Is A 1200cc Motorcycle Big Enough For A Long Highway Trip?

Riding anything over 1000cc is a great experience. Its acceleration will always bring a smile to your face. However, sometimes it is about how long you can go on your two wheels, and this brings us to your question; Is a 1200cc motorcycle big enough for a long highway trip?

1200cc motorcycles are pretty powerful when it comes to acceleration. But motorcycles for long road trips need to go with some load capacity.

So, read on to find out if a 1200cc motorcycle is big enough for a prolonged highway trip or not and what other benefits or flaws it comes with.

Why Do You Need Big Motorcycles on Long Trips?

You Need Big Motorcycles for touring

First of all, long trips are not about speed and agility. No one will zip along over 170 miles an hour straight for an over 5 hours drive. However, there will be a point where you calm it down and go in cruise mode to enjoy the scenes around you.

Long trips are like marathons, and you need to save your energy and fuel to go out there and come back. And of course, you will need a camp somewhere and stay for the night. Then, cook in the outdoors, eat something, take a good rest and ride again in the morning.

All these activities have nothing to do with speed. Instead, it’s all about leisure and relaxation, and that is why you don’t need a supercharged engine for such a ride.

This is where big motorcycles come into play. These big motorcycles are equipped with cruising features, but they can take some load. This is because they are essentially your 2-wheel motor cars. Whether you are going camping or hiking on your road trip, you can carry whatever you need and go. Therefore, cruiser and touring bikes are so big and heavy.

Another bike like a roadster or a sports bike will not cut it when it comes to loading. But speed is not your friend on long road trips. You will only go for a few throttle twists, and that will be it. So, you don’t need a speed demon. Instead, go for a big and powerful bike that you can load up.

What is A Big Motorcycle?

Big touring Motorcycle

So, what CC engine should be there on a bike to be categorized as a big motorcycle? To get an answer here, consider the local norms first.

If you live in an area where you see cruisers and touring bikes a lot around your neighborhood, you might notice that people will consider anything under 1000cc to be a small bike. But in so many other areas, anything over a 400cc to 500cc bike is a big bike.

However, a 1000cc plus motorcycle is always a big bike no matter where you go. This kind of bike will come with plenty of speed and agility. We are talking about over 120 miles an hour of top speeds here. So, these bikes will weigh anywhere over 400 lbs.

Furthermore, these bikes are not for skinny people. You will have to struggle a lot if it falls on one side.

Why so much weight, you might ask? Well, a big bike will have a big fuel tank. So, anything around 4 gallons to 6 gallons will be there.

A bike featuring a 1000cc engine is heavy because it will put more pressure on the road. So, it stays in contact with the surface due to its aerodynamic forces. And, of course, you will load it with your gear as well. So, the weight will go around 500 lbs.

How Many CCs Do You Need to Go on a Highway?

Any scooter with 150cc displacement in California is categorized as a motorcycle, and anything that falls under the term “motorcycle” is highway or freeway legal.

So, it’s not about how much displacement you need to ride on the highways. Instead, it is about how much gear you can pack upon it? Your engine displacement will affect the load your bike can bear directly.

With more CCs, your bike will have more muscle power, and you can pack more stuff on it. So, a higher displacement is not a legal requirement for you; it is more a personal need that will make your trip more comfortable.

Is A 1200cc Motorcycle Big Enough for A Long Highway Trip – All You Need to Know

How Fast is a 1200cc Motorcycle?

How Fast is a 1200cc Motorcycle

So, how fast can these big motorcycles go? Motorbikes with 1000cc plus displacement can go at an incredible speed. Anything around 100 miles an hour would be easy work. These bikes weigh around 400 to 500 lbs.

Therefore, you should go for 1200cc motorbikes to have more speed and pack your much-needed supplies. It’s a perfect balance between speed and power irrespective of the trip you are planning.

A 1200cc motorcycle can travel at speeds over 130 miles an hour based on how much you have loaded it and what kind of gear system it has. A bike with tall gears will always reach this speed barrier with ease. So, is a 1200cc motorcycle big enough for a long highway trip? That’s a definite YES!

Is a 1200cc Motorcycle a Good Choice for a Beginner?

Is a 1200cc Motorcycle a Good Choice for a Beginner

You might be new to riding and thinking, is a 120cc bike a good option for a new rider? And you are right on point here. A 1200cc motorbike is a bit too much for you if you don’t have many miles under your belt.

Newbies should look to go for a motorbike that is around 600cc. A 1200cc bike is not only heavy to handle but is also pretty powerful. In addition, it is highway legal and will allow you to back some of your gear at least.

Cut a few more miles and try to get a hold of things in small fragments. 1200cc motorcycles are better suited for experienced riders. They are much more skilled in handling the weight of the motorbike and that too at different speeds.

A 1200cc Motorcycle for a Long Trip: Pros & Cons

Advantages of a 1200cc motorbike on long trips

  • These bikes are great when it comes to carrying loads. You can go for longer trips and extend your stay. In addition, you can always pack most of your stuff on a motorbike with such a displacement.
  • There are times during your long rides when you want to reach the destination faster. The good thing is that 1200cc bikes come with throttle power to go at speeds. They also come with big engines to provide you some acceleration to speed up your progress.
  • Ride comfort will always be there. Because bigger bikes are much more comfortable to ride than their smaller counterparts.
  • These bikes are certainly lighter than those giant touring bikes. Without a doubt, touring bikes are incredibly comfortable to ride. But they are pretty heavy, too, with some of them weighing well over 800 lbs. Handling and maneuvering such bikes become rather difficult despite all their plus points.

Disadvantages of a 1200cc motorcycle on long trips

  • These bikes are not for newbies. If you don’t have enough riding experience and have been more accustomed to riding a smaller motorbike under 400cc, an upgrade to this kind of motorbike will be too much to handle.
  • These 1200cc bikes weigh around 400 pounds to 500 pounds. However, they are not lightweight bikes, so maneuvering and handling will be slightly tricky, particularly in tight corners. As a result, these bikes are better suited for freeways.
  • These bikes are not made of skinny people. If you have muscle power in you, only then will you be able to handle them comfortably.


Is a higher CC engine better?

A motorcycle with more displacement will have a bigger cylinder and can digest more fuel and air. So, in terms of speed and load carrying, higher displacements are better. But this will also increase the overall weight of your bike. This is the only downside you will have to deal with. But, on the other hand, you will be burning more fuel per stroke, resulting in more torque and power.

How fast is a 1200cc engine in miles per hour?

They come with a speed limiter on them for roads. 1200cc bikes range in top speeds from 130 miles an hour up to and at times over 170 miles an hour. On tracks, they can run up to 200 miles an hour.

What’s a good size motorcycle for a beginner on long trips?

A beginner should learn to ride a motorbike with up to 600cc displacement first and get used to it on shorter to mid-range trips. Then, with experience, handling and maneuvering will improve. Finally, when you have enough years and miles under your belt, you can start thinking about going for a motorbike that is over 1000cc.

Do higher CCs mean more fuel consumption?

Yes, higher displacement means more fuel consumption. This is because engines with higher displacement have bigger cylinders. As a result, they can handle more air and fuel mix to generate more power and acceleration per stroke.

It ultimately translates into more fuel consumption per stroke. But various other factors are at play here as well. For example, your motorbike’s design and its aerodynamics can positively or negatively impact the overall fuel consumption of your bike.


So, is a 1200cc motorcycle big enough for a long highway trip? YES! These bikes are powerful to generate acceleration and handle the load as well.

1200cc bikes are pretty comfortable to ride, and some of them, especially the adventure bikes, can allow you to ride on different trips off-road too. However, you will have to keep in mind that you have enough ride experience to make sure you can comfortably handle your ride.

This is because a 1200cc motorbike will weigh more than 400 pounds, and maneuvering it on tight corners can be tricky. However, if you are looking for a perfect balance between ride comfort, speed, and the ability to take loads, a 1200c motorcycle is the right option.