MotoCoaster Marks New Era for De-Flagged Darien Lake
On my recent trip to Darien Lake, near Buffalo, NY, I was happy to see that the park is thriving post-Six Flags. PARC Management, the new operators, have the park hitting on all cylinders. They even invested in a first-of-its kind motorcycle-themed launch coaster in the Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster.
Darien Lake did a great job tying in the “Orange County Choppers” TV show. The souvenir shop had the custom chopper that the Tuetuls built for the ride on display. If you’ve never seen the Discovery Channel show it’s pretty cool. It follows a family of custom bike makers in Orange County, New York. It’s an enjoyable show even if you’re like me and have no interest in bikes.
On a Thursday, we waited about 5 minutes before boarding the ‘crotch-rocket’ like cars. You straddle them just like a real bike. After boarding, a restraint bar slowly rises up until it reaches your back. The bar doesn’t smash you into the bike, it still allows you to sit up, but at the same time won’t allow you to fall out. The ride starts with a quick right hand turn out of the station. Then the train, with 6 rows of two bikes across, creeps to the starting line and then stops. The racing lights switch to green and you’re off.
The train thrusts forward at a fun, but not too intense, 0 to 38 mph in 3 seconds. The launch is generated via a flywheel unlike the LIMs found on most launch coasters. It felt much faster than I expected. Part of that might have been the seating position, I’m not sure. After the launch the train climbs up and into the contained twisted layout. I would’ve preferred a more open layout that would’ve traveled around that section of Darien Lake, like Knott’s Berry Farm’s Pony Express, or just had a larger footprint like the Italian Job coasters, but Darien was probably a little short on space.
The layout was still fun. I found myself through my hands up and then holding on for the tighter turns. The idea of a bike-themed coaster may seem a little gimmicky, but I prefer the seating position over stand-up coasters. (I smell another coasterology 101 posts.) Overall, the OCC MotoCoaster is a fun ride with surprising speed, some fun momentary g-forces, and a unique (or at least pretty new) seating position. This is the perfect coaster to re-launch a theme park and hopefully bring the masses back. A new launch coaster for a park this size is a strong addition. Final Rating – 6.5 (Above Average)
OCC MotoCoaster is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale because of its launch.
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden the OCC MotoCoaster? What did you think? Leave a comment below.