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Considering a 2002 Chetak 4 stroke

 
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Considering a 2002 Chetak 4 stroke
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neuro



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Memphis

Post Considering a 2002 Chetak 4 stroke Reply with quote
Posted on Craigslist this week is a 2002 Bajaj Chetak 4 stroke. It's got less than 3000 miles, garage kept, never dropped. The seller is asking $1000. I've owned a Vespa VBB and a Stella 4 stroke, so I'm familiar with the style of scoot and the transmission... but no familiarity with the Chetak product directly. I know they're no longer in production and parts may be difficult to obtain. Is that enough reason to stay away from this scoot? The owner says is runs great but I'll take a test drive first.

Are there peculiarities I should look for as I visit the seller? Any red flags? I'd appreciate any input.
neuro

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:25 pm View user's profile Send private message
Desert Dweller



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 49
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Post Reply with quote
The 2002 Chetaks have a number of issues. As far as I know, all the issues were addressed in the 2003 model year, which resulted in a price increase. Hence given the choice between a stock 2002 and any later model, go for the later one. Parts for any model year will fit on any other model year 2002-2005. Doing all the upgrades yourself will essentially turn your 2002 into a 2003, except for the VIN number. The 2002 voltage rectifier/regulator is notorious for failing. The clues are that the battery won't hold a charge and/or the headlight and gas gauge stop working at the same time. My regulator just gave out at 6,800 miles. I think most of them have failed even sooner. It can be replaced with a generic one, though figuring out which generic one is the big question. The rear hub nut tends to come loose on all models. You have to check this at least monthly, or else you will strip the splines in the hub. The later models have better splines. It's easy to check the hub nut, just put the scoot up on the jack and try to wiggle the rear wheel by hand. When the nut is tight, there should be absolutely no side to side play. The 2002 models did not include the jack in the tool kit. The jack costs about $10 if you can find one. A VERY GOOD INVESTMENT! The OEM tires for all years are nylon and last forever, but you had best get rid of them ASAP as they have no traction on wet pavement. Flywheel rivets have been known to shear off. Occasionally someone has a mysterious clutch problem that is very difficult to diagnose because it will only appear after the bike has been running more than fifteen minutes. You take the bike to the shop, you leave it. A day later they check it out for five minutes. It runs fine. They think you're paranoid. You retrieve it and the next day after fifteen minutes the problem is back. This is caused by a loose clutch hub nut. It's an easy fix, in that all you have to do is tighten it. The bad news is you have to split the engine case to get to it. You can read up on all these issues in this forum by using the search function.

A quick way to verify that a scoot is a 2002 is to look at the gear shift markers. The 2002 had dots or dashes at each detent. The later models have the numerals 1, 2, 3, and 4.

If I didn't already have two 2002 Chetaks, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one as long as I was confident that the rear hub splines weren't stripped. On both my scooters I have gone through a 3,000 mile service interval without ANY issues at all, not even cable replacements. That is not likely to be your experience with a vintage scooter.

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2002 Red Bajaj Chetak (two of them)
1984 Gold Honda Aero 125
1974 Orange Vespa Primavera 125 (out of service)
Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:16 am View user's profile Send private message
rufusswan



Joined: 29 Sep 2007
Posts: 1786
Location: Taneyville, Missouri

Post Reply with quote
The 4T is simply a version of the age old 2 stroke Chetak sold all over India for decades. I don't know if any Japanese bike makers were affiliated. It is a lovely bike that may not be quite as fast on the road as a 2T but it is surely stronger. I don't know how many were sold over here, but surely many more were sold in India.

Yes, the scoot will have some specific parts, mostly in the motor and electrical stuff like switches. So parts might be a bitch, but they can be had, or you can improvise. In terms of "known problems" those two have been outlined above. Bajaj got a batch of bad voltage regulators .. and .. the scoot had issues with the rear hubs. Honestly, most folk who got them simply did not check for this and by the time it was noticed it was too late. I put thousands of miles on my 02 with no issues. You can safely over-torque the rear hub nut.

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Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:06 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
neuro



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Memphis

Post Reply with quote
I checked out the Bajaj yesterday in person. A 2002 4 stroke, 5000 miles, garage kept. No scratches except for one small scratch on the left leg shield trim. Nice chrome front rack and chrome front fender guard. Nice black cowl guards. Tires in good shape, no oil leaking, brakes fine. I asked the owner to not start it up that morning so I could do a cold start... it started like a champ! Even better than my new Stella 4T when she's cold! Took it out on the road and all I can get out of the Bajaj was 50 mph indicated... but it was responsive in that speed range and shifted well. I explained to the owner that Bajaj stopped making scoots in 2009 and that parts would be difficult to come by... so she dropped her asking price from $1000 down to $850. I'm really thinking about calling her back and bringing it home.

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Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:09 pm View user's profile Send private message
neuro



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Memphis

Post Reply with quote
So glad I got input from you all on the Bajaj. I went back tonight and bought the scoot, but before I drove it home I checked out the rear wheel. It was very loose, and when I pulled off the cotter pin assembly the rear hub nut was WAY loose.... at least 5 mm unscrewed...so loose that I could turn it by finger. I inspected the threads of the hub and they were fine... no stripping. So I tightened the wheel nut down and drove it home with no problems!

Now, if any of you are near Memphis next April, come visit us for our Dead Elvis VII scooter rally, hosted by the Memphis Kings Scooter Club. I'll be fixing up this little red Chetak and raffling it off (there's not much fixing up to do really, probably will get the seats reupholstered, that's about it!). We'll try to have a second scoot to raffle off as well.... a new Kymco from our local dealership.

Later all, and thanks!
neuro (aka Jay Blundon, President, Memphis Kings Scooter Club, 2013)
www.memphiskings.net

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Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:19 am View user's profile Send private message
Desert Dweller



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 49
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Post Reply with quote
Threads are not splines. Hopefully you will be OK.

_________________
Never say never. The long term odds are against you.
__________________________________________
2002 Red Bajaj Chetak (two of them)
1984 Gold Honda Aero 125
1974 Orange Vespa Primavera 125 (out of service)
Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:37 am View user's profile Send private message
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