Evel Knievel Laverda leaps back into the limelight

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A bike used by Evel Knievel has been discovered, restored and put on public display.

Knievel, who died in 2007, is best remembered for using Harley-Davidson XR750s in the 1970s, most notably for his televised jump over 13 London buses at Wembley Stadium in 1975.

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However, he started out on a Norton in 1966, switched to Triumph Bonnevilles in 1967 (on which he did his famous Caesar’s Palace Fountain leap), then, between 1969 and 1970, used a Laverda 750.

Evel Knievel Laverda American Eagles on display

The restoration of this latter machine has now just been completed, with the help of British firm Avon who supplied the tyres, following the bike’s discovery in Montana.

The American Eagle Laverda was the bike on which he began wearing his iconic, Elvis-style white leather jumpsuit complete with Confederate stars and stripes. The bike is now on display at the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas.

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.