Evel Knievel’s Terrifying Failed Jump to be Attempted at Sturgis Buffalo Chip
The name Evel Knievel is synonymous with daredevil. He was the undisputed king of stunt showmanship–the man who made motorcycles fly. He enthralled audiences with his nonchalance as he faced death-defying exploits that left him with a record-breaking number of fractured or crushed bones, a permanent limp and the adoration of millions. This August, the spirit of Knievel will come to life at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip in a spectacular thrill show unlike any organized before. The Evel Knievel Thrill Show will consist of the largest collection of Evel Knievel curiosities ever assembled, including the Skycycle, x-rays of his numerous broken bones, the now famous “Sports Illustrated” leathers and cape, and the Mack truck show-rig he named “Big Red.” The Thrill Show will also include a dangerous attempt at an unsuccessful Evel Knievel world-record jump on the same bike that failed Evel and ultimately lead to his defeat. On Aug. 6, 2015, daredevil Doug Danger will attempt a 22-car jump on Evel Knievel’s vintage 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750 in the middle of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip amphitheater.
Knievel attempted a jump over a line of 22 cars on September 1, 1972 in Monroe, Washington. His crew warned that the bike would not attain the speed needed to clear the distance, but because Knievel insisted on doing the jump, they built a safety ramp over the last three cars. Knievel bounce-landed on the safety ramp and left defeated. More than 40 years later, Doug Danger is set to attempt the same jump on Knievel’s own bike and clear the 22nd car. Knievel’s bike has not been altered with the exception of moving a foot peg to accommodate Danger’s height. Another daredevil attempted this jump in 2001, and it ended in a horrific crash.
“I know it’s dangerous, but death has had me by the throat twice in my life, and I spit in its face. When God’s ready, he’ll take me.” -Doug Danger
“This is an incredibly difficult and terrifying jump,” said Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff. “We are doing all we can to make sure Doug Danger lands safely, but that bike was not built for a jump like this. We really hope he can make it.”
“This is the one jump Evel couldn’t make; he failed. I’m determined to succeed where he fell short,” Danger said. “I know it’s dangerous, but death has had me by the throat twice in my life, and I spit in its face. When God’s ready, he’ll take me.”
The Evel Knievel Thrill Show curiosities will be located in the CrossRoads area at the Buffalo Chip July 31 – Aug. 8, entrance fee, paid in advance, is only $10. Doug Danger will attempt the record-breaking jump on Knievel’s XR-750 in the Buffalo Chip amphitheater on Thursday, Aug. 6. Campground day passes for Thursday will be available beginning Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 5pm at BuffaloChip.com or by calling the Buffalo Chip box office at 605-347-9000.