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Evel Knievel

Harley-Davidson XR750 from 1972 on auction

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 Evel Knievel Is Not Quite the Real Thing, Comes Close

In 2020, Harley-Davidson celebrated the 50th anniversary of the XR750 in style by wrapping the entire racing hardware it fielded, including the team haulers, uniforms, and branded accessories, in the iconic Jet Fire Orange, the competition color used by the Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track team. But other hues are perhaps equally iconic for the model.

The XR750 was introduced as a replacement for the KR750 in 1970, and quickly became the dominant force in the AMA Grand National Championships. In fact, the model is to date the most successful in the competition’s history, having won 28 championships between 1972 and 2008.

The racing two-wheeler was ridden to success by the sport’s big names, including Jay Springsteen, Mark Brelsford, or Cal Rayborn. But an even more prominent name of the age is linked to it: Evel Knievel.

One of the most famous stunt performers in history, Knievel rode the XR750 from 1970 to 1976. On the bike, he set a new world record by making it airborne and literally flying over 19 cars, a stunt that was filmed for his namesake 1971 movie. The record stood for 27 years when it was taken to 20 cars by Bubba Blackwell, also riding an XR750.

Like all stuntmen, Knievel identified himself through several iconic elements, including the colors he used on his rides. And in charge of making his bikes and helmets stand out was his favorite painter, George Sedlak.

The bike you see in the gallery above is not one directly linked to Knievel but is painted as a replica by Sedlak—after the stuntman retired, the painter began working on such projects on request.

This one sports the colors red, white, and blue on the fuel tank, but also things like the bike maker’s name in big letters, stars all over, a golden horseshoe, and even an image of the rider jumping a canyon with a bridge in the background.

We uncovered this one on the lot of motorcycles going under the Mecum hammer at the end of the month in Las Vegas. We are not told who it was originally made for, nor how much it is expected to fetch.

Evel Empire: Knievel’s Stranglehold on the Seventies

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Evel Knievel had a stock answer for reporters when they asked him: Well … why? “There’s three mysteries to life,” he said, with practiced conviction. “Where we came from, why we do what we do, and where we’re going to go. You don’t know the answer to any of those three, and neither do I.” Standing next to the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974, as crew members prepped his water-powered rocket cycle to fly the chasm in what would be his ballsiest cheat of death yet, he added: “I’m going to jump it to get to the other side, and I don’t want to drive across that damn bridge.”

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Evel Knievel Museum adds long lost motorcycle to their collection

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by Keith Horinek from https://www.ksnt.com

The Evel Knievel Museum located in the Historic Harley Davidson Motorcycle shop held an unveiling of a long lost motorcycle used by Knievel in his daredevil jumps.

Knievel’s second surviving original American Eagle jump bike was presented to the Evel Knievel Museum by Louis “Rocket” Re and the Stroop and McCormack families. The ceremony took place in the Evel Knievel Museum.

The motorcycle was used by Knievel during his tenure as a motorcycle stunt performer in the 60’s and 70’s.

The motorcycle was purchased by Dave Stroop of Belt Montana in 1972. Stroop then rode the bike for several years and eventually stored the bike in his barn. Years later the bike was found and restored by Knievel’s longtime friend and riding partner Re. Stroop then donated the motorcycle to the museum.

Disney Pixar Sued by Evel Knievel’s Son over Toy Story 4 Production

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by Tony Abu Momoh from https://www.herald.ng

Kelly Knievel, the son of late stuntman Evel Knievel is suing Disney and Pixar for using the daredevil character Duke Caboom in the movie, Toy Story 4. The character is based on Evel Knievel real name Robert Craig Kneivel Jnr who was a daredevil stuntman in the 1970’s.

According to Kelly, the movie giants gained financially from a character based on his father without his permission. According to Knievel junior, his father did not thrill millions, break his bones and spill his blood just so Disney can make a bunch of money.

The character in contention, Duke Caboom was voiced by Keanu Reeves in Toy Story 4 and is described by Disney-Pixar as a 1970’s toy based on Canada’s greatest daredevil stuntman with confidence and swagger. The character has however never been able to do stunts advertised by his own toy commercials.

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Kelly stated in the Federal Trademark suit that he has had ownership of the publicity rights to Evel Knievel since 1978 and is seeking damages totaling $300,000 for false endorsement and unjust enrichment.

Kelly alleged that there were similarities in the physical appearance of Knievel and the character Caboom. He also alleged that a propelled stunt toy sold as a marketing strategy for the move, Toy Story 4, was similar to another toy released by Evel Knievel in 1973. Kelly was also unhappy that the Caboom character was marketed as part of a McDonald’s happy meal promotion.

The suit further said Disney had instructed cast members of the movie not to draw comparisons between Knievel and Caboom in public even though it was obvious to observers that there was a connection.

Disney however denied the allegations saying its lawyers would vigorously defend what it called baseless claims.

In response to this, Kelly issued a statement saying, “It is obvious Duke Caboom is a knock off of Evel Knievel. I don’t see a big long line of Disney executives ready to get on a motorcycle and jump 13 buses, nor do I remember any Canadian daredevils from the 70s. While we note that Disney uses their Mickey Mouse lawyers to aggressively protect Disney intellectual property, they did not seek permission to use Evel Knievel at any time.”

The Evel Knievel Museum: 40 Years in the Making and Now Open!

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The ultimate collection of the Legendary Daredevil’s Authentic Artifacts Virtual Reality Jump, Snake River Room and Evel’s Fully-Restored “Big Red” Mack Truck Rig

“Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it.”
“I’m not a stunt man. I’m not a dare devil…I’m an explorer.”
“I created Evel Knievel, and then he sort of got away from me.”—Evel Knievel

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