When Nitro Circus and Travis Pastrana first approached us to do this project we were both honored and horrified. Three massive jumps, heavy bikes and the already legendary and injured Travis Pastrana in Vegas in 120 degree temps attempting the most iconic jump in stunt motorcycle daredevil history, the Caesar’s Palace Fountain. The same jump that almost killed Evel. What could go wrong? A million things could go wrong and we had a million questions, but the primary one was, which bike to use? Do we build bikes from the ground up starting with a motor?, do we copy an original Evel bike?, or do we find an OEM manufacturer with a bike that is already in the spirit and modify? Obvious to anyone, Evel Knievel was an American Icon and bled red, white and blue. As a team we really wanted it to be on an American-built V twin and Travis Pastrana was insistent it be as close to what Evel jumped as possible. No motocross suspension, no v-twin shoved into a motocross chassis. It had to be built to not jump, #1 priority. Sounds like a horrible idea… lets’ do it!!! Evel jumped several bikes including Laverda (American Eagle), Honda, Triumph, Harley and Norton.. The back story behind the bikes and sponsorship goes deep. But the obvious choice of the H-D wasn’t the right fit. They didn’t have the right bike and we were going to have to spend a huge chunk of budget trying to build 4 identical bikes that were going to take the abuse of not just the 3 jumps of the day of, but testing as well. The final choice and one that made our job much easier was the Indian Scout FTR750. Evel chose to switch to the H-D XR750 when it was introduced in 1970 and jumped the majority of his career aboard this factory flat track racer of the day., so the modern day version built by Indian, although water cooled rather than air cooled, was a perfect match and weighted about the same, if not heavier than Evel’s XR.