Travis Pastrana successfully completes all three of Evel Knievel’s most famous jumps


Travis Pastrana, a multi-time X Games victor, NASCAR driver and co-founder of the Nitro Circus, successfully accomplished an incredible stunt on Sunday when he jumped 140 feet over the fountains of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Caesars fountain jump has been done since - notably by Knievel's son Robbie in 1989 - but all the successful attempts have been with lightweight motocross bikes, rather than the big, heavy Triumph and later, Harley-Davidson XR750 flat-trackers Knievel rode because they were what he could get for free.

Pastrana successfully made two other jumps prior to the fountains, first by jumping over 52 crushed cars and breaking Knievel's record for the same stunt by two whole cars.

Pastrana completed the feat easily, landing with plenty of room to spare and breaking Knievel's jump of 120 feet over 50 cars at the L.A. Coliseum. "I'm not done yet, but this was one of the coolest things - the coolest thing - I've ever done". After making the short jaunt up Flamingo Road to make the showstopper jump, Pastrana soared 149 feet over the fountains with little run-up.

Next he recreated the stuntman's famous 1975 jump at Wembley in which he jumped 13 disused single-deck London buses. To be here, in Las Vegas, so much of my history has been here.

But Evel may no longer lurk under the jumpsuit of Travis Pastrana.

"I'm jumping a bike that's not made for jumping", Pastrana said after arriving in Las Vegas.

There was the jump over the cars, accompanied by red white and blue pyrotechnics as he attempted the hurdle. He did wheelies and burnouts and posed for selfies with people riding in taxis while saluting the huge crowd on the Strip with clenched fists and upturned thumbs.

Pastrana said: "This is the most iconic jump in stunt lore". According to Jalopnik, that's over 400 feet of jumps. After soaring 192 feet, he put both wheels back down and successfully completed the second of his three jumps.

Even with just a 200-foot run-off area, Pastrana made the final and most hard jump (a record length of 149 feet) look easy, even performing a NASCAR-style two-wheeled burnout in celebration.