Bajaj Chetak Review: Too Costly For What It Has To Offer?
Article by Drivio | 30th Mar 23
The Chetak does seem to demand an incredible amount of money for the performance and features it has on offer. So let’s see if it feels the same after you’ve ridden it as well:
- The Chetak’s 4kW motor propels it to a top speed of 63kmph.
- In our tests, the Chetak returned a range of nearly 114km.
- Charging the scooter up to 80% takes about three and a half hours.
Electric scooters are plentiful in India, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and top speeds. However, the majority of them are poorly designed and/or built products from unknown manufacturers/importers. So far, Ather Energy is the only start-up that has managed to impress us.
The Bengaluru-based manufacturer's 450 e-scooter has set the standard in this segment, outperforming everything else. However, that 'everything else' has recently expanded to include the Bajaj Chetak. This is the first foray into the electric mobility space by a major manufacturer; can the might of Bajaj's R&D department outclass the innovation of some very bright college graduates in the Garden City?
Bajaj Chetak: Design & Features
The Bajaj Chetak stands out from the crowd of other electric scooters thanks to its all-metal construction, which, like the petrol-powered original, is inspired by the Vespa. Other features, such as the retractable luggage hook under the seat and the triangular rear view mirrors on slim metal stalks, appear to be both stylish and functional.
The switchgear is of high quality, and details such as the brushed metal bezel surrounding the LED headlight and the LCD digital info panel add to the premium feel.
There are no fancy features that we have come to expect from electric scooters like the Ather 450X, the Ola S1 Pro, or even the TVS iQube S, aside from all-LED lighting, keyless operation, and a metal body. For example, while the switches appear to be premium, they are not tactile enough, particularly the turn indicator switches and the horn.
The set of connectivity features is almost non-existent. Furthermore, the display is extremely cluttered and cannot be viewed in direct sunlight.
Bajaj Chetak: Motor Specs
When anyone first heard about the top speed of 63kmph, it felt disappointed. That's only a half-step faster than a horse-drawn carriage, right? But it's time to eat humble pie, because Chetak isn't lacking in performance at all.
The Chetak may not give you the same jolt in the backside as the 'Bangalore Bullet,' but it can comfortably keep up with city traffic. Even though the speedo was set to 63kmph at the launch event, it climb all the way to 69kmph.
To be honest, this scooter will rarely venture beyond crowded city streets, and in that environment, the motor's 4.08kW peak power and 16Nm torque are adequate, putting the Chetak on par with any 110cc scooter on the market.
The sheer normalcy of the throttle also helps. It's a well-calibrated setup, and throttle inputs produce smooth responses with no lurch. When you let go of the throttle, the theme of normalcy continues because the regen can be felt in action, much like engine braking on a petrol-powered scooter.
Bajaj Chetak: Chassis
|Front Suspension||Telescopic fork|
|Rear Suspension||Dual shocks|
|Front Tyre||Disc brake|
|Rear Tyre||Drum brake|
Bajaj Chetak: Dimensions
At first, thought came to that giving the new Chetak trailing-link front suspension because the old one had it was glorifying a blatant cost-cutting measure. Why not take that logic a step further and outfit it with steel wheels and a halogen headlight? Technology has advanced, and the scooter should as well.
That said, I'll have to eat my words because Bajaj has put a lot of effort into fine-tuning the front suspension setup to the point where it performs (almost) as well as a telescopic unit.
It steamrolls most bumps at low speeds, thanks to 12-inch wheels on both ends, and the rider is well insulated from the road surface. Only above 40kmph does the Chetak's slightly stiff setup allow sharper edges to pass through, and even then, things aren't overly uncomfortable.
Because this isn't meant to be a corner-carver, the verdict on handling is limited to how the Chetak navigates city traffic. It's light, agile, and easy to manoeuvre. To place the Chetak in that newly formed traffic gap, very little handlebar effort is required.
Bajaj Chetak: Variants & Price
|Model Name||Bajaj Chetak|
|Bajaj Chetak||Rs 1,51,910|
The Chetak is roughly three thousand rupees less expensive than the Ather 450X at Rs 1,51,910 (ex-showroom Bengaluru, including FAME-II subsidy). However, it falls short of expectations in terms of performance and features.
Only if you're looking for a stylish urban scooter that will make you look cool while commuting. The Chetak, on the other hand, doesn't quite make sense. It's not as exciting as a 450X, S1 Pro, or Simple One. It isn't as comfortable, practical, or cost-effective as the TVS iQube S. And, with the release of the Hero Vida V1 Pro, its allure has dwindled even further.