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Evel Live: Success

I'm not sure it was ever in much doubt, but then I was trying to jump 13 buses, 52 cars or a hotel forecourt, but Travis Pastrana cleared all three jumps - live on TV.

The trio of stunts all emulated jumps attempted by Evel Knievel and the 34-year-old completed them all on a flat track spec Indian FTR750 - a massive coup for the brand - with it's minimal suspension travel. The bike was prepared by Cameron Brewer of Roland Sands Designs (whose racing kit we featured in SB27). The car and bus jumps looked significantly the further, while the fountain got the glory, because of the original stuntman's bone-crunching denouement.

Pastrana levelled the playing field with his bike choice, using an inappropriate race bike instead of a motocrosser, but he did benefit from increased knowledge of ramp design, he's no idiot, after all, and there were enough risks. And this hero did wear a cape.

Pastrana is not, perhaps never will be, the household name Evel made himself, but he is multi-skilled in a way Knievel never proved he was, he's an innovator and, to my knowledge, has never tried to beat anyone senseless with a baseball bat (the victim suffering compound fractures of the wrists). The way Evel's history has been whitewashed says a lot about the public's relationship with famous people. Someone who violently assaulted a former colleague over a disagreement about as description in a book retains their public standing, and is repeatedly lauded as a legend, because they dressed like a comic book superhero, but the dark side of their character is completely ignored (being in the UK, I didn't see the History Channel Evel Live, so please correct me if the programme did deal with Evel's many failings).

I know, of the two, who my favourite daredevil is...

Travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus live show tours the UK this November.

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