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What Does CC Mean For ATVs? What Size Is Right For You

What Does CC Mean For ATVs? What Size Is Right For You

When searching for your first four-wheeler, you will inevitably come across the term CC. It’s crucial to understand what CC means for ATVs as it plays a significant role in determining the appropriate size to meet your needs. So what does CC mean for ATVs, and what size is right for you?

Here is the short answer! CC stands for “cubic centimeter” and refers to the engine displacement or the volume of the engine’s cylinders. It is an indicator of the power and performance potential of the ATV. Generally, higher CC engines offer more power and speed, while lower CC engines provide less power but better fuel efficiency. 

When choosing the right size ATV, you must consider your riding preferences and intended use. Smaller CC ATVs are suitable for lighter off-road trails and casual riding, while larger CC ATVs are more suitable for challenging terrains and towing heavier loads. It’s important to match the ATV’s CC to your skill level, intended use, and terrain to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience. 

This article covers the meaning of CC and guides you on selecting the right engine size for yourself. It provides comprehensive information on the topic, so keep reading to get all the details you need to know.

What Does CC Mean?

As mentioned above, a ‘CC’ is a cubic centimeter and is known as the size of the ATV engine. You may also see CC stand for cm³ or milliliter. It is just a measurement of volume that can fit inside the engine. If you have bigger cylinders and bigger pistons, you will have more power and also a higher CC. To use a car as an example, a 2-liter engine is 2000 cm³, 2000 milliliters, or 2000 CC.

Also, to think of it another way,  CC is the amount of gas and air mixture that can fit in the engine to move the pistons. The more mixture that can fit, the more power your engine will have. Something to keep in mind though. If you have more air and gas mixture going into the engine (you have a higher CC), you will be using more gas.

Furthermore, you can view the CCs of the engine as the engine displacement. If the volume in your cylinder increases, your engine has more combustion. Your piston travels from bottom center to top center, with your spark plugs igniting the fuel and air mixture to push the piston back down. Which eventually turns your wheels. With more room for an air-fuel mixture, the piston will have more of a push-back down, which sends more power to your wheels.

You will sometimes notice the size of the engine in CCs stamped onto the engine somewhere. They typically stamp in a more accurate measurement than what the engine is considered to be. But if you see something like 348cc stamped into the engine, it is considered a 350cc engine.

How Are The CCs Calculated For ATVs

To calculate the displacement or CCs of an engine they use a simple formula. Well, ok it’s not that simple, but it’s the same formula used every time. First, they take the diameter of the cylinder, known as the bore. Along with the distance the piston has to travel, known as the stoke, and the number of cylinders. That’s all you need to find the volume of the engine.

Next, they put those numbers into this formula: 

Displacement (CCs) = (π(bore/2)²)(stroke)(cylinders)

There are usually only 1 or 2 cylinders but the rest of the measurements are done in centimeters. Here is a video I found to help explain things if you’re still confused.

How Many CCs Are Right For Me?

When looking for an ATV and determining the appropriate size, it’s important to consider several factors. These include your age, weight, experience, and other personal considerations. Additionally, think about your willingness to progress and grow into a larger ATV as you gain more experience.

To help you get started, I have created a chart based on height. However, keep in mind that this chart is just a guide. It’s crucial to consider your comfort and what you’ll be using the ATV for. Choosing the right ATV size involves finding the right balance between safety, comfort, and suitability for your specific needs.

Height Vs Engine Size Chart

Youth ATV

These types of four-wheelers are for kids at an entry-level. A lot of what you’ll find in this size is between 50cc and 150cc. There’s not much to worry about as far as power out of these kinds of machines because most of them can be regulated by a governor. It’s just a way of limiting the power of the quad, and you can increase the allowed power as your kid grows. To learn more about kids’ ATVs and what to look for, check out this article.

Utility ATV

These types of ATVs are made for doing work around the yard. They’re great for hauling, carrying, and towing yard equipment. A lot of people use them for hunting also. There are plenty of attachments you can find for ATVs like this, for example, a snow plow can be attached to the front of these.

Because these ATVs are used for working they need more power than a quad-type or sport-type four-wheeler. You can usually find these anywhere from 450cc up to 1100cc. For most applications though, I find that 550cc or 600cc to be plenty of power to get things done around the farm.

Sport Quad

These types of ATVs are fun toys. A lot of the time you’ll see these types of quads prepared for racing or doing stunts and tricks. You can usually tell this type just by looks, they look more aerodynamic and sporty looking.

These quads look cool and are great for riding around some trails or taking them to a dirt track for some fun. Because these appeal to such a large audience they can be found anywhere from 70cc up to 1100cc. I’ve been able to have plenty of fun on an average 400cc sport quad though. That will give you plenty of power to do the things you’d want it to. I’m not gonna lie, the 700cc Raptor I rode was a beast, but you can still have fun with something like a 250cc Blaster.

UTV Or Side By Side

These are more of the dune buggy-looking off-road vehicles. Some seat two people and some seat four or more people. You’ll find these in sport and utility versions for whatever you need them for. But because of the extra passengers and extra weight of the frame, these engines are usually around 700cc up to 1100cc.

Finishing Up

I hope this has helped you to decide which size engine you should be looking for to fit your needs. If this is your first time buying an ATV, I would suggest buying a used one if you can. That way the price will be a lot less, and if you decide to sell, you won’t be out all that much money.

Getting a used ATV will also help you discover what you like and don’t like. If you buy brand new and want to sell in a couple of months, you could be out over 1000 dollars. If you buy used on the other hand, you could sell it a couple of months later maybe even for what you paid for it, depending on what kind of deal you got.

Thanks so much for reading to the end!

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