B&M New Coaster Shake/Vibrations?

Hello Coaster Fans Who Are Still Nursing Their Bruises From The Son Of Beast Video Shoot,

I have spent the last few days doing a marathon on all the rides at Kings Island (it's been walk on everything all week...next week Cedar Point walk ons)...

I have ridden every seat now on Banshee and Gatekeeper this year.

I haven't been able to travel much with my kids to try out all the new B&M rides, but do they all have a weird shake/vibration to them now?

Raptor to me still seems pretty smooth for the most part, Diamondback is still smooth as glass, but what's with Gatekeeper, and Banshee?

I thought Gatekeeper was just because it was a wing coaster (I haven't ridden the others yet, so I can't really compare them...not to mention the "clicking noise" it makes.

While I LOVE Banshee, I can't help but wonder why it shakes/bounces/vibrates so much? Most B&M rides I have ridden in the past are smooth as glass. Banshee is good in the front, and good in the back...the back does has some weird bounces here and there though, but the middle...it really feels like I'm riding a wooden roller coaster (mind you a really good wooden roller coaster).

Anyone else notice these on the new B&Ms lately?


Jeff's avatar

I haven't noticed any real difference on Banshee, and I've been on that ride a lot. That's not to say you might not end up on a bad wheel, but it's certainly possible.

Regarding the wing coasters, I think there's a perceived amplification when you encounter wheel defects. I've noticed it on GateKeeper and Wild Eagle. This makes sense to me, because of the vehicle design. Let me explain...

Think about a carousel. If you could stand in the middle, it would feel almost like you're not moving. On the outside, it moves much faster. Now imagine the train vehicle. If the vibration feels minor at the middle, over the track, it will feel more extreme on the outside. It's like if you take a PVC pipe and shake it (a la Blue Man Group). The end near your hand doesn't move much, but the end of it moves wildly. Same idea with a wing coaster car, where the outside seats are far away from the source of movement, exaggerating it.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

LostKause's avatar

I thought that was common sense, Jeff. It never occurred to me that someone might not understand that.

I fully understand the further out you sit on something all around forces change. I took it with a grain of salt on Gatekeeper, but now the same thing is felt on Banshee...that's what makes me wonder. My daughters first pointed it out (even during the ride...this...isss....bummmmmpy...), since I myself, have survived MANY rough coasters around the World. These two coasters from B&M are the first two that I have felt it on. I was wondering if they changed a wheel set up or something.

Jeff's avatar

How many laps have you done on Banshee? I've had probably close to 30 at this point, and I've had a few that were a little rough, but not any more than say a Raptor ride on a bad wheel.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I've done about 40 myself, 20 alone this week, and most of my rides have been in August with the exception of 2 at the beginning of the year. I thought maybe it might have something to do with the vest and how one sits in/gets held down compared to the shoulder harness (since they are the only two I have ridden with that type of harness.)

I thought too it might be a bad wheel but I've experienced it all of the different color trains mostly in the middle.

The blue train seems to be the smoothest of all the trains.

I have yet to see any video from the cameras installed into the ride yet either ( I say that because I'm kind of curious to see if the vibration is picked up, or that it's bad enough they can't sell the videos yet...though I would assume there would be an image stabilization of some sort in place?)

Last edited by RollerCoasterGod,

I know exactly what you mean on Banshee... I think it may be due to the new trains honestly.

Rides like Raptor, Talon, Silver Bullet, Great Bear, etc... Can have an almost utterly-smooth sensation under normal circumstances (no bad wheel). Banshee, even during media day could have a "stiff" vibration sensation, which has gotten worse over the season.

I am probably up to 60+ rides on Banshee this year, from three different visits... My latest a few weeks ago it for sure has gotten worse. Some seats were quite bad.

It is not that it is rough by any means, but can cause a headache pretty quickly. The same feeling can be found on Gatekeeper as well and X-Flight, but the wing-trains do amplify "imperfections".

I think the older B&M's tend to have a different feel from the modern ones that use newer train designs. For another example, Leviathan vs. Behemoth built around the same time. Leviathan has that "utterly-smooth" feeling in every seat we rode, probably 15 times that day. While Behemoth had far more vibrations. Diamondback has quite a few moments too.

I think that perhaps it may be how the train is designed on Banshee, more than the track or anything like that.

That is my theory at least... I do agree older B&M's (with a few exceptions that use "old style" trains such as Leviathan, Silver Bullet, Talon, etc...) all develop more vibration with a little wear/tear.

Jeff's avatar

I don't think it's worse or better. The bogies have not really changed much, only the things attached to them. If it got worse, it's certainly possible that the wheel conditions have deteriorated, and that's still going to vary by seat. I did most rides in the third to fifth rows a few weekends ago and found them smooth, but two rides I had in the back, on different trains, were definitely more rough.

My point is probably that unless you catalog train/seat combinations, it's hard to generalize.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

rollergator's avatar

I remember years back riding the new B&M at SFNE (Dark Knight) and finding it pretty rough right out of the box. Tend to agree with Jeff on the idea that maintenance changing out wheels varies WIDELY from park to park...

nasai's avatar

Dark Knight



All were terrible out of the box, especially Scream, at least in my opinion. Glad to know someone else out there noticed this sort of thing. Even Moosh, who rarely complained, agreed with me on Scream.

The Flying Turns makes all the right people wet - Gonch

rollergator's avatar

^I would disagree re: Dominator (my 2nd favorite floorless)....but Scream! was also pretty bumpy even when new.

Granted a "bumpy/rough" Beemer is still better than any SLC/Boomerang in the States...

I have often thought that Patriot at WoF has some odd vibrations as well. I thought it might be that the gauge wasn't quite perfect, as the bogeys feel like they are "hunting" at times. I attended media day for Patriot and noticed right away that it doesn't seem as smooth as Raptor, the Batmans and Talon. It's been too long since I have been on Alpengeist or Great Bear to compare them, and I have not been on Banshee yet, so I don't know if your vibration is the same as the one I am noticing on Patriot.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.

While at Kings Island I did notice that Diamondback shakes quiet a bit. Banshee I feel it's more the intensity during the entire course not really shake. 29 Rides later I still love Banshee and just how well it handles it's course.

At Great America Raging Bulls final third has a bad rattle. A dear friend of mine usually sits it out claiming it turns her vital organs. I think too much drama but, I respect her decision. I have told her she would hate Diamondback for it's shaking. Then I also explained how much I love Banshee but she needs to stick with Batman The Rides intensity level.

Now for real discomfort the unforgiving restraint on Goliath only to be pushed to your hip level. I just keep in mind we are riding coasters not getting massages.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Dominator was weird. The first half was fantastically smooth, then when you hit the midcourse it was like the train morphed into square wheels. The corkscrews you could feel the whole train hunting for the track.

What's funny is now that the ride is at KD that problem has gone away. It was the oddest thing.


I've ridden quite a few B&Ms. Off the top of my head:

Vortex, Georgia Scorcher, Afterburn, Green Lantern, Bizarro NJ, Goliath South, both Dragon Challenges, Hulk, Nitro, Leviathan, Behemoth, Batman x2, Superman Ultimate Flight x2.

The only ones that are rough at all, for me, are Hulk and Lantern. And those are both rough because of the layout, not bumpy, and the only one I flat out disliked was Lantern because it's just far too aggressive for a standup and it really was kind of unpleasant for me. I will give it another chance next year when I finally go back to GAdv. Unless I go sooner....

Jeff's avatar

Hulk is rough because the bushings for the guide wheels are shot. I've never seen a B&M exhibit that much lateral movement on each individual car.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Yeah, Hulk is easily one of the worst alongside Scream at SFMM... We used to ride Hulk fairly often, but the past few years we generally pass it up.

Although, the ride experience greatly improves after a stop at the Lone Palm for Happy Hour... That was the best ride I ever had on it afterward!

It is just weird that the other B&M at the park generally always runs extremely smooth, yet Hulk is the opposite. You would think they would share the same level of maintenance but maybe there is more to it.

Jeff's avatar

You would think, right? But sit in that back row and watch the cars shimmy around through the loops, pretty much every time. Dragons does not. Incidentally, I remember riding Millennium Force feeling rough and observing the same thing. They replaced the bushings mid-season, and bam, smooth ride. The cars aligned and moved together.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Yup, recent B&Ms have a definite shake/vibration. It doesn't bother me too much normally, but if I have a headache/etc I can't repeat ride them.

I gave up on Banshee after a few laps :(

We were also at Kings Island last weekend and was very surprised in the vibrations on both Banshee and Diamondback. Banshee was particularly bad in the back seats. Ended up liking row 1/2 the best. Diamondback was worse on the wing seats.

As well I always found Nitro to have horrible vibrations (regardless of C train) and Apollo's chariot to be glass smooth.

I believe maintenance might have something to do with it. When we were in florida for our first trip down Hulk was running glass smooth and Kumba was horribly rough. A trip a few years later and the situation was reversed and Kumba as very smooth and Hulk was like riding over rocks.

I am also surprised Talon is still so smooth, but that also might be because I believe they use a different wheel compound to reduce noise (along with the sand filled track)

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