Evel Knievel Museum to Open in Topeka
The grand opening celebration of the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas will take place June 30 and July 1. The museum is housed in an addition to Historic Harley-Davidson, a third-generation franchised Harley-Davidson dealership.
On display will be the daredevil’s X2 Skycycle launched at Snake River Canyon, perched on Evel’s ramp and installed over dirt brought in from the original location. Visitors can peek inside “Big Red,” Evel’s traveling rig and dressing room, resplendent in red, white and blue metal flake vinyl in the original stars-and-stripes motif. Another centerpiece of the collection is Knievel’s 1966 Bell Star helmet worn for the Caesar’s Palace jump in Las Vegas. Hidden from view for decades, it’s still beautifully battered and likely saved his life that day.
Visitors can view clips of Knievel’s Hollywood stunts in a 1970s-era movie theater complete with marquee and costumes. Giant touch screens target the daredevil’s broken bones, connecting injuries to the jumps that caused them with video of the actual events.
Museum guests can experience the rush of being a daredevil through the 4D Virtual Reality Jump Experience. They can put on the virtual reality goggles and pilot a jump bike mounted on Knievel’s actual jump ramp. This immersive jump experience is complete with rushing wind and a rumbling motorcycle.
Robert “Evel” Knievel was an American pop-culture icon who made headlines from the mid 1960s to the early ’80s for his daring motorcycle jumping and risk-taking attitude. A man of unabashed courage and brashness, he derived as much fame from the jumps he failed to make, and the injuries he sustained, as the many he completed. The ultimate daredevil, his fearlessness was imprinted on the imagination of the generation that witnessed his antics and inspired the next one who regard him as the godfather of extreme sports.