LAS VEGAS — Honoring the person who paved the best way for dozens of daredevils, Travis Pastrana succeeded in triplicating three of Evel Knievel’s iconic motorbike jumps Sunday evening.
Donning his personal Knievel-like costume, Pastrana used an Indian Scout FTR750 to leap 143 ft to clear 52 crushed vehicles and 192 ft over 16 Greyhound buses and concluded the “Evel Live” occasion on the History Channel by leaping 149 ft to clear the fountains at Caesars Palace.
“It’s just such an honor to live a day in Evel’s footsteps and literally his boots,” Pastrana mentioned. “To be here in Las Vegas, so much of my history has been here. I proposed to my wife here, I had [the] first Nitro Circus show here. This was definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”
Pastrana, who’s nearing the tip of a formidable profession as a stunt showman motorsports competitor, admitted that he was nervous main as much as the occasion, which started in an empty lot behind Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas.
“This is all about Evel, and the coolest thing about this whole thing, all of Evel’s family is out here,” mentioned Pastrana, whose outfit included a white jumpsuit with the blue V and white stars, a cape and high-heel gown boots. “This is the home of the most iconic jump, one of the most iconic events that has ever gone down. And to end at Caesars Palace, to have a chance to jump the fountain, it’s not the longest jump, but it’s definitely the hardest.”
After his first two jumps over the vehicles and buses, Pastrana had a police escort to trip the identical motorbike alongside Las Vegas Boulevard whereas popping wheelies and stopping to high-five and shake fingers with followers.
“To be able to get a police escort on the Las Vegas Strip, I mean, c’mon,” mentioned Pastrana, 34, who cleared the fountains greater than 50 years after Knievel famously crashed whereas trying the identical feat.
Pastrana jumped the fountain in the other way Knievel did. With the realm far more constructed out than it was on New Year’s Eve in 1967, Pastrana had much less area for his method, leaving him a shorter distance to achieve roughly 70 mph earlier than takeoff.
Knievel, who died in 2007 at age 69, got here up brief on his try to leap the fountain, hitting the knuckle simply earlier than the touchdown ramp and dropping management. He flew head-first over the handlebars and tumbled alongside the pavement, crushing his pelvis and fracturing a number of different bones within the course of.
Knievel jumped over 50 crushed vehicles on the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1973 and 14 Greyhound buses in 1975 at Ohio’s Kings Island amusement park.
“I’ve had a front-row seat for everything Travis has done since 2003, and I can tell you this is extra special because Evel Knievel is somebody Travis has 100 percent looked up to his whole entire life, and me as well,” mentioned “Streetbike” Tommy Passemante, a member of Pastrana’s motion sports activities collective, Nitro Circus posse. “This is the greatest thing to pay homage to the greatest to ever do it. There’s not a better showman that’s ever happened in the sports action industry like Evel Knievel.”