Evel Knievel

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Steve Ouimette, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Meh. Steve McQueen, now that was a cool childhood hero.
     
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  2. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think I remember seeing him jump over a tank of sharks. He maybe didn't stick the landing... I can't remember for sure. That was a long time ago.
     
  3. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Friend of Leo's

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    Some folks say that the opening lines of this tune is about Evel…

     
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  4. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Friend of Leo's

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    A true Showman….

     
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  5. Henry

    Henry Tele-Holic

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    And which of the coolest was admirable?
     
  6. chiefline

    chiefline Tele-Holic

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    Yeah well he was in a class by himself
     
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  7. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

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    He attempted to jump a tank of sharks - this was in Chicago, IL in 1977. It was for a television show/special. He was supposed to make the jump and go literally straight up in the air and they were going to catch him and the bike. And when I say "straight up" - I mean a perfect vertical line.

    Unfortunately, during the practice jump, he missed the ramp and hit a cameraman, knocked the camera guy's eye out, he broke both of his own arms and was back in the hospital recovering. He said in an interview much later that when he went to attempt to play golf, his arms hurt so bad that he realized that he just had to quit jumping. That was his last jump ever. This was also the same time that he went after Sheldon Saltman, who had written a nasty book about Evel titled, "Evel Knievel On Tour", which was basically a bunch of lies from Saltman throughout the book.

    With two broken arms, he found Saltman out behind the MGM commissary and, with two other guys with him since he had two broken arms, he took a baseball bat to Sheldon's arms and broke them. He was jailed for (I think) 60 days.

    Throughout the late 1980s (and, yes, I also saw Robbie's jump over the fountains at Caesar's Palace on PPV) there were rumors that he might do one last jump with Robbie. Sadly, that never happened.

    As recently as last year, Robbie had finally gotten clean of his alcohol problems and was planning a jump but - I don't know if the jump ever happened (I was, and may still be, FB friends with Evel & Robbie's buddy, Bill Rundle).

    Video of the shark tank jump can be found on the A&E DVD, "Absolute Evel."

    There's also the "E! True Hollywood Story" about Evel's life (which I had not seen before).

    I've been a fan of Evel ever since I saw Robbie successfully jump the fountains of Caesar's Palace on April 12, 1989.

    IMO, there will never be another EK - he truly was an icon and a legend - he was the one who came up with the idea of jumping motorcycles over things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  8. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Only one of them wasn't a fictional character. ;)
     
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  9. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Afflicted

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    i had the stunt cycle

    love EK... childhood hero for me as well...
     
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  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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  11. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Same here. IMHO it seemed like he really didn't have the riding and jumping skills his son and others later developed, but had just decided that breaking bones to provide audiences a thrill was a great way to make a living. It was like reciting how many broken bones he had was as important as the jumps. To me, a great motorcycle jumper would recite how few bones he'd broken because he planned & practiced well, but blood and mayhem sells...
     
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  12. Kojer

    Kojer Tele-Meister

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    I beg to differ. Its the kind of bike and technology behind modern bikes that made jumping and riding stunts much more easier. Evil rode Harleys and triumphs that are more street bikes than dirt/jumping bike with their limited suspension. No modern stunt rider will even attempt to jump a bike like his.
     
  13. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's kinda my point. We had some decent dirt bikes back then, and he could've pushed the suspension tech forward and made bikes more fit to jump than his Harley. Just seemed like he expected to crash each time, then would hit the talk shows bragging about his broken bones. That was the act he chose.
     
  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I'm with Tap.. I'm too young to remember his heyday but all I can think of with him is that either he was an idiot or crashing was the plan right from the beginning.

    There was more he could have done to try and actually land the jumps. There were better bikes, he could have done more to modify the bikes, and his skill just didn't seem to be there.

    But more to the point, and what I saw of his son was the same way, it didn't appear they actually tried to plan the stunts to work. The modern guys who do the much crazier stunts today do a lot more planning and math to figure out the angles of the ramps, how fast they need to go, how much runoff was needed, etc, etc.. and I think they are just vastly more skilled. A few videos I've seen they actually discuss the planning and/or show some of it.

    Not sure I've ever seen his son do a jump without crashing either. I remember watching one where Robbie landed the jump and didn't have enough run off room to stop the motorcycle, so he crashed. The impressive stunt riders today just don't make a stupid mistake like that, they make sure their bikes actually have effective brakes, they know how much room they need to stop from their calculated landing speed, and they have the technique to hit the target speed at the jump and have the right speed at the landing and then use the brakes to maximum effect. I've been around enough motorcycles to know how scary it is to haul a big harley down from speed in a hurry compared to a more sporting bike.

    Not hard to find videos of guys like Travis Pastrana jumping over and over again into foam pits and then using a crane to fish the motorcycle out. I find it hard to believe Evel did anything similar.
     
  15. Kojer

    Kojer Tele-Meister

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    Dirt bikes when he started were not any better, more scrambler type of bikes.

    Well I agree he's very much showman and i think he likes the pain and is an adrenaline junkie! :)
     
  16. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Tele-Holic

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    Exactly. Try doing what Evel did on his bike vs the light bikes with shocks we have now. When he jumped he WAS the shock absorber.

    Ain't no doubt he was a modern day P.T. Barnum, but that's what made him so great. He definitely didn't like breaking bones, especially in later life when that all came back to remind him every time he tried to walk or move. But that's what made him such a badass. If anyone else had crashed as many times as EK, they'd have hung it up much sooner than he did.
     
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  17. Steve Ouimette

    Steve Ouimette Tele-Holic

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    I agree there was no rocket science involved in the planning of Evel's jumps (no pun intended), and I think Travis is incredible. But you have to remember one thing, and that's that every single one of those guys mentions Evel when they talk about getting into the sport. He paved the way. Was he the best? Comparing his jumps to modern ones guys are making makes his look simple, but hey, Chuck Berry's riffs were simple too and he's still a badass even if guys can play circles around him technically.
     
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  18. Kojer

    Kojer Tele-Meister

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    No argument here on that point but let's just say its was just a different time and place. He did a lot of daring but stupid stuff, he became famous for it!
     
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  19. ecoast

    ecoast Tele-Holic

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    heck of a man; lot's of stories

    loved to gamble on the golf course
     
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