Vekoma started using steerable trucks in 2005. I think the first to use them were the SLC in Magic Springs. This eliminates a lot of the jarring. The front and back motion from the train compressing in the loops is still there but now you'll have soft padding instead of a horse collar.
I always founf it to be remarkable, that Vekoma made numerous attempts to change the trains, while the actual design of the SLCs was only slightly chanded from 1st to 3rd generation. The main reasons for the jarring ride - the long combined with the small inversions - were not changed at all.
^ I agree Peabody the Nor'easter is one of the smoothest ones I have ridden as well. The new restraints will definitely help the comfort, and make them much more ridable. I wonder how many parks will be willing to make the investment in these new trains?
I too was invited to test out the new seats and they are really cool. I took about 6 laps, which is more than I have even ridden in total.
What was very interesting in today's testing, was that only the front row was modified with the new seats (similar to the pic a few posts back). So you were able to ride in the second row for comparison -- and wow, what a difference.
Now, clearly it's no B&M, but for an SLC, it's as close as you are going to get. It's a decent ride now.
AJ is correct...one huge benefit is the "open feel" you now get while riding and now one can actually look at and have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. You don't feel like you are in a "box" anymore.
The harnesses do tighten a bit as you ride and coming into the trim, you are pretty much stapled into the seat. But the seat is more angled back and your center of gravity is lower, so they are WAY more comfortable than the old seats.
If you are looking for the smoothness of a B&M, you will be disappointed. If you looking for a decent ride, one that you would probably ride again, these new seats are the way to go. Hopefully the remainder of the testing goes well and the Morey's purchase the rest of the seats. I think it would be the first SLC in North America to receive the retrofit.