Bike-scooters/ First-drive/ 2024 Bajaj Chetak | A Slow Yet Steady Evolution | First Ride Review

2024 Bajaj Chetak | A Slow Yet Steady Evolution | First Ride Review

Bajaj Chetak - Modern evolution of a classic brand name

For

Improved range and features

Against

Limited top speed

Riding

Evolved rideability - Denser battery cells, better BMS and more

Bajaj has revised the battery pack, and thanks to clever engineering, it liberates 21L under-seat storage as compared to 17L on the outgoing model. This revised battery pack, has denser cells in the same package, storing more energy, delivering more usable power and bringing more efficiency with an updated battery management system (BMS). The Urbane version delivers an ARIA score of 113kms with its 2.9kWh battery pack, while the Premium version delivers an ARIA rated 126kms with its 3.2kWh battery pack. Both these variants take a similar time of 4.5 hours to charge from 0-100% SOC.

The 4080W side-mounted motor remains the same, but with the revised battery packs on similar 90-section 12” tyres and the TecPac, the Chetak has evolved into a viable option for modern-era e-scooter commutes among competitors. Riders can switch modes on the fly, and there are significant power curve changes when switching from Eco to Sport modes and vice versa. The power delivery is progressive at the start in the Eco mode, while there is a good amount of electric torque in the mid-range all the way to the top end of this e-scooter. Regenerative braking is automated and is less intrusive in Eco mode, allowing the Chetak to glide. Switch to Sport mode, and the Chetak becomes peppy right from the start all the way to its top-end speeds. Regenerative braking adapts accordingly and is a tad bit more aggressive than Eco mode. Reverse mode comes in handy for sensitive beings and is capped at 3km/h.

What has improved is the BMS and the way this scooter now feels like filtering through traffic and on highways. The Chetak has become peppier than before, especially in the mid-range for the Eco mode and throughout the Sport mode. Overtakes are zippier, there is enough power to pull through gaps in traffic and also enough top-end to sustain a good highway run. Despite the metal body, Chetak feels nimble on the road and has one of the best suspension setups, comfortable for solo and pillion riders. The BMS has improved by miles and bounds. We picked the Chetak at 70% SOC, drove sedately around Pune for about 40Kms through start-stop traffic, some highway sprints, and returned the Chetak in the evening with 68% SOC. This was darn impressive. The graph had us refilling the battery SOC through traffic and depleting on highways, but the overall result left us impressed.



TopGear Magazine July 2024