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Why do coaster 'clones' ride differently?

Why do coasters which are the same model and constructed by the same manufacturer sometimes ride differently? surely a coaster with the same layout, same height, same trains, made of the same materials etc would ride the same!

What factors could be at play? ....age? (obviously a 'newer' coaster would ride better?, climate? a coaster in a hotter or colder climate might somehow be affected by that?, paint job?, overall weight of all the passengers taking that particular ride? time of day? - we all know about a coaster 'warming up', where you sit - well all know about the differences a ride makes!
Slight re-profiling can help - For example, Orochi/Monster had the transition into the final brake run re-profiling to remove the reported jolt of Raptor. Also Walygator Parc didn't install the mid-course brakes, meaning that it runs a lot faster in the second half.

Re-locations and wear don't help as I would assume that it would require more re-welding.

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I suppose wheel compounds could also be a factor; if the ride is running harder wheels, then it might ride rougher than its clone(s), and vice versa with softer wheels. Different wheel materials could also be a factor; I know it's not a clone, but look at how Storm Chaser's reviews got drastically more positive after it reverted to steel wheels, for example! I'd imagine the same type of scenario could quite easily apply to clones!


Active Member
Even with clones...they aren't always exact clones... Or they evolve over time. Check the layout for El Condor or T2/3 vs new SLC'S, Vekoma updated the layout. B&M also did tweaks with the Batman layout. Just look at say... Vampire or the Over Texas model vs Georgia or Magic Mountain, the ending got lower for the wingover/corkscrews for sure.


Climate also plays a role — for example, the very humid year-round Florida weather wears down coasters much quicker than the long winters of up North. If a coaster is operating year-round, that means it’ll get worn down faster (i.e. get rough quicker); even the few weeks of yearly maintenance pale for coasters in hotter climates pale in comparison to the 3-5 months of time when a Northern park is shuttered for the season. For example — I’ve ridden two Batman: The Ride clones, one being at Six Flags Over Texas and the other at Six Flags Over Georgia. Six Flags Over Georgia’s is certainly more intense and more smooth, perhaps because it hasn’t been worn down nearly as much as Over Texas’s has.


Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
Manufacturing tolerances. It's honestly amazing to look at a drawing or a prototype of a nominally dimensioned physical part and then compare it to what comes off an assembly line. Even with precision, computer controlled machines, part variation can still be significantly large. These tolerances then stack up in an assembly - one support that ends up half inch too tall could get placed next to a support that's a half inch too short, and the resulting stack up could possibly result in a jolt.