For Evel Knievel, there was no jump too big, no stunt too daring, and no feat too great to achieve.
How is the memory of such a legend kept alive? By doing what he did best — performing death-defying stunts.
Cole Freeman, the self-proclaimed “American Daredevil,” and the rest of the IllConduct crew traveled from St. Louis to give a free show Saturday at Timpanogos Harley-Davidson in Lindon, full of daring motorcycle stunts for the whole family to enjoy.
“We do thrill shows, everything from doing a wheelie to burnouts to standing on the bike and steering it with my foot,” Freeman said.
And as entertaining as it is to watch Freeman and crew burn some rubber and kick out a little smoke, the real thrill was Freeman’s main event: jumping a Harley-Davidson XG750 more than 50 feet over the length of two trucks.
“The bike does not have a speedometer, so we’re doing it just like Evel Knievel,” Freeman said. “This is as risky as you can possibly do.”
Freeman grew up idolizing Knievel and how he performed some of the most daring stunts without all the frills and add-ons most modern daredevils now equip their bikes with. Freeman wanted to bring that same sense of nostalgia to the crowd of bike enthusiasts that gathered to watch his stunts.
“We’re working our way up just the way he did,” Freeman said. “We want to bring back the name because if you ask kids these days who Evel Knievel is, they don’t know. We’re going to come in and try to be the next Evel Knievel and pay homage to him.”
The free show is held annually at Timpanogos Harley-Davidson, where it’s anticipated to grow and breed greater motorcycle appreciation.
“Every show is different,” said Deni Karly, who organized Saturday’s event for Timpanogos Harley-Davidson. “The fact that he does like 98 percent of his stuff on Harleys is something we’re going to love. They’re super cool dudes.”
The attention brought out many biker groups such as the Bikers Against Child Abuse and the local Harley Owners Group chapter. And on Sunday, Timpanogos Harley-Davidson is co-hosting the 11th annual Ride for Fallen Officers, a charity ride to support the fallen police officers of Utah.
Motorcycle safety has been a hot topic this summer with educational campaigns organized by several agencies such as Zero Fatalities and the Utah Department of Public Safety. Karly said motorcyclists, both old and new, eager to learn more about motorcycle safety are welcome to the rider safety courses hosted by the dealership. They even offer a ladies-only course every other month.
“I love that because it’s a lot easier for ladies who want to learn how to ride, there’s not that intimidation,” she said.
It goes without saying that most of the stunts performed Saturday should not be tried at home. But Karly said it’s always a great time to become a new motorcycle enthusiast.
“The biker community around here is just a big old family,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s great to be a part of it.”