Three jumps. One night. Two legends.
Sunday, July 8 at 8 EP
Travis Pastrana has earned his reputation as a bonafide action-sport icon. One of the most decorated freestyle athletes in X Games history, he’s the motocross champion who simultaneously dropped millions of jaws in 2006 with the first-ever dirt-bike double back flip. He’s the guy who backflipped a motorcycle between two rooftops. Who went skydiving, shirtless, without a parachute—and lived to tell the tale. Now, and not surprisingly, he’s eyeing a few records set by Evel Knievel.
Evel Knievel is the legendary two-wheeling daredevil who jumped, and crashed, his way into American pop-culture history in the 1960s and ’70s. He holds the Guinness World Record for most broken bones sustained in a lifetime, at 433.
Stunt performers and extreme-sports athletes ever since owe a debt to his legacy—of big dreams, big cojones and nerves of steel. His stunts, many of which were televised on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” opened the taps to lucrative film and merchandise deals, and set the table for the billion-dollar extreme-sports industry that would follow decades later.
Pastrana, on July 8 in Las Vegas, hopes to pay homage to that legacy while putting his name in the record books with three epic, Evel-inspired jumps. Travis Pastrana will recreate three of Evel’s famous jumps!
Jump 1: Over 18 Cars
Pastrana will attempt to best that record by jumping the equivalent of 52 crushed cars. But unlike with his freestyle jumps, he’ll be attempting these on an Indian Scout FTR750 bike, similar to the Harley that Evel rode. It will be a major X factor in the evening’s proceedings, since it’s heavier, with less in the way of suspension than what Pastrana is used to—built for speed and handling, and not for his usual high-flying, acrobatic brand of jumping.
Jump 2: Over 16 Buses
Pastrana will push that limit, and is looking to clear 16 Greyhound buses. Of the three jumps he will attempt, this one will require the highest speed and the longest run-in.
Jump 3: Over the Caesars Palace Fountain
Since Evel made the fountain attempt in 1965, the Caesars Palace property has become considerably more built out, which will pose significant challenges for Pastrana in his own go at the fountain. With less than half the space Evel had to work with, and jumping in the opposite direction, Pastrana will have a far shorter approach and a shorter run-out—meaning he’ll have to reach jump speed more rapidly and stop faster on the other side. In some ways, he’ll be saving the most challenging stunt for last.