Action sports athletes look at the world in a different way. Where one person sees rolling hills or dunes, an action sports athlete sees potential ramps and landers. And where Las Vegas tourists see an ornate fountain that creates a luxurious ambiance, daredevils see a water feature they want to jump over on a motorcycle. On July 8 in Las Vegas, action sports icon Travis Pastrana will pay tribute to the legacy of Evel Knievel by re-creating three of his most iconic motorcycle jumps, including the Caesars Palace fountain jump that almost cost Evel his life. The entire event will happen during Evel Live, a three-hour live special broadcast on History. Click here for more details on how to watch.
One year after his first-ever jump, Evel attempted arguably his most iconic stunt of all — despite not landing it. The Caesars Palace fountain jump thrust him into the spotlight even while injuring him so severely that he barely lived to experience the notoriety.
This would have been Evel’s longest successful jump if he’d just made it a little deeper on the lander. Some argue that he might not have become the legend he did if he had landed this attempt, but we’ll never know. What we do know is that ABC declined to broadcast the jump live, but after the spectacular wreck they showed the jump and went on to broadcast many of Evel’s subsequent stunts, which still rank as some of the highest-rated specials in the history of ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
When Travis faces the Caesars Palace fountains on July 8, because of how the property has changed over the years, he’ll be attempting to clear the fountain on a shorter approach and a shorter run out than Evel had. He’ll also have to jump the opposite direction. The space he has to work with is less than half of what Evel had, which means Travis will have to reach jump speed very rapidly and then keep focused enough to stop abruptly on the other side. What is similar to Evel’s jump is the bike that Travis will be riding. The Indian Scout FTR750 is built for speed and handling, not freestyle or jumping.
Like for Evel, the odds are stacked against Travis for this one, but unlike Evel, who attempted this very early in his career, Travis is bringing all his driving, moto, and freestyle experience to bear, and there’s no one in the world more qualified to stick the landing, simultaneously adding to his own legend status while paying tribute to the father of modern action sports. The stakes are higher than ever, so don’t miss Evel Live as it happens on History on July 8.
For more on the other stunts Travis is attempting as part of Evel Live, check out: