Future of Bolliger and Mallibard

Not to mention, riding a silky smooth coaster is not always a good thing...
Jeff's avatar
Arrow was crappy engineering from the start. It's not like the parabolic curve was invented by Walter and Claude. Schwarzkopf not only used it, but knew how to bend steel to conform to it.

jomo said:
If that were true, wouldn't it have been rough from the start?
What did I say? The track doesn't wear, the wheels and springs do. I can't tell you how many times I've been on Millennium Force or GL's Dominator and watched the cars in front of me shake laterally all over the place, because of sloppy springs. If it were the track, you'd see the "bump" move through each car in a wave.

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

I've ridden loads of B&M's including some of the earlier models. Iron Wolf made me nervous because of "its" reputation, but we sat in the back seat and were pleasently suprised that it wasn't that bad. We also had no idea it was so long.

I've ridden two of the earlier Batman's (SFGAM & SFGADV) and think they still hold up well. SFGAM & SFGADV's flyers are fine as well. The inverts have all been good. No problems either with AC, RB, or Nitro.

Where I've had some problems is with some of the floorless models. Batman the Dark Knight in the interlocking corkscrews, and Hydra's Revenge--pretty much the whole ride. With Hydra, someone mentioned they were using a combination of different wheel types, which was resulting in the bumpiness.

The other standups are love-it-or-hate-it. I don't recall hating Chang, but Mantis I might sit-out next year. I don't recall any headbanging per se, but, the bicycle seat still hurt my thighs the following day. And that was the first ride of the day!

I don't why it would be any different than Iron Wolf, Vortex (Carowinds), or Chang which all have the same seat, but maybe it's the transitions and g's. I don't know?

There are a couple of factors that led to the roughness of Iron wolf @ SFGAm. 1) It was smushed into a small footprint [former z-force (aka flashback) location]. 2) The back half of the ride was built on a filled in pond. 3) There was footer problems in 91-92.

I do agree that arrow was sloppy in designing rides, they also allowed themselves to compromised by the parks. Arrow compressed shockwave, so that it could fit into the parking lot. I think that Great American Scream Machine @ SKGAd has had less problems compared to Shcokwave because of its larger foot print.

About B&M, I think their best design will survive the test of time just like classic wood coasters did dark ages of roller coaster during the 40's, 50's, and 60's.

Mamoosh's avatar
"smushed into a small footprint"? The ride was designed specifically for that plot of land. No smushing was required.
Even though it was designed for that spot. It is a tight spot that cause some sharp transitions. Examples: exit of vertical loop into the first turn around, exit of corkscrew, entrance to the low turn next to the service road.

I was saying that the footprint size is one of the factors in roughness of that ride.

I think it had to of been smushed into the area because if you have ever seen Z-force (FlashBack) that thing doesnt take up any space at all.
Keep in mind about Iron Wolf being one of, if not the first coasters B&M created. I think Z-Force (then) was a team effort with another group. Once again I should check with rcdb before I make statements like that.

It was an early effort and they probably didn't learn all the "bugs" (cough) in their designs. I wonder how Iron Wolf would be if it was built today?

There was a time I thought BTR at SFGAM was getting rough with a constant, humming vibration a couple of years ago. But the last time I was back it was smooth again. I don't know if they did anything or not but I do recall the difference.

I have to say that the Patriot has been by far the smoothest B&M I have ridden. No head knocking what so ever or any memory of vibrations.

As far as how they age, my jury is still out. But I don't think future Beamers will decline in quality anytime soon.

Thanks for another great season, VF!

As Jeff stated, Iron Wolf is not rough. It is the tight transitions of the layout that obviously make your head bounce left to right and vice versa.

Standup coasters in general just seem to have that stereotype in general. Just lean your head forward on a standup and you should be pain free when you get off the ride.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

I haven't seen any B&M coaster as being rough. There are 2 different types of rough rides. Are you talking about a just bad overall ride, or are you talking about your butt in the seat. Iron Wolf is rough because of the corkscrew.

Many people say Demon is rough because of the corkscrews. Shockwave is rough because it just is a relentless coaster. The batwing however is what really did it after I blacked out on 3 loops in a row. I don't understand how B&M is rough unless you are talking about Iron Wolf. Maybe, you can say Riddler's and Chang, but that's just because there is more pressure on your body.

Now, Batman the Ride at SFStL was rougher than the SFGAm version. This doesn't have anything to do as through the years, blah, blah. It's just the opposite way, and thus it's un-normal and a little rougher in my opinion.

If your head is bouncing around, then a ride is really rough. If it's the one little vibration on Goliath, I just don't get your point of Goliath now being rough. Vibrations are on every roller coaster. Raging Bull has vibrations on it's helix thing going down. That's just the way it's built.

Who's to say that these rides weren't smooth when they were first built? I don't understand it. I think Magnum is horrible now, and I bet you it was that way when it was built. The thing was that it was one of the first, and thus people get all crazy about that ride just because of all tall it was. It was probably was the same exact rough ride back then.

Every year, I hear Batman is getting faster, and faster, and faster. I don't see how that's really possible.

X is a rough coaster that everybody loves. It bangs your knees if you don't put them. I love it as long as it's not my head.

As in the rough category, we have Arrow, and we have Vekoma. Make a Vekoma topic so we can say how great they once were, and how rough there coasters have become. I only see a certain number of coasters that are great that they make. It's not the SLC's, or the Flying Dutchman. Of course, that's my opinion.

It’s all about maintenance. Every Ride needs to have maintenance done to them, if the park does not maintenance it well then it will be rough. Also, I have heard that heat affects B&M's in a bad way, which then requires more maintenance.
I did notice the vibration on Dominator this year. However, I found it to be far less noticeable at the front and back of the train. I think B&M's will age nicely as long as they are maintained.
I suspect that in 20-25 years time we will be looking at many of today's B&M creations in much the same manner as we do currently with classic Schwarzkopf coasters from the 1970s. They won't all survive that long obviously, but I'm guessing that those which do will still give a fun ride :) *** Edited 12/4/2006 6:39:34 PM UTC by Martin Valt***

Arson said:
I only seem to notice the vibration on tracks filled with sand/dirt (that goes for Intamin's Storm Runner, too). Actually, the only exception I can think of is Talon, which I've never noticed a vibration on (paging Dannerman).

Yes? You act as though I have a soft spot for Talon. :)

In all my rides on it in various conditions.. (sun, clouds, mist, fog, rain, snow, daylight, dusk, dark, halloweekends, temperatures ranging from 39-104.. yes it can run in sub-40 as long as the ride times are fast enough, it just can't start if it isn't already running) It's a solid, mostly-smooth ride. Train 1 is a tad slower than Train 2, all things being equal. The only times I've felt considerable vibrations are when a wheel change is needed. I also feel it more often on train 2 than train 1, which may be because the speeds are slightly faster. I'm not 100% certain of that.

As always, YMMV

"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
I think a lot of this discussion depends on your definition of "rough." Earlier this year I rode the Voyage with my sister and she described the ride as being "rough." I disagreed and said the ride was very intense because of forces, quick changes in directions, etc. causing her to perceive the ride as "rough." Same goes for many B&Ms that have tight transitions and such.

I think the only thing that will age about B&M track is the paint.

I rode Kumba this year and I was surprised at how smooth it was. I have NO idea what roughness you are referring to.!?!?
Batman at SFGAm is the ONLY ride that I've been on multiple times that I can honestly say I've noticed a difference from one ride to another. It used to be that I had to brace myself going into the first corkscrew or my head would get slammed from one side to the other. During Fright Fest this year, I didn't hold on to the handles for the entire ride and my head never touched the restraint. The jolt was considerably less last year as well, compared to past years.

Like Chitown said, lean your head forward for standup coasters. I've always done this and I've never had a problem with Iron Wolf. I will say that the front is less bumpy than the back, but the only explanation I have for that is that the front travels through the transitions at a different speed than the back.

Let me try one more example. Fligh of Fear at PKI (maybe the others too?) was the worst and "roughest" ride I had ever been on when I went on it with the OTSR. I thought I knew what it felt like to be a boxer. After riding it with the lap bar restraints, its one of my favorite rides. As far as I know, the trains didn't change, just the restraint system - so the coaster is still "rough" but any jolts aren't taken through the head and so the roughness is not perceived.

"And we are now passing under Millennium Force, which, with the arrival of Top Thrill Dragster, is now...just blue."
I can tell you the only 'rough' ride that was B&M related was Psyclone. (Beemer trains) Other than that I don't see what you all are complaining about. BTR is one of my faveorite rides and Riddlers is only rough if you don't know how to ride it.

I have to admit I could be labled a B&M fanboy but honestly have you ever been on a B&M that you thought was rougher than say Psyclone @ SFMM, Grizzly@ PGA', Demon @ PGa's, Viper @ SFMM? I very highly doubt it.

And as for rides getting rougher have you noticed a pattern? Goliath, BTR do you think that it could be of poor Six Flags maitinence?

I dont think it is possible for Beemers to get as rough as Arrow's because as Jeff said Arrows were never SMOOTH. And in comparison to other designers B&M still gives the smoothest ride.

Look Out Its Medusa Man!
On the topic of Arrow's sloopy designs. Look at some of their more famous rides. In fact the most famous one of all, Magnum. Reprofiling a turn is never good during its second season.

Another famous ride is Gemini at CP. The second hill had to be shortened before it opened.

The Bat at Kings Island was so bad, they took it down.

Finally, X, doesn't need much explaining.

Some B&M's (MANTIS) aren't rough. The design just doesn't work with the trains used. This seems to be the case on most stand ups.

Raptor, (the only other B&M I've been on) is amazing and very smooth. The transition into the brakerun is the only thing.

I havent ridden too many b&m's just the ones at gadv but batman is only even a little rough when its on one of its faster runs. well to me anyways.

Medusa is still pretty smooth for me and so is nitro.

Now the great american scream machine has some parts that always slamm you into your restraint. you ca nsee the parts in the track.

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