Bajaj Chetak 150cc
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Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Posts: 23
Location: berkeley, ca
Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:35 pm quote
yes i am aware this is a vespa haven:)

i am a baby to this scooter stuff and i am about to get my first scooter. I totally love the vespas, but i checked out newer ones the other day and was kind of taken by surprise by their size. they seemed kind of big to me. anyway, ive been looking around and have found this Bajaj Chetak 150cc, and i love the way it looks. but its a 4 gear manual transmission. anyone know how this works? like where is the clutch? is this easy to learn? i did the whole motorcycle safety school thing in san francisco, but because i knew i was getting a scooter, i rode a scooter. and it was some old honda, automatic. press start and go. so i didnt learn how to drive a manual. besides, it doesnt appear to me a manual scooter is driven the same way as a manual motorcycle with the gear shift at your feet.

perhaps someone knows of a scooter that has the look of this Bajaj Chetak 150cc that is automatic? i think i like the older european style of scooters over the sleek very pretty new vespas.

i love the genuine stellas, but alas, theyre not for sale anymore anywhere near me, that i can find.
Petty Tyrant
GT200 GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29148
Location: Bay Area, California
Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:51 pm quote
The clutch is the left-hand lever, that looks like a brake lever. In that regard, it's just like a motorcycle. The shifting is done by twisting the left-hand grip to the correct gear position. In that respect, it's very UN like a motorcycle.

It's also a four-stroke engine. People swear by the Bajaj Chetak. I've never ridden one, but it's supposed to be a great little scooter.
None Yet
Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Nevada City, CA
Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:53 pm quote
Re: Bajaj Chetak 150cc
weizen wrote:
ive been looking around and have found this Bajaj Chetak 150cc, and i love the way it looks. but its a 4 gear manual transmission. anyone know how this works? like where is the clutch? is this easy to learn?
The clutch is on the left hand grip as is the twist shifter. It has a foot brake for the rear and the right hand grip is the front brake.

Bajaj sells (literally) a million of these in India a year. You should have no problem learning how to shift.
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Posts: 23
Location: berkeley, ca
Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:29 pm quote
wonderful. thank you.
'07 LX150
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 61
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:57 pm quote
I don't think the Bajaj's are very much smaller than an LX...
The transmission is smooth, you'll be fine. However I really enjoy CVT.
2005 Genuine Stella 150, 2008 Genuine Buddy, 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Piaggio Fly 150 3v
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 3831
Location: Cleveland, Ohio US of A
Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:10 pm quote
Bajaj Chetak is a great workhorse-type scoot. That being said they have been phased out but Bajaj (Argo usa) and will no longer be made. Parts will be available for awhile (and there are MANY performance mods for these bikes) but they are NOT interchangeable with a Vespa P series the way the LML Star/Genuine Stella is/are. IF you can get a bargain (e.g. a 2004 with 500 miles for $1K) then DO IT. If not you'd be better off in long run with a Stella (also no longer made but parts not a problem) or a Vespa P series (125, 150, 200). If you were my kid/neighbor/friend I'd say get a
'79, '80 or so Vespa P125 or 150. Might be a bit scruffy but if good mechanically (have your local shop check it out) and you have cash you can generally get one this time of year for $1000-1500 USD. It's the same metal-bodied, manual shift, workhorse-type but parts are still being made for these.
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 3220
Location: The Happiest Place on Earth
Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:30 pm quote
IrishTim wrote:
and there are MANY performance mods for these bikes
Parts should be available for a long time. Bajaj has sold so many in India, even the 4 strokes, that I think they will be on the road for a very long time.

Other than the POC pipe, what performance modifications are available off the shelf?
Olivia Newton-John
p200, stella of death, broken down vnb, honda express, vbb
Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 4447
Location: chippewa falls, wisconsin
Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:33 pm quote
i have a legend, but my uncle has a chetek and i've ridden it many times. love both of them and would highly recommend.
'04 Bajaj Chetak
Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 1

Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:52 pm quote
I have a '05 Chetak that I got used about 5 months ago. Had 5,000 miles on the clock. I've added another 1,000 with very few problems (it was due for an oil change, and the rear tire was finally worn).

Don't kid yourself about the size. It's big and heavy. Speed is no great shakes (mine tops out at about 55 mph with a 210 lb rider). I have the folding front and rear racks; I can bungee a milk crate on each end. Couple that with the huge "glove box" and I can carry home more groceries than some economy cars.

Shifting takes a bit of getting used to. As mentioned, the clutch lever is on the left handlebar (motorcycle-like). The whole end of the handlebar rotates to shift gears. It's not a sequential shifter like a motorcycle (which means that you can over- or under-shoot the gear you want until you get a feel for it). Biggest problem moving to this from an automatic is the tendency to grab both levers when you need to stop quickly. Not only do you not have the rear brake (its actually on a right-foot pedal) but you lose the compression braking when you hit the clutch. After a couple of weeks I had the opposite problem when riding my wifes (automatic) Honda Aero 80: I'd grab the front brake when trying to shift gears.

Looks-wise, you can clearly see the Vespa ancestry. Irish Tim said it well: it's a great workhorse scooter. Think of it as the scooter version of a pickup truck (and remember that Ford sells more pickups than sedans in North America!).

Price-wise, the equivalent to mine runs about $1500 - $2000 in the SF Bay area.

Support-wise you couldn't ask for better than SF Scooter Centre. I got spare cables (just in case) and a used front hub to fix a vibrating brake problem (let's just say the PO of my scooter was no mechanic!) from them; they mailed the stuff out to me fast, they're friendly, knowledgeable, and the prices are very reasonable. It doesn't hurt that Argo (the importer) is located in South San Francisco.

If you like to tinker, there's a fair selection of cosmetic stuff available (a lot of Vespa P200 -- I think -- stuff will fit). Performance-wise, there's almost nothing except for a couple of high-performance exhausts. For CA, I'm not sure the exhaust "upgrade" is worth the price and the noise. The Chetak has a 145cc engine, so it's not legal on the freeway in any case, and the 55 mph top speed works fine for me on suburban highways in the Bay Area, and the scooter is big and tall enough that I haven't had any "invisibility" problems (yet). That said, I'm an assertive rider: I usually ride in the left-hand tire rut in order to "own" the lane, and I park diagonally at the back of parking-lot spaces to minimize getting doored or knocked over by someone speeding into what looks like an empty space.
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