Extreme motorcyclist Travis Pastrana successfully recreated three of Evel Knievel most famous jumps – he even jumped further than the legend ever did!
Pastrana pulled off an unbelievable triple threat on Sunday night in Las Vegas, in an attempt to recreate three of the late stuntman Evel Knievel’s most famous jumps on live TV. The History channel broadcasted the record-breaking event under the title ‘Evel Live’.
The 34-year-old Pastrana was dressed in a replica of Knievel’s signature white riding suit with a star-spangled blue V across the chest. He jumped 152 feet over 52 crushed cars and also cleared 16 Greyhound buses. For his finale, Pastrana flew over the Caesars Palace fountains, the stunt that nearly killed Knievel 50 years ago.
Before the event, Pastrana was confident that he was going to make it. He said:
“For me, this is going to be really awesome.
“All my family is coming out and so many of my friends are coming out. I literally get to live a day in Evel Knievel’s boots, if you will. I’m pretty nervous. It’s keeping me up a little bit at night.”
Pastrana Doesn’t Intend to Outshine Legendary Stuntman Knievel
Pastrana reiterated that he has no intentions of surpassing Knievel’s record, who died in 2007. Instead, he wants to pay homage to the legacy of the notorious stuntman by going farther and higher than anyone attempted before.
“The only reason we’re adding more is in the spirit of Evel Knievel,” Pastrana said.
“He never wanted to do the same thing twice. He always wanted to push the boundaries.”
Pastrana used an Indian Scout FTR750 for doing all the three stunts in one night.
The Extreme Stunts That Silenced the Audience
In the first jump, Pastrana already broke Knievel’s 50-car jump record as he flew 140ft over 52 cars. He managed to add 23ft further than the original record that was made in 1973.
This jump was just a warmup as it’s the shortest of the three stunts made.
The second jump was a recreation of Knievel’s 1975 jump at Wembley wherein he went over 13 disused single-deck London buses. Although the stuntman managed to jump, he failed to land and broke his pelvis. Before walking out, he told the audience that he would ‘never, ever, ever jump again.’
On the other hand, Pastrana successfully landed after jumping over 16 buses on his 350-pound (roughly 160kg) bike – flying 192ft in the process.
The Stunt that Almost Killed Knievel
And of course, it was the final jump that everyone was waiting for.
Before he started, Pastrana said:
“This is the most iconic jump in stunt lore.
“In the history of stunts, this is the one. It’s the one because Evel never landed it.”
In fact, this stunt put Knievel in a coma for nearly a month, even crushing his pelvis and femur as well fracturing his hip, wrist and both ankles.
Although it was shorter than the first two jumps, this stunt was the most crucial. Pastrana had 200ft of run up to get his bike up to 70mph before he launched off the ramp.
Nonetheless, he managed to soar over the iconic fountains of Caesar’s Place and landed safely on the other side.
Pastrana, who runs the stunt-based TV show Nitro Circus, said:
“It’s just such an honour to live a day in Evel’s footsteps and, literally, his boots.”
Watch Pastrana’s unbelievable stunts in this video below:
His final jump was a dive into the fountain before he went home without a sustaining a single injury.