THURSDAY THROWBACK: EVEL KNIEVEL’S SUIDCIDAL STUNT!
Four-time AMA MX champ, Gary Jones, tells the bizarre story behind Evel Knievel’s suicidal Snake River Canyon ‘jump’ in 1974 and the $100,000 motocross race he held in conjunction with it.
Question: What is this “Gary Jones Motocross Cup” that Australia’s Hunter Lawrence wrapped up a couple of weeks ago?
Answer: It’s the perpetual trophy awarded to the AMA Pro Motocross 250 National Champion. And for HRC, it’s been a marketing dream in 2023 because Hunter’s title win comes during a year when Honda marks the 50th anniversary of its first production motocross bike, the CR250M Elsinore, aboard which Gary Jones rode to Honda’s first AMA Motocross 250 Championship way back in 1973.
So, seeing as a bunch of the younger members of Transmoto’s audience have been asking who the hell Gary Jones is, and why his name appears on the 250MX class’ Outdoor trophy, we thought we’d get them up to speed…
Aside from winning the AMA Motocross Championship in 1971, ’72, ’73 and ’74 – on Yamaha, Honda and Can-Am machinery – plus the 1971 Baja 500 and a Hillclimb Championship, Jones has always been a larger-than-life character and a captivating storyteller. Case in point: this all-time ‘Ripping Yarn’ Jones shared with Transmoto back in 2012; the bizarre story behind Evel Knievel’s suicidal Snake River Canyon ‘jump’ in 1974 and the $100,000 motocross race he held in conjunction with it. The stunt was part of a festival that’s been described as “Woodstock on two wheels”!
This memorable article first appeared in Issue #22 (August, 2012) of Transmoto Dirt Bike Magazine…