In 1990 Galaxy designed the Galaxy Multi Ride system & re-invented the mechanical bull in order to create a safe alternative to the potentially dangerous mechanical bull machines that were available at the time.

At that time, the original mechanical bulls were designed for training professional rodeo riders.  The transition from being a training device to an entertainment ride happened in the late 1960’s.  Someone thought it was a great idea to install a training mechanical bull in to a bar to entertain the cowboys. These were very powerful hydraulic machines or 220 volt powered machines with 3-5 HP motors.

The idea caught on and more & more of this kind of machine found their way in to bars all over the country.  Unfortunately, as mechanical bull riding became popular with the general public, injuries started to happen.   The main problems from origination still continue with this type of mechanical bulls. Fundamentally this type of machine was designed as a training device for professional rodeo riders, NOT as an amusement device.

Forty years later these type of machines have not changed in design and are still manufactured, sold and in operation today. Most people’s perception of the motion of a mechanical bull is the back end of the ride lurches up to approximately to a 90 degree angle and throws the rider over the head. This perception is absolutely correct. The combination of this highly aggressive motion combined with a fast spin motion; is going to throw the rider right over the front of the bull body virtually every time.

At this point the following can occur.

1)     The rider collides with the hard head of the bull. Injury risk potential? Broken teeth, broken nose, injuries to face

2)     The rider goes over the head. To break their fall, the rider will instinctively put their arms out.  Injury risk potential? Broken/dislocated fingers, wrists, arms and neck

Not one of these types of machines is fitted with an Automatic Stop Sensor or a Soft Foam Safety head. Stopping the bull is left solely to the discretion of the operator; if the bull does not stop instantly the moment the rider falls, this can lead to impact injuries to the rider.

Another potential hazard with these types of machines are that the motors are connected to a drive/fan belt, which turns the bearing, making it rotate. The potential problem is drive belts can slip or break, if not regularly maintained and checked for wear. If the drive belt does slip or break the machine will not be able to stop, thus it will continue to rotate and can be a potential danger to the rider.

A common feature of this type of machine is the professional style rope/strap handle used on real bulls. The rider on a real bull wants to get as much grip as possible to stay on the bull longer. A leather strap or rope is strapped to the bull and the rider will slide their hand through it to improve their grip.  If this style of handle is fitted to a mechanical bull, the potential for entrapment injuries is horrendous. People have suffered broken bones and lost fingers through using this type of handle.

In the early days there was no type of protection for the participant to fall on.   Even though an inflatable safety cushion would be supplied today, there is still an unacceptable amount of steel exposed that can cause injury. Overall the risk of injury to the rider is far greater on this type of machine if it does not have the safety features, which are found on the systems like the Galaxy Multi Ride.


The Galaxy Multi Ride system was designed to eradicate all of the above mentioned safety issues. The Galaxy Multi Ride system is not a Rodeo Simulator; it is an entertainment machine that offers over 50 different themed ride attachments.  The Rodeo Bull just happens to be one of those ride attachments.

The first safety point Galaxy addressed was the actual motion of the machine and the power of the motors. Galaxy designed a unique pitch and roll motion, the machine will pitch forward 30 degrees, roll left 20 degrees, pitch back 20 degrees and roll right 20 degrees. This motion is then repeated to create a continuous, pitch/roll motion. The motion created ensures that the rider will fall left or right of the bull body, landing on their back or bottom on the soft safety cushion, 99% of the time.

Galaxy realized it was unnecessary to use high-powered electric motors to achieve the desired ride. Every machine has two 1 horsepower electric motors that are powered from 110 volts; one to control the rotation motion & one to control the pitch/roll motion.  Both motors employ a direct drive system that eradicates the need for any drive belts. This means there is no chance whatsoever that the machine can continue to move once the rider has fallen off.

Galaxy identified the importance of removing the chance of human error in stopping the ride when the rider falls. This is done via the Auto Stop Sensor (ASS). The ASS is an optical sensor fitted to the ride body; the rider wears a wristband lanyard around the wrist of the hand they will be using to hold on to the rope handle. At the end of the lanyard is a cover patch that is placed over the sensor & secured by Velcro. The operator can now start the ride.  As soon as the rider begins to fall, the Velcro patch becomes detached and the machine will stop instantly. Even if the operator is distracted the ride will always stop.

To remove any potential of impact injuries by colliding with a hard fiberglass or metal head, Galaxy invented & developed their Soft Foam Safety head. The head is made from a product called Sofolex, which was specifically designed by the company for this purpose; every ride is constructed & fitted with a Soft Foam Safety head.

The company even designed a special rope handle to ensure that the rider’s hand or fingers couldn’t get trapped. The rope only protrudes above the body by six inches so the rider cannot wrap it around their hands. The inflatable safety cushion was meticulously designed to offer maximum protection to the rider. Safety padding covers every part of exposed steel; every inflatable cushion has a retaining wall around the perimeter to ensure the rider cannot fall out of the enclosure.

The company is aware that a novice operator cannot possibly know or gauge the ability of a rider. Therefore Galaxy has created a series of pre-set automatic motion programs that have been designed to offer a safe & exciting ride experience for every level of rider ability.

Galaxy has designed state of the art electronics employing a dynamic breaking system to the motors, this ensures that even in an emergency situation or sudden loss of power, the machine will always stop instantly.

Galaxy believes that safety is only achieved through education.   Therefore the company has implemented a choice of training programs. Every customer is extended the invitation to attend the factory for training on the set up & operation of their Multi Ride System. If the customer is unable to attend, the company has produced a training questionnaire and offers a training program via the telephone or video-conference.  Galaxy understands that if a user has not been trained then they really can’t be expected to know what is right or wrong.  Therefore,  offering correct training programs are a part of every sale.

Here is a summary of the safety features & innovations on the Galaxy Multi Ride

  • Unique pitch & roll motion
  • Direct Drive system
  • Soft Foam Safety Head
  • Automatic Stop Sensor
  • Special design rope handle
  • Custom design inflatable surround
  • State of the art electronics with dynamic breaking

Galaxy is the only company in the world who manufacture every part of their product in house in their own factory.

  • This includes the fabrication & engineering of the mechanical motion base.
  • The fabrication & lamination of all of the ride attachments,
  • The design and production of the control system electronics.
  • The design and manufacture of the inflatable safety cushions.

Each and every part is manufactured by trained technicians to the highest standard; the completed machine is thoroughly tested prior to delivery to the customer. This process is ensures that the customer is buying the safest Multi Ride system in the world.

If you are unsure as to which kind of machine you are hiring (renting), buying or even riding; just ask your provider if the machine has the above mentioned safety features.

Related posts:

  1. Finding the Best Bucking Machine For Mechanical Bull Rides
  2. Tips for Finding the Best Bucking Machine for Mechanical Bull Ride Rentals
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