I recently rode my 5th B&M Invert. Here is my ranking:
1. Raptor - far and away, my favorite invert. It combines everything I like about the other inverts on this list: great first drop; long, fun layout; and old-school B&M intensity. 2. Banshee - this one has the best first drop out of the inverts I've ridden, mainly due to the lack of a pre-drop. I rode it several times last summer, and the drop caught me by surprise each time. The layout is fun, but it lacks intensity. 3. Batman the Ride - so far, I've only ridden SFMM's Batman clone, and it's definitely an under-rated ride. It has a short layout, but it does a lot with the small footprint. It's one of the few rides that causes me to gray out. 4. Flight Deck (CGA) - another under-rated ride. It's another old-school B&M with a short but intense layout. I give the edge to the Batman clones because they do a little bit more with their short layout than Flight Deck does. 5. Silver Bullet - while this is my least favorite invert, I do not dislike it. The layout is fun, but its lack of intensity makes it feel like a family coaster. I usually take a spin on it whenever I visit Knott's, but I don't stay on for multiple re-rides like I would with the others on this list.
I have ridden 9 B&M Inverts with 3 of those being Batman clones (which all feel identical to me).
1. Banshee. I know this ride is a little controversial among Inverts, but I still love it. The first drop is fantastic, several of the inversions have good forces going in and out of them, and the final inline twist is a blast. I also like the restraints and think they work well on an inverted coaster. Oh, and the theme is awesome.
2. Afterburn. I suppose you could say this is my favorite "traditional" B&M Invert. The elements all flow perfectly, the batwing has insane whip, and the final corkscrew tries to rip your legs off.
3. Batman clones. I have ridden three (SFMM, SFGAdv, SFOG) and like them all equally. Super forceful and tons of fun.
4. Great Bear. I think this is the most underrated B&M Invert. The first three inversions are awesome, the lake fly-by is cool, and the final corkscrew has great whip. Yeah it does meander a little, but I like it's unique layout.
5. Raptor. It's a good ride, but there are some parts of the layout I'm not too fond of. The cobra roll is pretty uncomfortable, and the final snap into the brakes is... weird. I will say I love the first drop, loop, and zero-G roll though.
6. Flight Deck. This ride definitely brings the forces and whip of an old-school Invert, but I wish it had a few more elements. It just feels cut short.
7. Silver Bullet. I feel bad putting this one last because it's my most-ridden Invert and first B&M overall, but I will admit the first drop is very tame and the layout doesn't quite bring the "whip" of the '90s layouts. I still think it's a great ride though. Very smooth, awesome overbank turn and zero-G roll, and the corkscrew-helix finale is fantastic.
There isn't a B&M Invert I've ridden that I don't like. They're all great, just some more exciting than others.
1. Alpengeist – Oldschool B&M forces, snappy inversions, massive height & speed. 2. Montu – Cool theming and layout (loop after the MCBR?!). Points docked for a slow 2nd half. 3. Talon – This coaster is a sleeper. Great layout featuring a little bit of everything. Extra points for the color scheme. 4. Great Bear – I've never understood the hate on this coaster - perhaps, in part, because I used to op at Hershey and ran it a few times (but mostly Skyrush). Super forceful, incredible layout given the topography, a visual and sonic icon of Comet Hollow. Unfortunately, that same topography made it kinda short. 5. B:TR – Only ever ridden the original. This thing is a force machine. Riding in a middle seat actually feels like you're in the Batmobile.
Honorable mention to Raptor (it's an amazing ride. It's also overrated to justify 2hr waits), Afterburn (the batwing!), and Top-Gun-Rename-O-Rama at Great America.
Millie I Skyrush I Toro I I305 I Fury I Maverick I Kumba I Volcano I Phantom I Phoenix
Funny how dividing Banshee is. It's really a black sheep among B&M inverts. On top of having unique trains, it has a super unique layout and doesn't feature any traditional "flat spins," which I tend to really like. It's not snappy like the other inverts but I think it's still a great ride. Plus, the restraints are a HUGE improvement over all the other inverts.
The one ride I'm surprised more enthusiast's don't like is Silver Bullet. Other than the first drop, the layout is super forceful and unique. The ride fits in perfectly at a park that is better known for its theming than thrill rides, and its positioning really makes it stand out. The fact that it's at Knott's makes it seem bigger than it is, even when you ride. But above all, it's the smoothest B&M invert that I've ridden. No headbanging and no rattle, like it hit the sweet spot of B&M ride design.
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