American X Games legend Travis Pastrana paid homage to motorcycling icon Evel Knievel by recreating three of his most famous stunts in a live TV extravaganza from Las Vegas last weekend.
Around 25,000 fans watched the event, called Evel Live, in person, with the History channel broadcasting the jumps live across the United States.
Produced by Pastrana’s Nitro Circus team, the show opened up with Travis breaking Knievel’s car and Greyhound bus jump records before completing the iconic Caesars Palace fountain jump that Evel had unsuccessfully attempted in 1967.
Riding an Indian Scout FTR750, Pastrana first beat Knievel’s 1973 jump over 50 crushed cars, rising more than 40m to clear 52 vehicles. Then he surpassed Knievel’s 1975 jump over 14 buses, flying nearly four stories high and covering 58m to clear 16 modern-day Greyhound buses.
For his finale, Pastrana completed the jump over Caesars Palace’s famous fountains, nailing the stunt that had left Knievel badly injured in hospital after he landed short of the landing ramp 51 years earlier.
“I’m thrilled to have had this opportunity to honour Evel Knievel, whose guts and showmanship created the foundation for action sports,” said Pastrana. “Evel pushed himself and flew further on a motorcycle than anyone thought possible. So with this modern day tribute we wanted to bridge generations – from my parents’ generation, who were inspired by Evel – to the generation after me who may not know much about the original stunt men who paved the way. To be able do that in Las Vegas and at Caesars Palace, where Evel’s legend was born, is so awesome.”