I've ridden Raptor, Dominator (Batman KnightFlight) and Mantis many times over the years. I've found Raptor and Dominator to have lasted well over time. If fact, I've hardly noticed any differance at all. I'm not a big fan of Mantis, but it's stayed smooth.
I think their future is going to be strong. The only way they'll have an Arrow-future will be if they lose their minds and radically change their formulas which have brought them much sucess.
I've always found Kumba to be smooth as glass. The only "rough" B&M I've ridden was Dorney's Hydra, and that was brand-new. I don't see B&M's becoming tomorrow's Arrow loopers, as Arrow loopers always sucked. It's just that, at the time, there was nothing to compare them to and therefore nothing to make that fact very clear.
Even if they do become rougher, they will never be as bad as an Arrow coaster. Arrow coaster have horrible, cramped, hard fiberglass seating. Plus bad transitions. Put that together and you get beat up. Smaller people are thrown around in the restraints. Taller people are banging against the front and sides of the car itself.
The B & M cars have open seating that doesn't trash you against the car body itself like an Arrow.
I am tall and the worst thing about the Arrow cars is that they have a little lip under the front of each car that you continually whack your knees on throughout the ride. Just plain poor design.
I agree completely. I've been on quite a few older B&Ms and I've gotten a mixture of rides. I've ridden B:TR at Six Flags in NJ and I find that, while a good ride, it's a bit rough. However I've also ridden Nemesis over at Alton Towers and found it to be an smooth as any new coaster I've ever been on. Not sure about the heat affecting B&Ms, but I know the cold sure does. Nitro at SFNJ isn't nearly as smooth as it was when it opened. Jersey winters can be rough.
I realized why I first thought these were rough but now i realize that they really arent. I think everytime we ride a B&M we are so used to a great ride and then when a little something happens like vibration we jump to think that somethings wrong. They are constantly painful they are just like little taps unlike the punches of arrow. Wat i am trying to say is that we go on B&M's expecting nothing bad at all no pain or anything and when something little happens we are disappointed not in pain
When I saw this topic I thought it was a question of waht the future holds for Bolliger and Mallibard, as in how much longer can they stay in business. I mean Six Flags was a huge contributer to B&M's success, and like it or not, it looks like Six Flags wont be buying any B&M's in any near future. They are only making 2 coasters for 2007. Of the 6 coasters they made last year, half were for Six Flags. Just something to think about...
I can only say: RR used to be THE SPIRITUAL COASTER EXPERIENCE to me six years ago, but last sunday it was just another bang-me-up ride.
Maybe I am oversensitive to these things - I stay away from Arrow/Vekoma products completely (apart, of course, from DejaVu and X and the likes).
Eurostar has a reason to age being taken down and re-constructed all the time, but shouldn't fixed installations always run the same as long as the parts are all well maintained (such as wheels renewed and rails smoothed etc.)
Well, given that the thread was started by Audioslaved because he originally felt B&M was rough, here's my take:
Audioslaved wanted to say: When I first started this thread about the future of B&Ms, I thought the old ones were getting rough like Arrow coasters. After this discussion, what I realized is that when we get on a B&M, we've gotten used to riding a smooth, well-engineered ride. When something happens where we feel vibrations like if a wheel change is needed, we jump to conclusions that something is wrong or the ride is getting rough. However, unlike some Arrow rollercoasters that are very painful through much of the ride, the B&Ms that I've ridden and felt rough were just in certain spots. The Arrows are MUCH more painful to me. In fact, I think we've grown so accustomed to the B&M perfection that when we do experience something other than butter-smooth on a B&M coaster, it's more that we feel disappointed than in pain.