How to Measure a Cylinder Bore & Stroke


The bore and stroke on a cylinder determines the displacement of an engine, making bore and stroke a key element in determining engine power -- the larger the bore and stroke, the more powerful the engine. Bore and stroke are a combination of two measurements. The bore is determined by the diameter of a cylinder and the stroke is determined by the distance a piston travels up and down inside that cylinder.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Use your measuring tape to measure the inside diameter of the cylinder. This will give you the cylinder's bore.

  • Ensure the piston is at the bottom of the cylinder.

  • Measure the distance of the cylinder from the piston at the bottom to the top. This distance the piston travels gives you the cylinder stroke.


  • Photo Credit engine image by peter Hires Images from
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