All About Engines And What Makes A Motorcycle Go

The engine is the soul of a motorcycle.  Engines come in different sizes (displacement), different performance numbers (horsepower and torque) and configurations and understanding the basics of what’s available will help in your search for the right motorcycle.


Displacement is the total volume swept by the pistons in the engine’s cylinder(s).  The displacement is usually given in Cubic Centimeters or cc’s.  Harley Davidson motorcycles, Victory motorcycles and some Japanese cruisers give the displacement of their engines in Cubic Inches.

The displacement of the engine is a significant determining factor in the performance of the engine.

If you want to compare the displacement of an engine in each unit, Cubic Centimeters or Cubic Inches, here are the formulas.

Cubic Inches to Cubic Centimeters:  CC = CI * 16.39

Cubic Centimeters to Cubic Inches:  CI = CC/16.39

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