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I'm relatively new to motorcycles, my flat mate taught me how to drive his two Royal Enfields around New Delhi, and for the past year and a half I've been taking care of them as they break down ;)

Was just curious what the 'cc' actually means when you say a Hero Honda has 150 cc, or an Enfield as 350 cc, or a really beast Enfield has 500 cc. I know vaguely that more cc is more powerful, but am curious as to how one could actually measure cc.

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What happens when they rebore it.. It will change cc too..? –  user3732 Sep 21 '13 at 14:57

3 Answers 3

cc is the size of the engine, in cubic centimeters - literally the volume of the cylinders. A larger cylinder can ingest more air (and more fuel), thus converting more energy per cycle than a smaller one, so making more power - assuming all other factors are the same, and there are many factors that affect power output.

You can measure it by a simple volume calculation - area of the piston (pi x radius squared) x stroke x number of cylinders.

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Its worth noting that the size the bike is marketed as is rarely exact for example my Ducati Monster M600 (600cc) is actually a 583cc engine. –  Mauro May 14 '13 at 14:24
    
Indeed - the same is usually true of car engines - my 1.6L Honda is actually 1595cc –  Nick C May 15 '13 at 9:00

"cc" Stands for Cylinder Capacity or Cubic Centimeters. Luckily Cylinder Capacity is measured in Cubic Centimeters, so it's all good. As others have pointed out, bigger cylinders make more power because they can burn more fuel per stroke.

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The "swept volume" of one cylinder is given by :

pi * r^2 * L

r = cylinder radius (bore / 2 ) in centimetres L = stroke in centimetres

Then multiply by the number of cylinders (they will all be the same bore and stroke)

Example : Bullet 350 bore and stroke given as 70 mm ( 7.0 cm) bore and 90 mm (9.0 cm) stroke So : r = (7.0 / 2) 3.5 cm L = 9.0 cm Then : pi * 3.5 ^2 * 9.0 * 1 (cylinder) = 346.3606 cubic centimetres Note : the capacity is usually rounded, in this case to 350 cc

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