The Spike Story

"The idea was simple: a roller coaster that you can control by yourself. Getting there was a technical challenge."
Jörg Beutler, Managing Director, Maurer Rides GmbH

Only one thing was certain at the beginning: that the vehicles would be equipped with electric motors. In this respect, we benefited greatly from developments in the electromobility sector, which made the required high-performance and also highly robust components available in the first place. However, the main question was: How do we bring the power of the motors onto the tracks such that acceleration becomes an experience unto itself and it is even possible to start off from a vertical position in extreme cases?


Spikes prevent slippage in snow and provide the speedy vehicles with optimal traction. A gear drive is based on the same principle, and it is exactly from this that Spike Racing receives its enormous tractive power. 100% traction along the entire route, in every single bend and twist. Spike technology achieves this with its innovative toothed design and a specially developed material pair combination. Furthermore, it also achieves one crucial aspect for a roller coaster: The safety control system counts each interlocking gear tooth. By doing so, it is able to pinpoint down to the centimeter where each vehicle is on the route, and is able to precisely monitor the braking distance.


The electric motor delivers more than 100 PS and a torque of over 1000 Nm. Via the gear wheel, this power is transmitted to the tracks in full and completely undiminished. This allows accelerations of up to a merciless 1.2 g. In comparison, the acceleration of a Formula 1 race car is around 1.1 g, and what is currently the fastest superbike, the Kawasaki ZZR 1400, achieves 1.0 g. So while the maximum speed is 60 km/h, the perceived speed is orders of magnitude greater. In addition to bends with extreme inclines and slopes with generous "air time", during which it feels as if you've taken off, the extremely low seating position on your Spike, just centimeters above the track, is responsible for the experience.


You sit on your Spike just like on a motorbike, but much lower, as the track runs between your legs. A special hip belt prevents you from falling off. This belt was designed specifically for use on the Spike, and gives you almost complete freedom of movement. The control elements for the driver and front-seat passenger are clearly laid out and easy to operate. The large display informs you of everything you need to know during your ride. When on board, the built-in speaker system ensures that you have an immersive auditory experience with the sounds of your choice. And the integrated high-resolution video camera documents the most exciting moments of your ride for posterity.


Roller coasters perfectly and safely traverse even the most unusual track shapes. With Spike Racing, you can also take the reins yourself, customize your vehicle and trip to fit your own preferences, as well as constantly improve your driving abilities and compete with others. Do your best and drive as fast as you can. When doing so, utilize all available game elements along the route. Your finish time determines your score and your ranking in the high score list. Is Spike Race a real-world computer game or a comprehensive augmented virtual reality? Try it and find out for yourself!

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