Son bids to complete Knievel's last stunt

Almost 35 years after Evel Knievel’s failed attempt to clear 13 London buses on a Harley Davidson ended his career, son Robbie Knievel has announced that he will try to go one better; or three to be exact.

The US daredevil will attempt to jump 16 double-decker buses next summer. Father Evel Knievel broke his pelvis attempting his jump over the single-decker buses at Wembley in 1975. Next year, his son will attempt to better his father on the same classic model of bike.

“I sometimes get butterflies before a jump, sometimes I get cockroaches; it depends on the stunt,” said Robbie Knievel. “I think on this one I might just get a few cockroaches. My Dad said I was a better rider than he was when I was 12, so I want to try to do this,” he added.

Knievel admitted that the venue had not yet been confirmed but that his team were considering performing the stunt at the Battersea Power Station site in south London. The jump is provisionally planned for 22 May 2010. However, he said that he would be willing to change the date if it meant he could perform the stunt at Wembley Stadium.

Despite his daredevil reputation, Knievel denied being an “adrenaline junkie”. He said: “Fear does not energise me and I was never an adrenaline junkie. But I grew up with it; my father never liked watching himself crash and I can’t say I enjoy it when I do, but it doesn’t bother me.

“Obviously I would never try to crash and believe me, when I am jumping, I am concentrating hard on staying on the bike. But I am not afraid of it; I have crashed a few times this year. Once, I was pulling wheelies and fell onto concrete, ripping my arm up but I got my breath back, got back in the saddle and carried on: It’s my job.”

He added that his approach to jumping owes little to mathematics and more to intuition. “After years of performing stunts, I go out and do what I feel. During practices, I try to judge my speed on the approach and afterwards, I ask my team ‘was I doing around 80 mph when I hit the ramp?’ and they can’t believe how close I usually am,” he said.

Robbie, who normally performs stunts on bikes around seven stone lighter than the Harley-Davidson XR-750 he will use in London, admitted that he will be hoping for good weather as he starts his run-up, saying that the elements can have a massive effect on his jump.

He added: “I will hit the ground hard because the suspension is not as good and the bike is heavier, my back has taken a lot of punishment in the past.

“Although my dad's jump ended with broken bones and a lot of pain, I'm confident he'll be smiling down on this one. Daredevils are a dying breed. I'm proud to have been raised by one and to be one myself.”

Knievel dedicated the attempt to friend Eddie Kidd who was badly injured attempting a jump in 1996. “I have not seen him since 1994, but I spoke to him last night,” he said on Tuesday. “I speak to him on the phone and he knows what is going on and always tries to make a joke,” he added.

The daredevil also vowed to complete the other feat that had eluded his father during his career: an audacious jump over the Snake River Canyon in the United States. Stunt promoters said negotiations were under way to secure property rights and begin construction of the rocket that Robbie would use to soar over the 1600ft gap in a separate jump across the canyon.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference