The original Bajaj Chetak was one of the most popular two-wheeled vehicles in history, selling many tens of thousands of copies between 1972 and 2006, when tightening emissions regulations and increased competition from Japanese manufacturers finally outweighed the nostalgic charm the bike offered. It’s no surprise then that the launch of the all-new, all-electric Chetak was one of the most hotly anticipated events in the motorcycle market for years, and this month, the first examples of the all-new Chetak finally reached the driveways of excited customers. (!)
Bajaj Auto has confirmed that the first production models were delivered to customers in Pune, where the Bajaj Chetak is built, and Bengaluru, India. For their patience, Chetak buyers were rewarded with a well-finished machine fitted with LED lights, 12″ wheels mounted to a single-sided, multilink suspension up front, and disc brakes. Motivation comes from a 5.3 HP electric motor delivering more than 16 lb-ft of TQ from a standstill — which may not seem like much, but is more than enough to make a vehicle this small the quickest thing out there in a sea of Honda Hero 125s and TVS 100s.
The new Chetak also features a number of connectivity features, like a locate feature and an alarm/alert feature, as well as a clever reverse function to make it easier to back out of parking spaces with a passenger. And, best of all, the Chetak gives its buyers all that a price of just about ₹1 Lakh (call it US$1,499) for the base model.
“It’s probably a pretty quick way to get through modern Chicago gridlock too, probably,” I wrote, not at all trying to figure out if I’ll be able to import one for myself without the wife finding out.
The small lithium-ion battery on the new Bajaj Chetak carries a 3-year warranty (which is awesome in the motorcycle industry), and is good for about 60 miles of range (95 km). Bajaj claims you can recharge fully in about 5 hours on a standard charger, too. Options include upgraded brakes front and rear, metallic paint, and — if I’m reading this correctly — a sound system. So it has that going for it, which is nice.
What do you guys think– is this Chetak a worthy challenger to the Vespa Elettrica that launched as a 2019 model, or just a poorly conceived copy of the famous Italian’s style? Take a look and give us your take in the comments.
Sources | Images: Bajaj, via Car and Bike News.
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