Without a doubt, Evel Knievel was the greatest stuntman of all time. He pretty much paved the way for those after him, some who have even broken his records. As the father of motorcycle stunts, there’s no denying that Knievel would’ve been ecstatic to see some of the insane feats that have taken place since his death; some that make Knievel’s tricks look mild and tame in comparison. Below are some of the modern-day stunts that would make Evel Knievel proud.
1. Carey Hart: The Backflip
We’ll start this one with a classic: the good old-fashioned backflip that not even Evel Knievel himself ever tried to perform. Backflip stunts may be common today but up until 2000, many motocross riders believed they were impossible. Riders Carey Hart and his rival Mike Metzger were among those who tried numerous times to perfect the backflip, only to find themselves in the ER. But all that hard work finally paid off at the 2000 Gravity Games when Hart launched himself three stories in the air, flipped his bike, then landed safely on the ground.
2. Robbie Madison: Landing on the Vegas Arc de Triomphe
Robbie Madison is no stranger to raising the bar. First, he set a record in 2005 for the longest jump while performing a trick. Then in 2008, he broke Trigger Gumm’s long distance record with a jump of 351 feet. So it seemed fitting that, on New Year’s Eve in 2008, he raced down a ramp and flew ten stories into the air, then landed on the 40-foot platform of the Arc de Triomphe at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. But he didn’t stop there. Just one year later, Madison cleared the historic Tower Bridge in London with a backflip and his hands dangling freely in the air.
3. Mike Metzger: Backflips Over the Caesars Palace Fountains
Evel Knievel himself has flown across the Caesars Palace fountains, but he barely made it out alive after breaking several bones and spending 29 days in a coma. So, as a tribute to his childhood hero, Mike Metzger did the same thing, minus the life-threatening injuries. Not only did he successfully make it across the other side, but he did a quick little backflip too. The crowd was no doubt taken aback that Metzger spent a few seconds at least 125 feet in the air.
4. Josh Sheehan: Three Backflips in a Row
The very first backflip was performed by Carey Hart at the 2000 Gravity Games. Fellow biker Travis Pastrana took it to the next level at the 2006 Summer X Games when he became the first person to pull off a double backflip. Following the natural order of things meant that the triple backflip was up next. That record would be set by Josh Sheehan who made history on April 28, 2015, when he flipped himself and his bike three times in the air before landing safely.
5. Brian Deegan: Doing a 360 Flatspin at While Injured
When you love what you do, not even an injury will hold you back. Freestyle motocross enthusiast Brian Deegan entered the 2004 Summer X-Games FMX Best Trick competition with the goal of wowing the crowd. And that’s exactly what he did. After hurling himself down the ramp, Deegan combined a backflip with a horizontal rotation to pull off the highly dangerous maneuver, a 360 flatspin. And remember, he was injured too, so that makes it even more impressive.
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