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Travis Pastrana attempts infamous jump that almost killed Evel Knievel

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Travis Pastrana honored legendary daredevil Evel Knievel Sunday night in attempting three of Knievel’s most dangerous jumps in a row on Evel Live. Pastrana wasn’t just setting out to complete the stunts, however, but to break Knievel’s records.

Pastrana’s epic act started with the 50 Car Jump, followed by the Wembley Bus Jump. It ended with the infamous Caesars Palace Fountain Jump — a stunt that almost killed Knievel 50 years ago. “This is the most iconic jump in stunt lore,” Pastrana said. “In the history of stunts, this is the one. It’s the one because Evel never landed it.” 

Riding a 340-pound Indian Scout FTR 750 with a V Twin engine, Pastrana cleared the first jump over 52 cars, flying 143-plus feet — 23 feet farther than Knievel did in 1973. Pastrana then made history for the second time, jumping 192 feet over 16 Greyhound buses. But it was the stunt that put Knievel in a coma for 29 days that blew everyone away.

With less than 200 feet to get his bike up to about 70 miles an hour, Pastrana soared over the iconic Caesars Palace fountains in Las Vegas — and he made it look easy. In fact, after nailing the jump that Knievel was never able to successfully pull off, Pastrana was his typical chill self as he told host Matt Iseman, “It’s just such an honor to live a day in Evel’s footsteps and, literally, his boots. Thank you all for coming out. To be here in Las Vegas, so much of my history is here. Proposed to my wife here. First Nitro Circus show here. Thank you for everyone watching, and the Evel Knievel family for coming out and making my dreams come true, and hopefully everyone enjoyed the show.”

In the end, Pastrana did what any of us would do if we had just completed a deadly 149-foot jump, over a water fountain, on a 340-pound bike. He went for a swim.

Evel Live aired July 8th on History.

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