Bajaj Chetak – The Most Loved Indian Scooter

The Bajaj Chetak was a popular Indian-made motor scooter produced by the Bajaj Auto company. The Chetak is named after Chetak, the legendary horse of Indian warrior Maharana Pratap. It is just more than a scooter, having more connection with the families mostly of the 90’s and 80’s where, it was just moving like a horse to be honest.

Originally based on Italian Vespa Sprint, Chetak was an affordable means of transportation for millions of Indian families for decades and is lovingly called Hamara Bajaj (Our Bajaj).

This shows how powerful Bajaj Chetak was

Around 1980, the Vespa-licensed design was replaced with an all-new in-house design that shared the same general appearance and style. In the face of rising competition from bikes and cars, Chetak lost ground in India, and production was discontinued in 2005 as Bajaj Auto stopped manufacturing scooters altogether.

How Bajaj Chetak Started?

Bajaj Auto received permission to manufacture two and three-wheelers in 1959. That in itself was no small achievement since it was at the peak of the quota and licence raj. The company started producing two-wheelers in 1961, however, it wasn’t until the 1970s, when Bajaj Auto launched the now iconic Chetak in 1972 that scooters really became a part of middle class Indian family.

Bajaj chetak Engine :

The Chetak was a 145cc, 2-stroke scooter, which was later enhanced to the 4-stroke segment. Since Indian roads were in pitiful condition back then & chetak scooter, being tiny, affordable and easy to drive, turned out to be the most-used form of transport in 70’s and 80’s.

Also, Bajaj’s marketing campaign was filled with elements that made the scooter seem like a commodity that everyone in the family treasured.

The production of Chetak was fixed to 20,000 units/year, a waiting period of a few years was normal then. What’s more, people were willing to wait up to 10 years just to be able to ride home on a Chetak.

How Bajaj Chetak Dated ?

As the consumer started getting younger, the modest scooter started losing out. Even within the Bajaj portfolio, bikes had started scoring over scooters, despite the significant difference in price. Over the years, the company did try to keep pace by introducing updated versions of the scooter, but it too realised that bikes were a more profitable business. Eventually, it assigned its iconic product to the history books. Bajaj Auto closed its scooter segment in 2005.

Come Back Of The Chetak :

On 16 October 2019, Bajaj Auto re-entered the scooter space but as a new electric version of their Chetak scooter under the Urbanite EV sub-brand. The production of the Chetak Electric started on September 25, 2019 at the Chakan plant of Bajaj Auto. It is being launched initially in Pune (4 dealerships) and Bangalore (13 dealerships) in January 2020 and will be sold through select KTM dealerships.

We post a history of a classic bike/car every sunday as part of #ZagClassicSunday, make sure to follow us to get instant updates.

Also, Share with your Chetak fans!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *