Type of Motorcycle Engine

Motorcycles have a variety of engines, each with its own pros and cons. The engine is what determines the power or speed capabilities of the bike. A motorcycle engine is the heart of a motorcycle. The type of engine will determine how fast and efficiently it runs. 

Motorcycle engines come in many shapes and sizes, but there are five main types of motorcycle engine. This article discusses the advantages, drawbacks, and general information about each type to help you decide which one best suits your needs!

Main Aspects to Choose a Motorcycle Engine

Engines have special things that make a motorcycle work. But not all engines are the same. You need an appropriate one for your bike if you want something like performance and fuel efficiency optimized! ​It would be best to think about what is best for your motorcycle before choosing your engine.

The following aspects will help you to choose the best one for you:

  • How much money do you have to spend on a motorcycle engine?
  • It is important to know the model and the brand of motorcycle you intend to purchase.
  • You have to decide whether you want to race or tour on the motorcycle.
  • Find out which engine is able to provide you with the power and sound you desire.
  • The engine should be light and low maintenance.

If you consider the five factors above, you will be able to select the best motorcycle engine with the confidence that you have made the right choice. Remember that no motorcycle engine is better than another; a motorcycle just needs to have the right engine to function correctly.

To determine what you intend to use a motorcycle for, you should identify your needs, from there you can determine the suitable characteristics of the vehicle so that you can purchase a machine that will exceed your expectations.

Motorcycle CC Definition

Basically, it means that as the number increases, the faster it will move. The engine will be slower if the displacement is 50 cubic centimetres. It will be faster if the displacement is 1,000 cubic centimetres. Due to the higher fuel burn, the tires create high revolutions that are transferred to the road.

As cc increases, bike power also increases, resulting in faster acceleration and high top speeds.

Different Type of Motorcycle Engine

Motorcycle engines are made up of many components, but the most important ones are the engine type and size. The engine determines what kind of fuel it should use and how much power it will produce. There is a lot to consider when choosing an engine for your motorcycle, so we have compiled some helpful information on the different types below. 

Single-cylinder engine

One-cylinder engines are the most basic of all engines since they only have one cylinder. This is why the single-cylinder engine has become so popular in recent years. Compact and lightweight with a simple design, it’s easy to see how this type of engine could be used for all sorts of purposes, from small motorcycles up to those that can reach 600 CC.

In addition to being the lightest and smallest of all engines, it is the most common type of configuration for off-road motorcycles. Because it has the least moving parts and a simple mechanic, its maintenance is also low.

The lower the number of revolutions, the more vibrations are transmitted, but it also provides superior power. In comparison with engines with more cylinders, its power remains low, but its torque is strong, so there is no need to run many laps.

This has the advantage of

  • Simple and economical.
  • It is lightweight and compact.
  • It is a source of motor skills.

The drawbacks

  • Vibrations are higher in them.
  • The power of these groups is smaller.
  • Large mufflers are required.

Twin-cylinder engine

There is a wide range of twin-cylinder engine configurations. A V-shaped engine or an L-shaped engine can have cylinders standing parallel or even facing each other, as in boxers.

The engine is one of the most versatile types of engines. The most popular motorcycles are in the medium displacement category and even among many high displacement or very high displacement, but without a doubt, the most used up to 600 cc.

This type of engine has a balanced combination of power and efficiency, allowing them to rise more quickly and to achieve greater power while achieving less vibration. In conclusion, although the frames are heavier than the cylinder frames, they are lighter, so the weight-performance compromise is worth it.

With a quick response when you open up the throttle, they will be preferable to a four-cylinder engine because they are engines with character and personality.

This has the advantage of

  • Compact, light, and high-performance.
  • There are many configuration options available.
  • Motor skills

The drawbacks

  • There are vibrations (on high displacement engines).
  • Compared to engines with more cylinders, these engines make fewer turns.
  • A monkey would be cheaper.

Three-cylinder engine

With the exception of hexa-cylinder motorcycle engines, three-cylinder motorcycle engines are very rare and not widely used.

Yamaha is one of the brands that take pride in using this type of motor, which is a recognized brand. With the Yamaha MT-09 model, the Japanese firm goes for this style of powerful engine. The Triumph marque has a reputation for being very loyal to its three-cylinder engines, but it is not the only one.

Motorcycle engines with three cylinders are powerful. Unlike two-cylinder engines, this achieves within a very short time frame. Three-cylinder engines boast a highly sophisticated configuration and a smooth operation.

The engine is designed to start smoothly thanks to its position in line and wide design, which is wider than the twin cylinders. Their lightweight and ability to perform well on special models of motorcycles make them ideal for the application.

This has the advantage of

  • The benefits of two-cylinders and four-cylinders are combined in these engines.
  • Higher displacements are possible (compared to twins).
  • This is the origin.

The Drawbacks

  • Twins and tetras have the same disadvantages.
  • Vibrations are greater than tetra.
  • The twins are larger and heavier.

Four-cylinder engine

As the Japanese were the first to develop a four-cylinder engine, they imposed their mark over two-cylinder engines. With the arrival of the four-cylinder engine, sports bikes were able to achieve popularity.

Having four cylinders in a line or in a V is what makes the motorcycle engine ideal for sports bikers due to its power. This makes them the most expensive engine on the market.

Despite their larger size and heavier weight, four-cylinder engines have the great advantage of being almost inaudible and without any vibrations. With its high number of revolutions, this engine gives great power to motorcycles. It’s also great for racing motorcycles since it has great acceleration. All the components of the engine work in harmony, which makes it easy to handle and pleasant to use.

This has the advantage of

  • The quality of being fine and smooth.
  • It is possible to obtain power.
  • Most displacements are compatible with this.

The Drawbacks

  • Complicated.
  • The price is higher.
  • Their size and weight are greater.

Hexacylinder Motor

In other words, there is nothing more or less than a six-cylinder engine. Exceptions can make a difference; it doesn’t take too many, it never hurts. It’s represented today by BMW and Honda with their BMW K1600GT / GTL and Honda Goldwing 1800 in various applications, but Benelli undoubtedly paved the way back in the day with his fabled Benelli Sei.

The smoothness they offer, over and above provided by the four-cylinder engines, along with their volume, weight, and space, makes them a unique choice and their bulk, weight, and volume. Quite expensive.

BMW has an inline 6-cylinder engine while Honda has a boxer engine with three groups of two cylinders that face one another.

This has the advantage of

  • Softness of the finest kind.
  • Sounds like music.
  • It has an impressive aesthetic.

The Drawbacks

  • It’s pricey.
  • The size.
  • Weight.


What is CC on bike?

The cubic capacity of the bike measures engine power or CC. Cubic capacity refers to the size of the engine’s chamber. Power is produced by compressing the air and fuel mixture to produce a greater quantity of power.

What is RPM in bike?

Rotations or revolutions per minute make up RPM’s full form. An engine’s rotational speed is what renders the rear wheels capable of receiving power from a gearbox after the crank is turned.

How many cc is a horsepower?

In general, there is one HP for every 15 CC. Taking 150 divided by 15, you will get 10 horsepower with a 150 CC engine.

Is higher cc bike better?

As CC increases, the cylinder gets bigger, allowing it to digest more air and fuel. Through this natural process, more fuel will be burned per stroke; as a result, more power as well as torque can be produced.


This blog post concludes that there are many types of motorcycle engines, and the type you should get depends on your budget. If you have a limited budget, then I would suggest getting an single or twin cylinder engine because it will be cheaper than other options. For those with more money to spend, four or hexacylinder motor might make sense.

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