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Chapter 3: The Thrill of Victory


Travis Pastrano over the fountains at Caesars Palace...July 8, 2018

Photo Credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Amazingly, not every attempt to jump at Caesars Palace has ended in disaster.

April 14, 1989...22 years after his father was nearly killed trying to make the jump, Robbie Knievel was prepared to take a run at the famed fountains.

Bankrolled by the US cable network, Showtime, Robbie was set to earn a cool $250,000 for the jump - plus he'd get a cut of the pay-per-view sales; Showtime was banking on people being willing to shell out $14.95 to watch Knievel risk his life from the comfort of their living rooms.

Robbie's jump was going to be a bit less risky than his dad's; he'd be riding a motorcycle that was more powerful, agile and about 200 pounds lighter than the bike Evel Knievel used to jump the fountains.

That being said, it was still dangerous as Hell.

The jump itself took all of four seconds, but in that short amount of time, Robbie Knievel officially cemented himself in the history books as the first person to successfully jump a motorcycle over the fountains at Caesars Palace.

Of course he wouldn't be the last to do it.

May 4, conjunction with the release of the movie, "Mission: Impossible 3" and the 40th Anniversary of Caesars Palace, motocross legend Mike "The Godfather" Metzger planned to take a shot at the fountains.

But this time, there'd be a twist; Metzger would perform a backflip during his jump.

And July 8, to take a crack at the jump was motocross rider, X-Games medallist and Nitro Circus founder, Travis Pastrana.

But Pastrana had more up his sleeve than just the fountain jump.  As part of a tribute to Evel Knievel called "Evel Live", Pastrana was going to perform THREE jumps along the Las Vegas strip.

First, he was going to attempt to break Knievel's record of jumping 120 feet over 50 cars set back in 1973 by jumping 143 feet over 52 cars. 


Second, he'd attempt to break Knievel's bus-jumping record set in 1975 where he jumped 133 feet over 14 buses.  Pastrana was going to attempt 192 feet over 16 buses.

And third, he'd move across Las Vegas Boulevard and take a shot at the fountains at Caesars Palace.

Travis Pastrana successfully completed each jump, breaking all three of Evel Knievel's records.  After it was all done, Pastrana was all smiles telling reporters, "It's such an honor to live a day in Evel's boots."


Travis Pastrana takes a dip in the fountains at Caesars Palace following his three record-breaking jumps

Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Locher

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