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Those indicate the "displacement" (cc = cubic centimeters) of the engine, which in turn is a rough guide to power. The bigger the displacement, the more power the engine will make (given the same engine design).

Given your question, you should be starting out on a very small engine. 250 cc is plenty for a beginner bike, and it can be adequate even for an expert.
 

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(i know you said "Same engine design" but I'm not sure if he will understand...)


When considering power you also have to consider a number of other things. The number of cylinders matters greatly to the power, power delivery and feel of the engine. A kawasaki Ninja ZX-6(600cc four cylinder) is alot more powerful than a Ninja 650 (650cc two cylinder.) The 650 is alot more appropriate for a first bike, though Sachi is right a 250 or possible a 500 twin would be a better choice.
 
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