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Old 7th July 2012, 02:03   #1
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Default How about a Bajaj Chetak in gearless form ?

Since the past decade we have seen that the gearless scooters are becoming a household norm in almost every home. Weather you own a bike or a car, a gearless scooter has become like a necessity as a secondary commuter for everyone.

Bajaj for one have failed to capitalise on this market and Activa, Access etc have taken over this market by storm. (Of course it was one of the best selling scooter manufacturer with the "Hamaara Bajaj" tag)

Just the other day I saw a Piaggio Vespa, I test drove it and found nothing so special about it for the price they are offering. Though the Vespa is highly priced it is really a very attractive looking scooter in the Retro form.

Then a thought crossed my mind................
What if the Bajaj Chetak makes a retro/nostalgic comeback, in the gearless form..... Bajaj are known for competitive pricing too??
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Old 7th July 2012, 02:56   #2
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Default Re: How about a Bajaj Chetak in gearless form ?

I guess from the sentence,'Bajaj for one have failed to capitalise on this market' if you mean that Bajaj has not launched any gearless scooter ever then let me tell you that they actually did and not 1 but 2 or 3 of them. They not only launched gearless scooter but were very aggressive in its marketing. So much so that they even managed to 'buy' quite a few "Scooter/Bike of the year awards" too. IIRC one of them was Saffire. The market response was also very good. Then after sometime they abruptly pulled the plug and left the owners in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no A*S*S and worst resale value.
IIRC they had a tie-up with some foreign collaborator and there were some serious technology issues with the JV or the bikes itself. So all in all a very nightmarish kind of experience for the customers.
So it is far easier said than done.
As regards Chetak, etc. it seems Bajaj simply doesn't have the technology otherwise why they will miss the bus when other manufacturers are doing decent numbers with their respective gearless scooters.
OT: Till date Bajaj has maintained their legacy of abruptly pulling the plug off its popular models barring pulsar. Be it Hoodibaba (Kawasaki 115/125), Boxer, CT100, etc.
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Old 7th July 2012, 17:58   #3
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Default Re: How about a Bajaj Chetak in gearless form ?

I had driven Bajaj Saffire briefly in mid 90s and it did not compare well with Kinetic Honda.
Main reason (apart from poor workman ship and nigging quality issues ) was that it was not having a CVT but an actual Auto Gear (three gear I believe) and gear changes were not smooth and erratic. Hence it did not gain favor with young collage going poulation and probably made Bajaj think about shutting the production.
This was a poor quality/non reliable vehicle which your road side mechanic could not repair (against Chetaks and Supers which were mastered by road side mechanics).

Sunny was another Bajaj vehicle, which we bought for my sister and used for quite some time. It was good while it lasted ( small 50 cc, CVT, smooth and light) but in around year it started giving so many troubles and became so much maintenance prone, we sold and bought Kinetic, which lasted for around 10 years.

So all in all, Bajaj could never mastered CVT or any other new technologies for their most polular scooters(Chetak/Super), even Chetak 4S was a market failure, thus ended their dream run with closure of Chetak production.

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JLS
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Old 8th July 2012, 17:00   #4
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Default Re: How about a Bajaj Chetak in gearless form ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
I guess from the sentence,'Bajaj for one have failed to capitalise on this market' if you mean that Bajaj has not launched any gearless scooter ever then let me tell you that they actually did and not 1 but 2 or 3 of them. They not only launched gearless scooter but were very aggressive in its marketing. So much so that they even managed to 'buy' quite a few "Scooter/Bike of the year awards" too. IIRC one of them was Saffire. The market response was also very good. Then after sometime they abruptly pulled the plug and left the owners in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no A*S*S and worst resale value.
IIRC they had a tie-up with some foreign collaborator and there were some serious technology issues with the JV or the bikes itself. So all in all a very nightmarish kind of experience for the customers.
So it is far easier said than done.
As regards Chetak, etc. it seems Bajaj simply doesn't have the technology otherwise why they will miss the bus when other manufacturers are doing decent numbers with their respective gearless scooters.
OT: Till date Bajaj has maintained their legacy of abruptly pulling the plug off its popular models barring pulsar. Be it Hoodibaba (Kawasaki 115/125), Boxer, CT100, etc.
That's true ! Actually not only BAJAJ but to an extent LML, Kinetic (now mahindra), Honda, Suzuki, Yamahas, Tvs etc etc, all have these niggling problems of after sales services and spares. Though the products surely score in quality viz activas, wego's and access's, but what I meant to say was in context of Vespa being so much highly priced and just for the Nostalgic value. And Bajaj could definitely do R & D for this segment. (If the previous gearless scooters failed then their R & D department is going in the wrong direction).

It is anyways just a vague thought of bringing the retro feel. But as u said it may or may not be a success. Even the Kinetic Honda came out with a 4 stroke version of their best selling 2 stroke model, but the scooter simply failed !
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Old 8th July 2012, 18:15   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great View Post
That's true !
I have my serious doubts as to people would buy a gearless Chetak or any Bajaj for Retro feel. Lookswise I don't think Bajaj even holds a candle in front of vespa.

Last edited by carwatcher : 8th July 2012 at 18:29.
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