Earlier this month Travis Pastrana recreated three of Evel Knievel’s most iconic feats in front of an estimated 25,000 crowd in Las Vegas.
Pastrana broke both Knievel’s famous car and Greyhound bus jump records before completing the epic Caesars Palace fountain jump that left Knievel grasping for his life 50 years ago.
Shortly after Pastrana took a celebratory dive into the Caesars Palace fountains to cap off the night.
“I’m thrilled to have had this opportunity to honour Evel Knievel, whose guts and showmanship created the foundation for action sports. 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 was inspired by Evel to the generation after me who may not know much about the original stunt men who paved the way and Nitro Circus wanted to show just how incredible his accomplishments were. To be able do that in Las Vegas and at Caesars Palace, where Evel’s legend was born, is so awesome.”
In just three hours and under the pressure of a live TV broadcast, Pastrana first topped Knievel’s 1973 jump over 50 crushed cars by soaring more than 143 feet in the air over 52 vehicles.
Then he surpassed Knievel’s 1975 jump over 14 buses, flying nearly four stories high and covering 59 metres to clear 16 modern-day Greyhound buses.
Afterwards, Pastrana took to the streets with a police escort to ride to the Caesars Palace jump site. Fans quickly lined Las Vegas Boulevard, exchanging high-fives with Pastrana from taxis and the side of the road as anticipation for the finale built. The motorcade quickly closed The Strip.
Then Pastrana faced the Caesars Palace fountain jump that nearly took Knievel’s life a half century ago after his infamous crash.
As if that wasn’t daunting enough, given the expansion of Caesars Palace since Knievel’s ill-fated attempt, Pastrana had only a 200-foot run-in to accelerate to the 70-mph speed necessary to clear the fountain.
Pastrana also had to contend with stifling heat approaching 40 degrees celsius and, just before the event, potential thunderstorms.
Even in ideal conditions and if he hit his speed marks perfectly, Pastrana would land with just a few feet to spare. But, after arcing over the fountains, Pastrana touched the Indian Scout FTR750 safely down on the landing ramp to the roaring crowd and a flash of pyrotechnics.