A Complete Guide to Motorcycle Engine Capacity

When considering a motorcycle as a form of transportation, you will need to consider the size of the motorcycle engine to determine how powerful it is. The manner in which you intend to use the motorcycle will help you decide on what type of engine capacity you should be seeking.


The capacity of a motorcycle engine is important as it is in direct correlation to the level of power that it is able to produce. The larger the combustion chamber on a motorcycle, the more powerful it will be. The capacity of an engine of a motorcycle is usually measured in terms of ‘cc’, which stands for cubic capacity and range in value from 50cc to 1500cc. This measurement is used in the same way as the number of liters is used to describe the engine of a motor car. Accordingly, a motorcycle with an engine capacity of 250cc is equal to 0.25 liters.


There are a number of different classes that a motorcycle engine capacity can fall into, with most falling into one of the more common types. Fifty cc, 200cc, 250cc and 1000cc are all common engine capacity sizes when it comes to motorcycles, but this does not mean that other classes are not also available. While the common capacity sizes tend to be available as standard, motorcycles with capacities of 85cc or 650cc are specialized and will be harder to obtain.

Fuel Efficiency

The motorcycle engine capacity will often determine how much you can expect in relation to your fuel bill. Larger motorcycles with larger capacities will not only be able to accept more fuel at any given time, but will also require more to power the motorcycle. You will find that motorcycles with a smaller engine capacity are more efficient and offer more mileage for every gallon of fuel.


The capacity of the motorcycle engine is in direct correlation to the size of the motorcycle. A 50cc is considered a small engine size and relates to a moped, which has a frame that is smaller and lighter than its counterpart with a 1000cc engine. When it is necessary to manipulate the motorcycle for maintenance, you will find that the larger capacity motorcycles are much heavier and require more effort to move.


As with motor cars, the more powerful the engine of a motorcycle, the more expensive the price. Though prices will vary according to the make and model, you will find that there is a wide difference in price with different engine capacities.


When considering the engine capacity of a motorcycle, you must take into account the speed that you want to be able to achieve. The top speed of a motorcycle with an engine capacity of 50cc cannot compare to that with a capacity of 1000cc. Motorcycles with engine sizes at the upper end of the range will easily be able to take you to speeds in excess of the speed limit, while this will not be a problem with smaller engines. You will not be in danger of breaking any laws with a moped that comprises a 50 cc engine as it will often not go faster than 35 miles per hour.