Evil Knievel--The Legend.

Evil Knievel is the man that I have to give credit to my interest in motorcycles. As a kid I would play with my Evil Knievel action figure(that is what they call dolls for boys).

Last Year The Harley Davidson Museum opened an exhibit to mark the 35 anniversary of his famous jump at Wembley stadium. I was only 3 years old in 1975 at the time of that amazing attempt to jump 13 Double Tier buses. Even though he announced his retirement that day after crashing and breaking his pelvis, he did not stop his daredevil acts. He was obviously an adrenaline junkie. There is no doubt that he has inspired so many adrenaline junkies since. I remember making wood ramps in my driveway when I was probably 7or 8. Some of the other kids in the neighborhood would come over and we would fight over who was going to be Evel Knievel.  We had a few crashes that I would compare to that crash at Wembley Stadium.  at least by 8 year old standards.  No broken bones though, amazingly.

Setting numerous death-defying feats over his career, Knievel’s bike of choice was the Harley-Davidson XR-750 and he was sponsored by the Motor Company through most of the 1970s. From Knievel’s early start as a side-show character in Butte, Montana, to his transformation into a larger-than-life master showman, marketer, and folk hero with international appeal.
One of the things he is most famous for is his jump in Idaho. With much media fanfare, daredevil Evel Knievel tried and failed to leap the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon on his specially engineered rocket motorcycle. His drogue parachute accidentally malfunctioned and opened on take-off. Evel and his contraption floated to the bottom of the canyon, landing on the near shore (if he'd gone into the river, his safety harness probably would have drowned him).It was a less-than-auspicious milestone for Evel and the city of Twin Falls, but Evel's fans loved him for at least trying.
At the city's visitors center, just south of the Perrine Bridge over the canyon, is a gravestone-like marker with a carved likeness of the rocket powered motorcycle. It's engraved, "Robert 'Evel' Knievel Explorer Motorcyclist and Daredevil. Attempted a mile long leap of the Snake River Canyon On September 8, 1974 Employing A Unique Skycycle. The large dirt ramp is visible appox. 2 miles east of this point on the south ridge of the canyon. Donated to the community by Sunset Memorial."
The actual jump site -- a big earthen lump -- is indeed visible in the distance from the marker. We would not advise visiting it. At last report the Twin Falls Police Department was using it as the backstop for their shooting range.

Evel Knievel had an amazing life and lived it to the fullest.  He died at an early age of 69.  He lived more in those years than most of us would in 120 years.  His life was filled with not only thrill and excitement but also misery.  His death was preceded by more than 40 years of constant battle against the persistent pain of broken bones and severe trauma after jumping and crashing motorcycles like no man had ever done before.
In addition, he fought to overcome the tremendous obstacles of diabetes, hepatitis C, a liver transplant, numerous surgeries and two strokes.

Poker Run at Evel Days in Butte MT

stunt show at Evel Days in Butte MT
Evel Knievel will be missed, but you can visit his hometown of Butte MT any July for the Knievel Days which three day event celebrating the World's Greatest Daredevil.  Thousands of visitors attend the festival every year. Event highlights include stunt performers, live music, a parade, and a car and bike show. Each year since 2001 the copper mining town of Butte has welcomed visitors from around the world who come to have fun and relax while remembering Evel. The festival is fun for the entire family.  Please visit his official site to find out more about the legend. www.evelknievel.com.

You have to check out the time line from his official site.  I had no idea he had so many jumps and so many serious crashes. http://evelknievel.com/evel-timeline

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