Pastrana broke Evel Knievel’s record in a three-hour live event from Las Vegas.
Motocross star and stunt cyclist Travis Pastrana broke records yesterday in Las Vegas in a three-hour event meant to honor legendary performer Evel Knievel. Back in the 1960s and 70s, Evel Knievel became a cornerstone of popular culture as he made attempted huge, death-defying stunts to bewildered crowds. Now Pastrana, who stands among a generation inspired by Knievel, broke records as he landed three jumps at two separate venues during the “Evel Live” event.
52 cars and 16 busses? No problem!
The first two jumps took place behind Planet Hollywood and Bally’s Las Vegas. In his first attempt, Pastrana took his 340 pound custom-built Indian Scout FTR750 over 143 feet and 52 cars. It’s a recreation of the jump Evel Knievel made in 1973 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, when he jumped 120 feet over 50 cars.
Pastrana’s second jump of the day was by far the longest of all three attempts. He jumped 192 feet over 16 buses. That jump paid homage to Evel Knievel’s 133-feet jump over 14 buses made in 1975 at King’s Island in Ohio. Jumps like this cement Travis Pastrana’s reputation as a true daredevil. And he wasn’t finished yet.
Jumping the fountain
The final jump was the most iconic of all – clearing not just cars and buses, but the fountain at Caesar’s Palace. It’s the same sort of jump that Knievel himself missed. In 1967, he made the longest attempt of his career, at 140 feet. However, he missed the landing, breaking most of the bones in his body and landing in the hospital for nearly a month. Now Pastrana was attempting the same jump, and with only half the room Evel Knievel had to get up the ramp and over the water. He had to get the bike up to 70 mph in less than 200 feet.
He landed hard, but he cleared the jump. The final distance: 149 feet. Pastrana saw himself and his V-twin motorcycle, nailing his third jump in a single day. The distance and sheer number of jumps were a great way to honor one of history’s most iconic daredevils. “It’s such an honor to live a day in Evel’s boots,” Pastrana said.
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