We’re getting early reports on the first shipment of Bajaj Chetaks and the word on the street is very good. We’ll have more details soon, but for now, here’s our friend Matthew from Chicago:
This bike is so smooth. The clutch is like butter. Almost too smooth. I was in first and moving before I’d even decided on my route home. Got it up to 40 and it had a ton more room left to go. But I’m trying to be good while I run it in. It was hard though. Braking has been solid, haven’t had to test it yet but it inspires confidence. It is nice not to have to take your hands off the controls to signal turns. I’ve been spoiled by my automatic for city driving but the shifting is so smooth that I have no desire to ever get on the Derbi again. Finding neutral is a breeze and it doesn’t stall out instantly if you’re wrong and still easing the clutch out. Huge glove box. Easily fit a six pack at least. Electric start is also nice and the horn sounds like a horn, not a toy. And the engine is so quiet that I actually heard my cell phone ring. Couldn’t answer it, but I heard it. Just have to take the ear piece from now on.
Now the negatives. Neutral light is great idea but not bright enough during day running. Checking the oil is a little hard (has a gas gauge but not an oil one so you have to use their dipstick located under the engine). Turn signal alarm is annoying but does make sure you’re not going to leave it on. There are a lot of controls on the clutch handle. But I got used to it quickly anyway. It’s only really bad when you’re trying to shift AND turn off the turn signal at the same time. All of these things are going to be less and less annoying the quicker I get used to them. The only real concern so far is that the mirrors are a little small and are tricky to position. Now that I’m home so I can wrench on them, I might be able to adjust them but then again I might have to just replace them if I can.
These are just my initial reactions after the first five miles of riding. If you want to know anything else, just ask.
One thought on “First Chetaks are here!”
Thanks, Matthew. Other reports have added that the tires could be better, the rear turn signal wiring made the cowl hard to remove, and agreed with you on the mirrors. The oil dipstick probably needs to be where it is, and it’s not like a two-stroke oil tank where you’ll need to get at it a lot, you’ll only mess with it for routine maintenance. display lights are often a problem in the sun, Tracie’s motorcycle has the same problem.
From what I’ve been reading on the groups. people are impressed with the body and build quality, and despite the lack of discs, the brakes are reported to be very well-thought-out, with no front-end dive.
Most importantly, people are saying they’re a breeze to drive and handle well, and that the warranty and modern conveniences make up for any negatives. All in all, it sounds like even for the higher-than-originally-promised price, this is a great, metal-bodied geared scooter for a very reasonable price.
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