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Ride Profile
www.parkworld-online.com
Doohan's Motocoaster after the Australian-born five- Zamperla's coaster uses a flywheel and clutch system
time MotoGP champion, the rotating tires that power to launch instead of an electromagnetic or hyrdraulic
the train through the launch are driven by hydraulic launch system. The standard track layout is a three-
motors. Guests sit two abreast in eight rows for a total layered figure-eight. The prototype was installed in
of 16 riders and reach a top speed of 44 mph within 2008 at Darien Lake outside Buffalo, New York, and
three seconds as they race over 1,984ft of track. another will open this summer at Petapa Park, Xetulul,
Keeping the track low to the ground also increases the Guatemala. A specially designed version, with ride
feeling of speed and allows the onlookers to be more vehicles styled as horses, was also installed in 2008 at
a part of the excitement. Knott's Berry Farm, where it is named Pony Express.
Although none of its units have yet to appear, Marty Keithley, vice-president and general manager
Schäfer Amusement Technology's motorcycle version for Knott’s, points out that "we have had motorcycle
allows prospective clients to choose from a wide type rides before, dating back to the ’70s and ‘80’s,
variety of options, including a lifthill start, an LIM- but we were attracted to this particular coaster
launch and a either single or dual-track layout, the because of its unique restraint system that allows for a
latter designed to allow duelling between a pair of very free-feeling ride."
cars or trains. As ride manufacturers continue to devise new
rollercoaster variations, expect to see more sit-astride
Flywheel Launch coasters. They may take the form of motorcycles,
The Zamperla MotoCoaster, initially built as a horses, jetskis, or perhaps even galloping camels, but
demountable ride on a base frame, consists of a 12- because of their moderate price more are sure to
seater train of six cars, two seats side by side per car. surface being in the coming years. The ride that once
Similar to the system pioneered by Anton Schwarzkopf thrilled only visitors to Coney Island has found new
in shuttle coasters more than 30 years ago, appeal worldwide – only now it’s a lot smoother.
ANTI-CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The original Steeplechase at Coney Island;
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Steeplechase at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; Pony Express at Knott’s Berry Farm; and FEBRUARY 2009
Booster Bike (by Vekoma) at Toverland in Holland, the ride that reignited the trend
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