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Battle of the top coaster designers  

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  1. 1. Battle of the top coaster designers

    • Intamin
      514
    • B&M
      536


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Am I the only one who don't understand the "glass smooth" argument about B&M? All of the B&M's I have been on have not been glass smooth, they have been rattling.

 

And when it comes to my favorite company it is Intamin, but that's because they are more common over here. Within a day's range I could get to Piraten, Speed Monster, Balder, Kanonen, Insane, Tornado, Mine Train Ulven, Kirnu and Tornado. The only B&M I could reach is Daemonen.

 

I still enjoy B&M just as much as Intamin, and I have yet to ride a bad one from any of them. But I also like pretty much all the coasters I ride, even smaller family ones.

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Am I the only one who don't understand the "glass smooth" argument about B&M? All of the B&M's I have been on have not been glass smooth, they have been rattling.

 

And when it comes to my favorite company it is Intamin, but that's because they are more common over here. Within a day's range I could get to Piraten, Speed Monster, Balder, Kanonen, Insane, Tornado, Mine Train Ulven, Kirnu and Tornado. The only B&M I could reach is Daemonen.

 

I still enjoy B&M just as much as Intamin, and I have yet to ride a bad one from any of them. But I also like pretty much all the coasters I ride, even smaller family ones.

 

After travelling round Europe i must say that both B&M and Intamin coasters are usually smooth but i must say that B&M is the champ in this respect. Another thing -when you visit a park (after travelling cross half of Europe) you expect the main rides to be open. So far i've never experienced a B&M ride closed due to technical problems. I'm sad to say that Intamin rides are far from reliable compared to B&M, especially when it comes to accelerator coasters and LIM/LSM coasters.

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I'm not going to base my rating on reliability, since I'd need actual statistics and not just a "B&Ms are always running and Intamins are usually closed when I go to a park" anecdotes. I'll instead just think back to the rides themselves and in that frame of mind I'd say that I would've given the nod to B&M ten years ago, but not today.

 

B&M is still a quality product, producing well-regarded coasters with massive crowd appeal and high ridership. They used to be innovators, bringing us the inverted coaster, floorless coaster, diving loop, immelman, etc etc... oh, and lets not forget Hulk's launch lift and Dueling Dragons' .. err, dueling. Amazing stuff.

 

These days, however, it's difficult for me to get excited about a new B&M coaster, even a 300ft tall one. The forces seem to be engineered to non-existence, the layouts lack originality (except for X-flight), and I get off them thinking, "well that was fun, but I'm in no hurry to get back in line to do it again."

 

Intamins, on the other hand, get me geeked. Positive Gs, laterals, massive amounts of airtime, interesting layouts... all things I like in a coaster. If I were to rattle off some of my all-time favorite steel coaster moments, most of them are Intamin (Expedition GeForce's first drop, SFNE's Bizarro second hill, the back spike on an impulse coaster, the Stengel curve on Goliath in Holland) and only one is B&M (the rollover above the station on Nemesis). Oddly, one other one is neither (the whole second half of The Ultimate), but that's for another thread.

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^I thought this thread was all about your personal opinion, not statistics, right? In my point of view - how can experienced reliability not be a factor to consider? For me personally i have to consider every aspect of the two since both Intamin and B&M creates marvellous coasters (some of my best ride experiences have been with Intamin rides). It's not like comparing Zamperla and Intamin here.

 

In terms of innovation and creativeness i must say i agree with you, Intamin rides are state of the art in that aspect. But it's easy for an ordinary coasternerd like myself to get the impression that Intamin sometimes are a little bit to hasty when they release their novelties, while B&M really make sure that their new ideas always work and are reliable.

 

When i operation - both are great rides, and it's honestly not easy to pick a favourite.

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Now with two B&Ms at my home park that are quite spectacular I thought it would be cool to look at this again. My opinion is still based only as a park guest. As a park guest, what attracts me and always has attracted me to a park? What makes me fly to another country or drive long hours to get there?

 

I'm taking reliability out of the equation simply because I assume that a park knows what it's getting when it buys a ride and can create an appropriate annual operations budget for it before buying the ride through normal research and planning. I assume that a park's goal is to get people through the gates first and foremost. Also I don't go by anecdotal evidence. Here are some examples that I think no one should judge rides by--My last visits to both Busch parks saw Griffon and Apollo's Chariot down for half a day while maintenace tried to solve the issues. Two seperate visits to Tampa saw Kumba down for a day or two and this last visit, Montu down for the morning because of unknown issues and no word on when it would reopen. Behemoth's opening was delayed during the charity auction and oh, how about that Shambhala? So again, not factoring in reliability since I'm not buying a car or kitchen appliance, I'm not a park and stuff happens to all rides. I won't consider smoothness since I've been on B&Ms that are far from that reputable smoothness that people give them credit for.

 

What held true before I even cared or knew what an Intamin or B&M was a few years ago is still the case. Without even realizing it, I still drive many hours or fly to other countries to go to a park because of its Intamin attraction(s). I can't say I've ever done that for a B&M attraction. Even with both amazing Busch parks I realized that I went to those because of I305 and Disney as the priority during those visits.

 

I still love a few B&M rides without a doubt, don't get me wrong. Kumba, Montu, Talon, Griffon and Behemoth will always be favorites. Having Leviathan in your back yard is something that no one should take for granted. But overall, Intamin is still my favourite. When I ride them, especially after some incredible Ride of Steel rides two weeks ago, they still remind me why I enjoy and love the feeling of riding roller coasters the most. Sky Rush is getting me antsy to drive long hours this summer even. This is a personal thing to be sure and I think is what enjoying roller coasters is all about.

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In my extremely limited coaster experience I would have to go with Intamin. I have been on less than 5 of each manufacturer but out of the B&Ms I've ridden (Apollo, Great Bear, Alpengeist, Dominator) and Intamins (I305, Storm Runner, Volcano, Fahrenheit) the Intamins win.

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Well, B&M certainly has made some great, smooth, and thrilling coasters over the years, but Intamin takes a lot more chances, and know how to go with what works. They've not only created some of the best steelies, but a few of the best woodies as well with their prefab technology. B&M has become rather complacent in recent years, becoming a Vekoma unto itself with its cloned designs all over the place (Case in point, Sheikra and "Dive Coaster".) Maybe that'll change with the new one opening at Dollywood. We'll have to wait and see.

 

For now, Intamin has the clear edge with both quality and innovation.

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I prefer Intamin than B&M. Don't get me wrong I love both manufacturers. Intamin takes the cake because on almost every ride i leave with a "Holy shit that was awesome" feeling. Their rides are so much different, from Maverick to Bizarro, to Xcelerator, they all offer a completely different but awesome experience.

 

B&M has different designs, but they don't really change too much to be honest. The tracks share many of the same elements just with different cars (With the exceptions of flying coasters and dive machines).

 

Intamin just gives me the goofiest smile every time I ride one of their rides. Even after riding Maverick or Bizarro, or Millenium many times, they never get old to me, I still am amazed by the speed, intensity, and airtime.

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I;m going Intamin as well! To be simple B&M make smooth fun rides, but Intamin just makes kick-ass rides!

 

B&M: Just pure fun rides, it's likes B&M sometimes just slows their rides down to be boring. And to don't give their rides the idea of sensation! Just remember those nasty trim brakes onn hypers, loopers and everything else? Well that makes their rides boring for me! I have to say that they also made some great rides, i'm thinking of Nemesis and Air!

 

Intamin: What can i say about this? Their rides just kick-ass! High-G-forces, insane airtime, launches, record breakers? Can we ever stop about things like this? Even their smaller rides kick ass...

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I love both but I would vote Intamin hands down for the simple fact they push the limits more, and succeed, and some of their innovations are truly incredible. B&M is great but lately it seems they tend to play it safe (no 400' tall coaster yet?) and their clones have been done to death, which may not be their fault. Just my opinion.

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I'm definitely going with Intamin. B&M has some amazing rides but they are so formulaic. Drop, big loop, dive loop/immelman, zero g, Cobra Roll(or sea serpent), MCBR, 2 corkscrews. Throw in some helices and call it a day.

 

Intamin seems to constantly push the envelope and isn't afraid of going a little far with it even if they have to end up modifying it (Maverick's barrel roll, I305's turn out of the drop). I've enjoyed B&M rides, but I've had a difficult time whipping a smile off my face after some Intamins. Plus their drop rides are the best too.

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It's sort of an apples and oranges comparison. Everything that differentiates them revolves around the fact that B&M prefers to use more proven technologies while Intamin tends to push the cutting edge. B&M makes more reliable rides by avoiding unproven technologies and pouring a massive amount of engineering into the minutiae when they are forced to try something new. Take, for example of this, B&M's system for raising the seats on flying coasters compared to Intamin's system for leveling the cars on the ZacSpin. I can almost guarantee that B&M's engineers spent much more time on their mechanism than Intamin's did on theirs, and you can see the results of that effort. The critical thing is, though, Intamin's engineers didn't focus on it as much because they were busy making the rest of the ZacSpin work. You can also see it in the forces you undergo on each manufacturer's coasters. Sure, there are forceful B&Ms, but you get the impression that they will never make a Skyrush, Maverick, or Bizarro SFNE (I left out El Toro because B&M doesn't make wooden coasters). Translated into cars, B&M is Porsche (slow, steady improvement in implementation of old tech in order to produce a reliable product that's still fun) while Intamin is Pagani (pushing the limits without concern for practicality). We all have our preferences, but they really are very different, and neither way is really inherently better.

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  • 5 months later...

I would have to say B&M. B&M doesn't exactly go outside of the box that often, but I like that they perfect their designs before they start selling them. Also, while I think Intamin is probably the more innovative company of the two, a lot of their rides are just unreliable and have to be modified. I also feel like Intamin makes stupid mistakes sometimes, things I feel they should have worked out before opening a ride. BUT, both companies build wonderful coasters and they both deserve a pat on the back.

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It depends on your criteria.

 

If you want a crazy push the envelope ride and don't care if it is prone to breakdowns, it's Intamin.

 

If you want a ride that has great capacity and works without downtime you need to hand it to B&M.

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B&M. Though Intamin have made some amazing coasters that beat almost anything B&M has ever made, B&M coasters are consistently better. With the exception of some of their standup coasters, you can pretty much guarantee every B&M you ride will be a smooth, fun, reliable ride. Intamin have some fantastic coasters, but they also have some really crappy ones.

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I really like both. they can both make some improvements too. X-Flight at Six Flags Great America was really fun, but it felt kind of slow. I love some B&M coasters like Nitro at SFGAdv., it's very intense to me. Intamin makes these fast crazy coasters, but they always have maintenance problems. Like SkyRush at Hershey for instance, it just opened this year, yet it still had problems, and got shut down for the rest of the 2012 season in September/ early October. I will always love riding Kingda Ka & Xcelerator though., they feel intense every time I ride them.

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A few years ago I would have voted B&M but thinking about what coasters have genuinely thrilled me, if not made me poop my pants a little bit, it would be Intamin. I like the comfort of B&M but there's a predictability that ruins the thrill factor for me and I'm sure for many other more experienced enthusiasts. Intamin come up with crazy maneuvers that make me question their sanity, Storm Runner is a good example of this. If B&M can continue their bravery as demonstrated by that crazy new Flyer in China (Starry Sky Ripper?), then maybe they'll win back my appreciation.

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Always a great discussion...always a hard decision, at least for me. In my top 10 steel, I have 4 Intamin, and 6 B&M's.

Actually, all 4 Intamin are in my top 6, but still, i'd give the slight nod to B&M.

 

Even counting their Flyers & Standups, the least fav types for enjoyment in my book, they are all so consistent in quality rides, if not "overthetop" excitement, I just have to make them the top dog in this comparo.

 

My last B&M ride was ancient Apocalypse (Iron Wolf) last month at SFA, and at least from the front outside seat it was extremely fun, and even surprisingly a tad forceful. My last Intamin was S:ROS the same day, and she was just plain worn out. Give her the rehab IW just had and that would change things up, but B&M's seem to just keep going strong with the proper tlc...

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Intamin. The Intamins I have ridden have amazing air time and their OTSR are the only ones that do not hurt if head banging occurs. Intamin is the one who keeps pushing the innovation, where in recent years B&M only wants to copy from others innovations. B&M hypers seem rather weak compared to their competitors. Their Inverted coasters have become dull as the same layout is at many parks and some of their newer ones just lack the effort that was evident in the originals. On the plus column, I love their floorless design.

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