The internet has been going wild yet again, but this time it is for a different reason! This time, an American stuntman has performed some very similar stunts by the famous and fearless American stunt master, Evel Knievel.
Reading about this event got the team here at motorbike trader, We Buy Any Bike very interested to learn more.
Knievel The Daredievil
Robert Craig Knievel Jr more commonly known as Evel Knievel was born in October 1938. Throughout his life, he enjoyed building a career as a stuntman and a daredevil (hence the name). However, like most of us, riding was just a hobby at first. Upon finishing school Robert took a job at a mining firm. He started off as a diamond drill operator but was later to promoted to a position which allowed him to drive a bulldozer.
One day I think it’s safe to say he got a little bit excited and attempted to do a wheelie on this Bulldozer… Can’t believe what you’re reading? Believe me, I have a hard time believing it too! We’re not sure if the wheelie was a success but whatever he did, he managed to damage a building and leave the power out in his town for a number of hours. As you can imagine, he was later fired.
Over the years Knievel dabbled in various different sports; snowboarding, hunting, fishing, hockey, pole vaulting, and even rodeoing! All these things would later help him in his future career.
He didn’t actually take his hobby seriously until the late 60’s.
Knievel had just got out of prison when he decided to change his life around. When he was in prison he met a fellow inmate who went by the nickname Awful Knovel, and from there he got the idea for his own nickname! Now known as Evel, Knievel decided to look into actually starting his career, and so he took a job at a motocross circuit, which seemed to go pretty well for him until he had his accident.
Months went by with his recovery, where he found himself dabbling in lots of different jobs (this time, motorcycle dealerships). Until one day, Knievel found himself watching the Joie Chitwood Show, and he thought to himself, ‘Hey, I can do that on a bike!’ Following his, he took the decision to start promoting the show. He later found himself being the star of the show… and the rest is history!
Evel Knievel was made famous for a selection of his stunt tricks. Throughout his life, he thrived on the excitement of others. One of these events was the famous Ceasar’s Palace Fountain Jump; unfortunately, he failed this jump causing him many fractured bones from going over the handlebars of his Triumph Bonneville T120 650cc.
Who is the mysterious stuntman?
The daredevil in question is Travis Pastrana of Annapolis, Maryland, US. Throughout his career, the 34-year-old has achieved many wins, these are just some of them:
- In 1999 at the age of just 15-years-old, he claimed his first win at the first edition of the X Games, MotoX event.
- The following year awarded him a win at the AMA 125cc National Championship.
- In 2001 he was greeted with a win at the 125cc Rose Creek international, as well as another win at the 125cc East Coast Supercross Championship
- 2003 was the year he achieved his next win. This year he won gold, and he was awarded as the first ever rider to complete a 360 in a competition.
We could write a whole post on the number of wins that Pastrana has claimed… these are just a few! Throughout his career, he has always held a place in his heart for Suzuki. All his performances are played alongside the brand, he is also known for displaying his number; 199.
When he is not performing or competing, he enjoys spending family time with his wife Lyndsey Adams Hawkins Pastrana; a professional skateboarder. Together they have two daughters, Addy Ruth, aged 4, and Bristol Murphy, aged 3.
You might recognise Travis from the TV show, Nitro Circus. In 2003 he and his friends started producing homemade videos which they would then sell on.
On The Day
The event took place in the very same place Knievel attempted over 50 years ago, in 1967. On Sunday 8th July, Champion Stuntman Travis Pastrana completed 3 of Knievel’s famous challenges with a slight twist to each one.
Link Source: YouTube/Nitro Circus
Pastrana was inspired by his idol Knievel as he took to the Streets of Las Vegas Nevada in 43-degree heat. Wearing a similar Elvis costume to the grand master regularly wore back in the day. The first jump he took on was over 52 crushed cars that were positioned in a pile of 3 layers. Pastrana approached the pile ascending on a 48ft ramp, which flew him up and over the collection of cars and onto the finishing ramp which stretched out to 107ft.
Image Source: YouTube/Nitro Circus
Following this, the next jump saw him take off from a 74ft ramp that flung him over a span of 192ft! Taking him over 16 buses and landing upon another ramp; this time, a 164ft one.
Image Source: YouTube/Nitro Circus
Then came the big one… the one everyone had been waiting for. Knievel didn’t land this one, but this awarded Pastrana with the ultimate record as he flew from a 48ft ramp up and over the 15ft high Cesears Palace fountain. After landing on a 107ft ramp he obviously knew he had made it, and he was ecstatic… So ecstatic that he announced the event would be an ‘annual thing’ for his show, Nitro Circus. So, if you missed the event like we did, book a note in your diary to keep an eye out in Spring 2019!
You can see the jumps sketched out in detail over at History.com
Upon reflection of the event, Pastrana discovered that the jumps had been viewed by millions of people. Amongst these people were the relatives of Evel Knievel himself… How amazing is that?! All 3 of the jumps were completed on an Indian Scout FTR 750S.
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