Harley-Davidson Museum gets Evel this summer

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Marking the 35th anniversary of Evel Knievel’s ill-fated Wembley Stadium jump in London (on May 26, 1975), the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee this summer will host True Evel: The Amazing Story of Evel Knievel, celebrating the stuntman’s life and legend.

During his seminal attempt to jump 13 London buses, Knievel crashed on the landing, broke his pelvis, and announced a brief retirement to 90,000 fans following the event, although he later staged several other high-profile jumps.

“Like so many other kids growing up in the 1970s, I was a big fan of Evel Knievel, and I am thrilled to bring this exhibit celebrating his amazing life and career to a new audience. His spirit resonates with people of all ages, and there definitely is a little Evel in all of us, even if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle,” said Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum, in a press release announcing the exhibit.

At 10,000 sq. ft., the temporary exhibit is reportedly the largest the Museum has ever presented.  Knievel’s bike of choice was the Harley-Davidson XR-750, and he was sponsored by the Motor Co. through most of the 1970s.

From Knievel’s early start as a side-show character in Butte, Mont., to his transformation into a showman, marketer, and even folk hero with international appeal, the exhibit will engage visitors with the story of the man behind the seemingly fearless performer. Visitors will see legendary pieces including his signature leathers and cane, personal photographs and letters, collectors’ toys and memorabilia, and the rocket-inspired Skycycle X-2 used in Knievel’s infamous 1974 attempt to jump Idaho’s Snake River Canyon.

The exhibit runs July 10 through Sept. 6 and tells the story of Evel Knievel through fascinating artifacts drawn from both the Harley-Davidson Archives and the Knievel family collection.

For more information about the True Evel exhibit or the Harley-Davidson Museum, log onto www.h-dmuseum.com/visit.

Posted by Mary Slepicka