When someone mentions motorcycle stunts today, they are usually referring to one of two things: People on sportbikes popping wheelies in a daring ballet of balancing skills, or motorcross bikes jumping through the air. Few of these spectators realize the legacy behind these stunt shows was built by the world-famous stuntman Evel Knievel. Well, at least one modern stuntman would like to remind the world.
Paying Homage to the Legend of Evel Knievel
Travis Pastrana is known for many things. He is a race winning rally cross driver and a champion motocross stuntman. Now, he is paying his respects to the legendary stuntman who fathered the many action sports he has become famous for.
Evel Knievel became known worldwide as the ultimate stuntman throughout the 60’s and 70’s. His reputation was so fierce that even his son Robbie couldn’t match it when he took up his father’s career and tried to outdo the legend’s stunts. The motorcycle stunt shows of today are loosely based on the model set by Knievel and his high-flying acts, so Travis Pastrana stepped up to pay tribute.
On July 8th, Pastrana rode an Indian Scout FTR750 into the record books by completing three of Knievel’s legendary jumps in one day. Pastrana started by tackling Knievel’s 50 crushed car jump. Adding two extra cars, Pastrana soared more than 143 feet before landing. His next jump took on Knievel’s 14 bus 1975 record. The modern stunt rider jumped nearly four stories high and crossed a distance of 192 feet to clear 16 Greyhounds!
To wrap up the tribute, Pastrana road down Las Vegas Boulevard and lined up just 200 feet from the famous Caesars Palace fountain. In 1967, Knievel had attempted to jump the fountain but came up short. The stuntman spent 29 days in the hospital recovering from a coma and broken bones. Many believe his recovery cemented his legend, and many years later, his son Robbie would go on to complete the jump.
After giving his Scout all the beans, Pastrana jumped the fountain and wrapped up his tribute to the legendary father of modern motorcycle stunt work. Travis also took a dip in the Caesars Palace fountain to celebrate the completion of the stunt. The whole event was organized by the TV network History, Nitro Circus and Caesars Palace.
This story was brought to you by the motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm—helping motorcyclists get the legal help they need.