Kemah Boardwalk and Bullet Discussion Thread

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Postby texcoaster » Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:26 pm

The major issues of shuffling, slamming, and jarring appear (from watching the water bottle test dummies) to have been fixed. Most of the work was done in the area between the first drop and the second big drop. That section seems quite a bit faster now, especially the crest of the second drop (where it used to slow down a lot).

It should (assuming that it passed inspection) be open tomorrow. It will be easier to tell the improvements then.

When we left this evening, the inspector was on his way back to the hotel to crunch the data, and the crew were cycling both trains, something they haven't done in a long time.

The train with the dummies was running faster than before, the empty train was pretty sluggish. Looking forward to riding tomorrow.

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Postby GuruGuys » Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:26 pm

SharkTums wrote:I think they should have kept it down longer. I don't belive that a quick rehab like this will help the ride in the long term.


I'm sure you guys have better sources than I do. This makes me assume there are more problems Gravity Group wishes they would have dealt with than what they did. If this is the case I too wish it was down longer. Otherwise, I'm not sure what else they would do by keeping it down longer. They had up to 10 workers on it for over a month working 10+ hours a day. I don't know if normal off season coaster maintenance is usually that involved?

If it passes inspection tonight then it will be open tomorrow. Doesn't look like it will be too much faster from the initial tests, but did look like much of the shuffling was gone from the upper bay turn.

-GK

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Postby almightyfire » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:45 pm

I am no expert but do all think that if the lift was 10 ft higher that it would be faster than it is now? I don't see how retracking would make it faster if the first drop wasn't taller. I know the space was limited but I think if the lift were steeper and it would have allowed 10 more feet of height, it would have been a little faster.

Just my conjecture.

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Postby lorddoonga » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:34 pm

I wonder why GG would make a point to mention Bullet will reach a speed of 51 mph? If it never breaks 49 mph, why not just say 50 mph?

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Postby texcoaster » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:04 pm

almightyfire wrote:I am no expert but do all think that if the lift was 10 ft higher that it would be faster than it is now? I don't see how retracking would make it faster if the first drop wasn't taller. I know the space was limited but I think if the lift were steeper and it would have allowed 10 more feet of height, it would have been a little faster.

Just my conjecture.


Making the lift taller WOULD make it faster, yes.

But if the track is "off" and causing the train to violently bang back and forth on turns and shuffle a lot, that causes a great deal of energy loss. Fixing and smoothing those sections would cause an overall increase in speed.

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Bullet Re-Opened

Postby GuruGuys » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:27 pm

The Bullet will be re-opened tomorrow on New Years Day. The ride is MUCH smoother now throughout the first drop. Those who like the lateral forces will be a bit disappointed as the first drop all the way to the upper bay turn is very tame now. Those who thought it was too rough or aggressive will be happy. It's really amazing what only a few inches of adjustments here and there have done.

The front seats are my favorite now, row two right which was almost unridable for me is now really fun. It seems to retain a bit of the action on the first drop that was lacking in the other seats.

The back seat ejector air is not like it used to be, only about half as intense. The "Pop" is still there, only about 1/2 as intense.

The track needed lubricated and was screaming all over the place so I'm sure it will pick up speed once they graphite it. It was testing between 66 seconds to 72 seconds, about what it rode before the changes...

I'll be riding a good chunk of the day tomorrow so should get a feel for how I like the changes. Right now I have mixed reactions. I am quite confident that those who thought it was too rough will like it much better now however.

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Postby texcoaster » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:28 pm

OK, after a dozen rides tonight, here are my first impressions of Bullet 2.0

Before I get into it, let me say that the train was empty except for Guru and myself, it hadn't cycled very much and still had some breaking in to do, and the temps were dropping quickly, making the ride even more sluggish.

Point-by-point, here are the changes:

Station to first drop: no change

First drop: violent ejector air in the back is gone. There is still good air, but not the thigh-bruising slam there used to be. You pretty much have to be in the back 3 rows to get air at all, but that's not much different than before.

Bottom of drop and zig-zag: this is the biggie. What was once some of the most intense, aggressive wood coaster track on earth is now faster, smoother, much less aggressive, and not nearly as intense as before. People will still have their hands raised through this section now. Folks like me who LOVED the aggressiveness there are going to be a bit disappointed, feeling that the ride has lost its teeth. The airtime on the zig-zag hump isn't as pronounced any more, but there is still some there. It has NEVER been that smooth there before. It's actually one of the smoothest parts of the ride now. The general public, the average coaster rider, and a handful of TPR wusses are going to like this ride A LOT more now. The rest of us will talk about that section in the past tense, the same way we talk about other coasters that got tamed.

Upper bay turn: one word -- FAST. Not brutal at all, even with a hint of the "triple slam" that used to keep the intensity going. This section is significantly improved.

Second big hill: much more airtime for the front cars going into the water tower turn. Early test runs (with a trainload of loaded water dummies) were zipping over this hill pretty quickly. The empty train (except for the two riders) wasn't much faster here than before. Anxious to ride with a full train tomorrow!

Second drop into middle bay turn: some nice yank in the back car coming into the drop. Floater air in the front cars on the bunny hop. Middle bay turn feels a smidge faster, but not really noticable until you get to...

Queue line flyover: this was the hill that I really looked forward to when I watched it being built, but it never really delivered. It almost does now, and in the front seat it actually does. Sideways banked floater air. Neato.

"The pop": isn't quite as sharp as before, but it's STILL THERE :b :br All of the surprise with none of the pain. This is a good thing.

The rest of the ride (station drop, photo turn, lower bay turn, brake run hop, final turns): largely the same as before. Once the ride breaks in again, this may improve.

Brake run: still crawls back to the station at 0.0004 mph. Sigh. The mag brakes actually stop the train before the squeeze brake now.


Bottom line: for me personally, I think the ride will probably drop a notch or two on my list now. I'll know better after a full day of riding tomorrow with more people on the train. For *MOST* people, however, the ride will be better. It's smoother, less aggressive, and FAR more re-ridable than before. You aren't going to hear any complaints about sore necks, ribs, etc from this ride now. Even the back seat is smooth enough to marathon on now. Hell, even the middle seats, which I would avoid like the plague before, were not only ridable, but FUN. This was a good move on the Boardwalk's part to make the ride better for 99% of the people who will be buying tickets. For the other 1% like myself, I'll just enjoy it for what it is now (which is still a really good ride), and fondly remember when it had "the most intense 15 seconds of any wood coaster on earth."

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Postby almightyfire » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:07 pm

Oh well, If the weather is good tomorrow I will see you all there. I will have to see if i like it or not. Or if I notice a big difference.

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Postby texcoaster » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:17 pm

almightyfire wrote:Oh well, If the weather is good tomorrow I will see you all there. I will have to see if i like it or not. Or if I notice a big difference.


I can't tell whether or not you'll like it, but I can PROMISE you that you'll notice the difference. The first drop, zig-zag, and upper bay turn are pretty family-friendly now, and not rough at all. TOTALLY different than before.

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Postby lorddoonga » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:48 pm

bitter / sweet ... i guess it seems. I was one of those few "privileged" to have my neck and ribs sore for 3 days straight : )

01/01/2008: HEY GURU.. is Bullet really gonna be reopened today? what time?

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