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Bajaj Chetak Electric Scooter: Roadtest Review

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Pratheek Kunder

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Introduction

Bajaj Chetak Right Side View

The last time we rode the Bajaj Chetak was way back in 2020, at the time of its launch. During that period, Bajaj was not entirely making the Chetak in-house. But now in 2022, Bajaj has full control over the manufacturing and quality aspects of the Chetak and that means, there’s a high chance it would benefit from better fit, finish, and overall experience.

The Chetak is positioned as a premium electric scooter that offers good styling, lots of features, and an electric motor that is focused on practicality and usability. This electric scooter also comes with battery warranty policies similar to the other brands in the space. But the one thing that makes this EV stand apart from the rest is that it comes from a two-wheeler company that has a reputation for selling millions of two-wheelers in India and abroad.

Styling & Quality

Bajaj Chetak Left Front Three Quarter

The Chetak carries some design inspiration from the Vespa range of scooters. So, the overall styling lines are elegant and curvy. The fascia has the traditional scooter design but it looks much better than the rest due to the usage of clean lines and chrome. Move to the side and you will notice that the flowing lines are accentuated. This looks pretty cool when the scooter is in motion. However, the rear of the Chetak looks a bit busy – blame the small panels and the need to occupy the lights and other bits.

Bajaj Chetak Left Side Multifunction Switchgear

Now, when it comes to quality, the Chetak rates extremely well. The fit and finish are nicely done. There are barely any visible panel gaps. The paint quality is possibly the best out of all Bajaj products. Even the finish on the metal parts is appreciable.

Ergonomics & Comfort

Bajaj Chetak Left Side View

There are a couple of things that the Chetak e-scooter gets spot-on. The seating comfort is one of them. The seat on this scooter is large, wide, and has lots of good cushioning. I spent a few hours riding within the city limits and found it to be accommodating and comfortable. The overall seating triangle, too, is upright and accessible. Due to the decent space availability on the floorboard, I could easily position my feet and that aided my overall comfort.

Performance & Handling

Bajaj Chetak Front View

The Chetak gets a total of two riding modes – three if you consider the reverse mode as well. Eco and Sport – like their names suggest have specific purposes. I used the Eco mode primarily for my easy and slow-speed riding. There were moments in the city traffic where I just wanted to reach my destination in a relaxed and chill way and the Eco mode obliged. The performance in this mode was decent and there was never a time when I felt the need to have something more. However, that need came in when the roads got wider and emptier. This is where I don’t want to be the slowest. So I twisted that throttle more and entered the world of Sport mode.

Bajaj Chetak Front View

Now here, the Chetak is fast – not outrageously fast, but fast enough to overtake some 125cc motorcycles. I played around with the instant torque delivery at the traffic signals and thoroughly enjoyed that experience. Plus, Sport mode is a must if there are plenty of flyovers that you need to pass and that too during peak traffic hours. As of now, there are two ways to enter the Sport mode – directly switch to the Sport mode or go via Eco mode, which does get irritating. Bajaj hasn’t provided a dedicated Eco mode, due to which numerous beeps come in. Plus, since there are no restrictions on the throttle position, Eco mode tends to hit the Sport mode most of the time. As a result, I ended up using Sport mode even when I didn’t want to.

Bajaj Chetak Rear View

Now, the overall weight distribution of the Chetak is quite balanced. The scooter doesn’t feel as heavy while taking it out of the parking. Once in motion, the e-scooter is easy to ride and does not much effort while commuting. The combination of upright sitting ergonomics and good performance allowed me to get through traffic stress-free. The ride quality, too, is supple and manages most of the moderately sized potholes. It’s only when the road gets rough and bad, the trailing front suspension tends to show its limitations.

That said, Chetak has a claimed riding range of 90km on a single charge, and it takes about four hours to charge 100 per cent. It can be charged using a standard 5A plug and comes with a charging cable as standard. Moreover, the company will send a technician to set up a plug point in your parking lot. Bajaj claims that this battery could last up to 70,000km or seven years, provided the owner has kept its charge above 15 per cent all the time and used it regularly. But in terms of warranty, it comes with 50,000km or three years, whichever comes early.

Features & Technology

Bajaj Chetak Head Light

The Chetak is possibly one of the only few modern electric scooters on the market right now. This scooter is equipped with features and technologies that make it aspirational and fairly premium. The LED headlamp, for example, houses an extremely bright LED DRL which makes the Chetak easily identifiable on the road. Then there’s that circular instrument cluster that displays lots of data cleanly and neatly.

Bajaj Chetak Right Side Handelbar Throttle Grip

The backlight is apt and so is the font. Its black and white theme may sound old but it looks quite nice on Chetak. This cluster can be connected to a smartphone via an application which churns out various ride data, which are also saved in the system memory. Plus, features like finding the scooter and GPS are extremely useful in today’s world. Now, the switchgear buttons are something we don’t see in the market these days. They have a soft touch feel, are easy to operate, and just like most of the other Bajaj products, get backlight.

Bajaj Chetak Storage Compartment

There are other feel-good features too, like the soft-open feature of the front compartment. Then, the seat drops down slowly and there’s no need for rider intervention. Chetak’s smartphone app has a lot of features too, but the version we received for the test wasn’t in the production environment. So many of those features weren’t accessible to us.

Riding Range

Bajaj Chetak Charging Cable

The Chetak gave us a riding range of 106km in a single charge. Interestingly, this electric scooter went on for another 8km when the battery showed zero per cent charge. This could mean that the company has purposely made their range system in such a way that the rider gets to reach home even with no charge. This could serve as an emergency system.

Should you buy it?

Bajaj Chetak Right Rear Three Quarter

The Chetak electric scooter is a well-thought product. It has design elements that make it quite unique and extremely aspirational. It comes with an electric motor and battery that have been tested rigorously due to which it is bound to perform as expected. Then there are the features that are useable and practical and most importantly easy to use. The overall riding dynamics of the scooter suit well for any member of the family and that could make it the most used tool in the household after the TV and fridge. The only grudge I have with this Chetak is the lack of a dedicated Eco mode.

At Rs 1.47 lakh, on-road Mumbai, the Chetak isn’t an affordable scooter. But it’s a good prospect to get a scooter like Chetak by paying a bit more than the cheap and poorly designed Chinese EVs that have flooded the Indian market. It looks like you need to pay some premium for that peace of mind these days.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Gallery

Bajaj Chetak Underseat Storage
Bajaj Chetak Rear Brake Lever
Bajaj Chetak Front Brake Lever
Bajaj Chetak TFT / Instrument Cluster
Bajaj Chetak Right Side Handelbar Throttle Grip
Bajaj Chetak Left Side Handelbar Grip
Bajaj Chetak Left Side Multifunction Switchgear
Bajaj Chetak Left Side Multifunction Switchgear
Bajaj Chetak Charging Cable
Bajaj Chetak Charging Cable

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