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Performance of a D3
Top Gear User
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August 19, 2019
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September 1, 2019 - 8:28 am
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Hi, I have not been able to find a road test on the Bantam D3 Major, but wondered what the performance should be. I have a D1 rigid, and I don`t think my D3 is any quicker or nippier for all its extra 25cc. Could it be that because it is a heavier bike this negates any extra power.

It seems quite content at an indicated 40 mph (the speedo was re-built and I think it is fairly accurate going by those roadside cameras, at least at 30), and if I really screw it I can get it to nudge 50.

Does anyone know what the reported bhp of the D3 was, I think the D1 was rated at 4.5, and I had thought the D3 would be around 5.5, am I right.

St. Mary's Bay, Kent
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September 1, 2019 - 8:45 am
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I would think from what you say that your machine is about right in the performance area. One thing is certain, you don’t buy a road going Bantam for speed, my D5 is happy around 45 mph, it will go faster of course, but it doesn’t feel comfortable. The later ones are quicker but the brakes aren’t great compared to modern bikes, so I’m happy at 40 on any of them.

Current bikes......1958 D5, a 77 Suzuki GT250 and a 77 Honda CB125S. I have a 74 Kawasaki S3 400 and a B175 waiting for restoration. A 1980 Honda CB400N waiting for MOT.  Everyday ride is a 2011 Harley Davidson Sportster. 

Central France
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September 1, 2019 - 8:57 am
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As Steve says, performance is not an issue! I've had my D3 up to an indicated 50MPH, but I wouldn't be happy sustaining that. 40 is OK, but brakes and overall comfort leave a lot to be desired IMO. I live in a sparsely populated area and France is a bike friendly country on the whole so it can be pleasant to pootle along the quiet roads. As for power, I had always thought that D1 was 1HP, D3 was 3HP and so on up the range (approx values) - bear in mind that HP does not necessarily equate to speed.

I wouldn't like to be on a Bantam on UK roads, even with 50 years experience, so tip-my-hatto all you UK riders.

1956 D3 running, lights to sort. 7 other bikes in the Barn, 6 runners (when I get time!) and a still in progress Morini 250

Mick W
Chester/ North Wales Flintshire Border
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September 1, 2019 - 10:49 am
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My understanding is that the bantam had the following power - if that’s the right word -

4.5 bhp (3.4 kW) (D1)
5.3 bhp (4.0 kW) (D3)
7.4 bhp (5.5 kW) (D5 & D7)
10 bhp (7.5 kW) (D10)
12.6 bhp (9.4 kW) (D14/4 & B175)


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