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COASTER: Ducati World

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Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 12/2019 vom 18.11.2019
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Bildquelle: Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition, Ausgabe 12/2019

The Italian Mirabilandia has erected a new and unique theme area worldwide, in 2019

“The world’s first interactive Duelling with a motorbike-feeling” … this is the way the new coaster at Ravenna was promoted, and indeed Maurer Rides have brought a new sensation onto the tracks – and simultaneously with a number of world novelties. And so, it was understandable that the so called “Spike Coaster” was awarded the 2017 IAAPA Best Product Award.

Hop on the motor bike, click the lap restraint, hands on the accelerator, eyes on the lights, … green – and off you go! The indescribable 1.2 g catapults my machine ...

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... out of the station, a scream behind me – my backseat rider think it’s great as well, and yes, I promise a second ride. But now, down with the accelerator, go right into the first right-left-combo, a track crossing – oh wow, there’s a mate on the parallel track, now the fun really starts. Duelling here is no pilot controlled situation, and indeed it all depends on my driving courage on the new “Desmo Race” coaster , depending on where I accelerate, how late I brake, what I’m game to do in the narrow curves – the best one wins!

There’s nowhere else in the world that one sits in noticeable contact to the street, sorry, naturally tracks. Even regarding acceleration and braking, regardless where on the course, it doesn’t matter if it’s up or down, into or out of a curve, it is all unique and thrilling .

Ducati World

The perfect racing theming is therefore offered by the 2019 opened “Ducati World”, a new theme area at Mira bilandia park near Ravenna, which with 1.4 million visitors annually is the No. 2 among Italian theme parks, and belongs to the Parques Reunidos group. The 35,000 m² (8,6 acres) sized “Ducati World” is the world’s first theme area in a park that was in spired by a motorbike brand name.

Motorbike feeling on the new type of Powered Coaster from Maurer Rides

The Italian manufacturer not only gave its name, but also exhibits a whole lot of original motorbikes as well as technology components. The new park extension has, according to information from the operator, costed around 25 million Euro and contains in addition to the motorbike coaster, further attractions. For example, the large “Experience Building” with various simulators from manufacturer Motion Sphere and E6Lab awaits guests, who take their motorbike places in front of large screens and participate in a motorbike race. Further along the flight ride, “Kiddie Monster” from SBF-Visa offers a family friendly experience with outward swinging gondolas. Guests sit next to each other on motorbikes and are able to swing sideward. A second attraction is called “Diavel Ring”, in which case (small) children can make their rounds on replicas of the motorbike model Ducati Diavel. Particularly interesting is the motorbike course “Scrambler Run” from Preston & Barbieri, on which guests take their place on motorbikes on a Ducati type Scrambler, and can move track bound over the course – also ideal for the whole family. The offers are rounded off with a merchandising shop as well as a restaurant completely in the style of the motor bike brand – guests can simply wallow in the Ducati-feeling.

An overall view of the new theme area

Desmo Race

Nevertheless, “Desmo Race” is the undisputed main attraction. Torsten Schmidt from Maurer Rides: “This really strong appearance is simply because Ducati, Mirabilandia and Maurer Rides have worked closely together. The name ‘Desmo’ came from ‘Desmodronik’. Experts know this special automatically operated valve control that comes from the Ducati Panigale V4, dubbed ‘Surface Missile’. Panigale V4 is the latest motorbike generation from Ducati. The machine was the optical and feeling role model for ‘Desmo Race’. Our engineers have brought this ‘surface missile ’ onto the coaster tracks.” In actual fact, only original Ducati components were built – for example lighting as well as gear and speed display as well as speed indicator – and they are all completely functional. The front with its distinctive lighting, the tank, the windscreen and rear lights were perfectly captured and integrated in the design. The area and the elegant edges convey the sporty aggressive Ducati-look. Additionally, the sound generator provides the typical Ducati-sound during acceleration. And this all-embracing motorbike feeling is all over the complete racing circuit. The circuit leads past the waiting area and into the 270° turn. Coming out of the curve there’s an immediate acceleration again to produce speed. Out and over the station – the first leap, wow! This is followed directly by an even higher airtime-leap over the monorail. Narrow curves demand an extreme inclined position. At the highest point of 22 metres (72 feet) it’s down again with full power.

A closer look at the innovative gearwheel technology

When and how high the acceleration will be, is mostly determined by the front riding guest

Along the bank and into a narrow chicane, under the monorail, onto the finishing straight, who makes it first through the finish line? After so much enthralling ride feeling, the question is how did Maurer Rides do this? The answer: “Spike” is the name of the new drive technology that was developed in 2009 and in the meanwhile is protected by countless patents. The original idea was the good old cogwheel railway, however even if this technology manages to climb the highest German mountain, a thrilling coaster requires more. A newly developed gearing technology was the so lution. This drive technology is in every vehicle, in the form of an extremely powerful electric drive: With a torque speed of 1050 Nm, drivers can catapult to the highest speed within only a matter of seconds. The torque speed is transmitted over a gear wheel to a gear rack that sits directly on the tracks. There is no possibility of slippage and there is no friction loss. This has been named “100% Traction” by the engineers .

A propulsion of over 1 g acceleration can be attained always and everywhere: Even out of the curve or in vertical segments, an even deceleration occurs through out the innovative gearing technology.

Freely Plannable Layout

This system removes the usual block brakes and installations , and with that removal many limitations of where and how highlights can be placed on the course . Gravity, energy potential, block brake segments, and angular acceleration – none of these affect the “Spike” layout. In 2017, the first “Spike Coaster ” opened at the Allgäu Skyline Park: Even with only one lane, the driver naturally could determine the speed and acceleration over the throttle grip. “Desmo Race” now shows a lot more potential: Despite only two-seat cars, the Duelling Coaster with 2 lanes has a capacity of 1,000 persons per hour. This is made possible, among other things, because of a start interval of only 10 seconds. Optically not only the motorbikes but also the Spike tracks are worth a look. With these newly developed vertical tracks, the running rails are not next to each other but placed over each other. With this system, the seating position of the driver and backseat rider can be lowered over the upper rail. Legs are on the left and right of the track, and as passengers sit on the tracks, they feel the speed immediately. An economically interesting side effect of the vertical tracks is favour able engineering statics. They make large support distances possible, and reduce the number of supports and foundations. Additionally, the small, and with that lighter, two-seaters make a simpler steel construction with no foundations possible. “Spike” attractions are also economical in operation, as the drive technology works with an exceptionally high efficiency. During full acceleration a vehicle motor can tap up to max. 130 kW. During deceleration energy is again produced with the motor acting as a generator, and fed into the current bar relatively loss free to be used by the next vehicle. A long-duration mea surement with three vehicles in full-load operation resulted in an energy use of the complete attraction of only 15 kWh. As there are no brakes, lifts, and launch segment, maintenance is focussed completely on the vehicles , and can take place anytime parallel to running operations. In the matter of safety, it’s difficult to top the “Spike” control system: The system recognises the position of every car and can, if there are problems, stop all vehicles safely. The innovative restraint system has been classified by the TÜV Süd as class 5, so that no restrictions resulting from the EN/ASTM Safety norm. The vehicles have been designed for high compression, lifting as well as lateral g-forces, which means: Pure riding fun pure for park guests from 6 years of age (height 120 cm / 47 inch).

The entrance area of the new “Ducati World”

The flight carousel “Kiddie Monster” from SBF-Visa

Various simulators can be found in the entrance hall

Guests can take their place on real motorbikes on the two-lane “Scrambler Run” from Preston & Barbieri


■ Opening: 25th July 2019

■ Track length: 2 x 525 m

■ Max. track height: 22 m

■ Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)

■ Acceleration: 1.2g

■ Ride time: 60 sec

■ 12 vehicles (6 per side) per car 2 pers.

■ Capacity: 1,000 p.p.h.

■ Manufacturer: Maurer Rides GmbH, Munich, Germany

■ Operator: Mirabilandia Ravenna, Italy

Photos: Mirabilandia Maurer Rides Frank Lanfer