Not many parents will encourage their children to get on a motorcycle to jump over cars and airplanes. Robbie Knievel doesn’t come from a typical family, though. His father was the legendary motorcycle stunt rider Evel Knievel. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, people would line up to watch Evel Knievel get on his motorcyle and ride down a ramp to jump over cars and buses. Robbie went into the family business at a very young age. He was only 8 years old when he first appeared with his dad on a motorcycle at Madison Square Garden in New York City. By the age of 12, Robbie was performing on his motorcycles at shows where he’d entertain the crowd before his father did a big stunt. Then he finally became a motorcyle stunt artist himself–with his father’s approval, of course. [photos via zimbio]
Evel Knievel eventually retired, but Robbie has kept the family legacy alive by duplicating plenty of his father’s famous stunts–including some where his father crashed. He often works in Las Vegas, where he’s done stunts like riding his motorcycle over 30 limousines in 1998. That meant he had to sail in the air on his motorcycle for over 231 feet. The next year, Robbie went to Las Vegas and jumped his motorcycle between the tops of two 13-story buildings. He had to jump over 130 feet to get to the second rooftop–and then had to crash into a hay bale to keep from riding right off the side off the building where he landed. He’s done over 350 motorcycle jumps so far, and has set over 20 world records.
A lot of Robbie’s jumps are made in honor of his father. On May 24, 2008, for example, he jumped over 24 trucks at the Kings Island Amusement Park in Ohio. That was 33 years to the day after Evel Knievel set a record by jumping over 14 buses at the same amusement park. Robbie hasn’t done a motorcycle stunt since 2011, but he hasn’t retired yet, either. It would be understandable if he did, though. Just take a look at this video footage of a typical Robbie Knievel stunt. If we were his mother, we’d be wishing that he was retired every day….