featuring upgraded specifications.
  • Geographical Location
    The insurance premium also depends on the bike's registration location. Regions with increased vehicle density and accident frequencies entail higher premiums.
  • Add-On Covers
    Add-ons are additional benefits that can extend the scope of your insurance policy, yet they may incur additional expenses. These add-ons can prove advantageous in particular situations, offering enhanced protection and peace of mind.
  • Bike Modifications
    Customised bikes featuring special modifications may incur higher premiums due to their elevated risk of theft.

Impact Of CC On Bike’s Cost

The price of a bike is dependent on its cubic capacity. A higher CC bike generally translates to superior performance, incorporating a range of mechanical enhancements.

These enhancements might include superior brake pads, improved aerodynamics, upgraded suspension systems, high-performance exhaust systems, and the integration of durable materials capable of enduring extensive wear and tear during high-speed cruising. Consequently, if a bike is constructed using top-notch, costly raw materials, its price will be higher.

What Causes The Rise In Insurance Premiums For Higher Cubic Capacity Bikes?

When it comes to bike insurance,  the premiums are usually higher for motorcycles with higher cubic capacities due to various reasons like -

  • Increased Risk Of Accidents
    Motorcycles with higher cubic capacities typically exhibit greater power and higher speed capabilities. Consequently, the likelihood of accidents and insurance claims may rise due to this heightened performance. To account for this elevated risk, insurance providers may adjust premium rates accordingly.
  • Cost Of Repairs
    Motorcycles with larger cubic capacities often feature complex and costly components. In case of accidents or damage, the repair or replacement expenses for these bikes are usually higher, resulting in increased insurance premiums.
  • Theft Risk
    Due to their higher cubic capacity and power, thieves frequently target high-performance motorcycles. This heightened risk of theft leads to higher insurance premiums to protect against potential losses.

In light of these concerns, it's evident that you need to buy insurance for your bike, ensuring financial protection against potential risks and liabilities.

Popular Myths And Misconceptions About Cubic Capacity (CC)

Despite its significance, CC in bikes is often surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Let’s debunk some common ones -

Myth 1: Higher CC Indicates A Higher Top Speed.

Fact:  A motorcycle's top speed isn't just about engine size (CC); it's influenced by a combination of factors like aerodynamics, gearing, and weight. So, while higher cc bikes usually have higher top speeds, they're not the only determining factor.

Myth 2: Better Fuel Efficiency Is Associated With Higher CC.

Fact: Typically, motorcycles equipped with lower CC engines demonstrate superior fuel efficiency compared to those with higher CC bikes. The efficiency of a motorcycle's engine is influenced by a multitude of factors, such as its design, tuning, and riding conditions.

Myth 3: Higher CC Is Always Superior.

Fact: The ideal engine displacement (CC) for a motorcycle varies based on the rider's requirements and preferences. Lower cc bikes are often preferred for daily city commuting due to their practicality and fuel efficiency. On the other hand, higher CC bikes are better suited for long-distance rides or high-speed cruising.

Myth 4: Higher CC Results In Higher Upkeep Expenses.

Fact: Although certain high-performance bikes may incur higher maintenance expenses owing to their intricate engines and components, this isn't always true. Factors like the bike's design, build quality, and maintenance practices also significantly influence maintenance costs.

Myth 5: Bikes With Higher CC Can Pose Increased Risks.

Fact: While high-performance bikes may present greater handling challenges, particularly for novice riders, they are not inherently riskier. The key to ensuring safety lies in adequate training, the use of proper riding gear, and the practice of responsible riding behaviour.

Myth 6: All Bikes Of The Same CC Exhibit The Same Performance.

Fact: Two bikes sharing the same CC can exhibit significantly varied performance characteristics due to factors such as engine tuning, gearing, weight distribution, and aerodynamics. Therefore, when selecting a bike, it's imperative to take these factors into account alongside cc.

Myth 7: High CC Bikes Cater Exclusively To Experienced Riders.

Fact: While higher CC bikes may pose handling challenges, they are not solely reserved for experienced riders. Novice riders can begin their journey with lower CC bikes and gradually transition to higher CC models as they gain more experience and confidence.

Wrapping Up!

As we wrap up our exploration into cubic capacity in bikes, it's clear that this simple metric holds immense significance for motorcycle enthusiasts. From shaping power output to influencing the overall riding experience, CC plays a crucial role in determining a bike's performance and suitability for riders. Whether you're a seasoned biker craving speed or a novice commuter navigating city streets, understanding cubic capacity empowers you to make informed decisions.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informative and explanatory purposes. The content is sourced from multiple online resources and may be subject to change. Kindly seek advice from an expert before making any decisions related to the discussed subject matter.


CC in bikes, short for cubic capacity, denotes the engine's power output. It is determined by the volume (measured in cubic centimetres) of the engine chamber, which dictates the amount of air-fuel mixture that can be compressed and used in a single combustion cycle.

A 150 CC engine indicates a combined volume of 150 cubic centimetres across all cylinders within the engine.

A 350 CC engine signifies that the combined volume of all the cylinders within the engine amounts to 350 cubic centimetres. This metric provides a reliable indication of the engine's size and power output.

Motorcycles with engine displacements of 125cc, 250cc, or 300cc are great options for small - to medium-sized riders. Larger riders may find better comfort and performance with bikes ranging from 400cc to 600cc, preferably sticking to twin-cylinder configurations. It's generally advised that beginner riders avoid 600cc four-cylinder sportbikes due to their higher power.

Choosing a motorcycle with the right CC depends on your priorities. Lower cc bikes are economical and cost-effective in terms of fuel consumption, while higher cc bikes offer better performance and speed. Your decision should consider factors like budget, lifestyle, and personal preferences to find the cc that suits you best.

Motorcycles in the 125 CC to 300 CC range are often recommended for novice riders. These bikes are light, easy to manage, and strike a good balance between power and control for beginners. As riders become more experienced, they can consider upgrading to more powerful bikes.

Even though the cubic capacity (CC) is a critical element influencing a motorcycle's performance, it is not the sole determinant. The bike's design, engine type, and weight are equally pivotal in shaping its overall performance.

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