How Motorcycle Engine Sizes Interrelate With Power

Motorcycle-Engine-Sizes

To understand the relationship between motorcycle engine sizes and power, it is imperative that you know how a motorcycle works, rides, feels and looks. All of these factors are determined by the engine size and power.

​​​​More specifically, your bike’s performance will depend on its power and torque, two of the most important things in any vehicle. However, as you shop for a bike, you might also want to check the CC.

When people talk about how powerful a bike is, what do they refer to? Does this signify the power output from the engine or just the torque figure? There has been great debate about vehicle power since the automobile engine was first invented.

When you go online to check the exact meaning of torque, power, and how they are related to engine size, you will get even more confusing explanations, complicated jargon, and a big conundrum on your hands. Read on to learn more:

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How Motorcycle Engine Sizes Interrelate With PowerRelationship Between Motorcycle Engine Sizes And Power​1. Power2. Engine Size3. TorqueWhy You Need A Powerful BikeUnderstanding CCConclusion

Relationship Between Motorcycle Engine Sizes And Power

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To a casual observer, the letters CC seem like the logical explanation of how motorcycle engine sizes affects bike power. However, you still need to understand what these letters mean and how they affect your purchasing experience.

To begin with, consider the following definitions:

1. Power

Designated as horsepower (HP), this refers to the power produced by your engine and denotes the capacity of the engine to take your motorbike from 0 to its maximum speed.

2. Engine Size

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Calibrated as CC, this is the overall size of a bike’s engine.

3. Torque

On the other hand, the torque generated by your motorbike’s engine refers to the factors that determine that bike’s pulling capacity.

That said, there is a strong correlation between motorcycle engine sizes and power. When you divide the power by the engine capacity, you will get a particular figure. Consider the following examples:

a) Low Range Engines

Engines on the bottom end of the spectrum, to this end, get about 20 horsepower per liter. Examples include old Volkswagen engines, the Ford 1976 5 liter V8 engine (that had 1st generation pollution control), and more. Most of these engines are slow revving, low tech, and relatively heavy. They also come with weak induction systems.

b) Mid Range Engines

Mid range engines, on the other hand, come with 40 to 60 horsepower per liter. Most motorbikes are in this range. They are also characterized by modest revs and satisfactory induction systems.

c) High-End Engines

High-end engines produce 80 to 100 horsepower per liter. Examples here include the Kawasaki 440 (which produces 35 horsepower per liter) and the Honda 50cc (at 5 horsepower per liter).

Most modern high-performance motorbike engines are in this range. They are characterized by tuned induction systems, high revving capacity, and turbo charging, among other features.

d) Ultra High-End Engines

Last but not least, ultra high-end engines produce up to 200 horsepower per liter of fuel. They are typically turbocharged and can rev between 10,000 to over 12,000.

Additionally, they have more than one cylinder, short strokes, and are usually added to special purpose engines (snow mobiles, jet skis, and the like) as well as motorbikes.

Why You Need A Powerful Bike

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What is the importance of power? How do motorcycle engine sizes affect bike power? You need power for just about anything.

Regarding bike engine size and capacity, power tells how fast your motorbike can work and accelerate. With a powerful bike, for instance, you should have no issues whether you ride at constant speeds or wish to climb a steep hill on the bike.

Power, on the other hand, will also overcome friction and air resistance (both in the external environment and in the motorbike itself) and continue riding smoothly. This is why it makes sense to invest a little bit more to get a powerful bike.

Understanding CC

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CC is the standard abbreviation for cubic centimeters. It is the standard used to measure the volume of the cylinders in your bike’s engine. This figure also refers to engine displacement.

To better understand the impact of motorcycle engine sizes on bike power, it is vital that you keep in mind that your engine’s CC will affect the power of your bike, as well as the smoothness of your rides.

However, CC is not always a measurement of a bike’s power. Instead, the number is used to refer to the size of the motorcycle’s engine. Still, CC is related to power when you think about how internal combustion works.

More specifically, the internal combustion process takes place inside the cylinders in your engine. This is how your engine generates power and gets your bike moving when you hit the gas pedal.

Most modern bikes combust through the following process:

  • checkSuck in fuel and air
  • checkApply pressure to the gases generated and ignite them
  • checkAllow fuel and air to burn
  • checkPush the exhausts out

To this end, the larger the volume of your engine’s cylinders (or the higher the CC number), the more fuel and air your engine will be able to suck, and the greater the power your engine will generate.

Therefore, motorcycle engine sizes and power are linearly linked. With a large engine, therefore, you will get more:

  • arrow-rightSpeed
  • arrow-rightPower
  • arrow-rightSmooth rides

However, your bike will sacrifice fuel efficiency when the CC is higher. This is because (as you might have already have guessed) larger cylinders tend to deplete the volume/amount of gas in your bike at a faster rate.

On the other hand, bikes with small CCs might generate less power but are more likely to provide more miles per gallon of gas. The savvy shopper, therefore, might prefer to sacrifice power for fuel efficiency and go for a bike with a smaller engine.

With regards to motorcycle engine sizes, you should also note that torque and horsepower are the other indicators of power. These two factors will determine how fast your bike can accelerate.

As you shop for a bike, always consider the following:

  • plusThe number of cylinders inside the bike’s engine
  • plusHow quickly combustion takes place
  • plusThe weight of the motorcycle
  • plusThe power to weight ratio

Conclusion

Overall, your understanding of how motorcycle engine sizes and power are linked will contribute significantly to the choice of a bike you end up buying. If you are a beginner, always watch out for the CCs to ensure you make the right purchasing decision.

I hope you enjoyed this article, please leave us your feedback in the comment box below. Share it with your fellow biker friends if you think it’s helpful.

    Peter Hanson

    Nothing can compare to the feeling of riding a motorcycle. The freedom on the ride is the greatest thing I have ever had in my life. As they said, I'd rather be a biker for a minute than a spectator for a lifetime. If you are also a biker, then we are friends. Let's talk about our motorcycles and rides.

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