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


250cc Engine

If you’re out looking for your first four wheeler, you will no doubt run across the term CC. But what does that even mean? Maybe you know it has something to do with the size of the engine, but you’re wondering how that affects you. Well, in this article I will go over exactly what CC means and which size engine you should be looking for yourself.

What Does CC Mean?

A ‘CC’ is a cubic centimeter and is known as the size of the ATVs engine. You may also see CC stand for cm³ or milliliter. It is basically 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.

To think of it another way,  it 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.

You can also view the CCs of engine as the engines 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 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?

If you’re looking for an ATV and want to know which size you should get, there are some factors to consider first. Like your age, weight, experience, and so on. Also consider what you are willing to grow into. Here is a chart I made to get you started based off height. This is just a guide for you to use, you still need to consider what you’ll be comfortable with riding, and what you’ll be using the ATV for.

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 are 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 with 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 ATV 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 the 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 used 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 months, you could be out over 1000 dollars. If you buy used on the other hand, you could sell a couple months later maybe even for what you paid for it, depending on what kind of deal you got.

Rob

That's me sinking another ATV. I love to ride no matter what it is, snowmobiles, four wheelers, dirt bikes, and anything else off-roading. I've experienced my fair share of machines, and like to share that experience here.

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