Daredevils chase records by land and air in ‘Evel Live 2’

‘Evel Live 2’ – Golden can take the heat

Axell Hodges and Vicki Golden are featured in “Evel Live 2,” airing Sunday on History.

A year after Travis Pastrana set three motorcycle-jump records on the History special “Evel Live,” the cablenet returns with more record-breaking stunts on a live broadcast this week.

In “Evel Live 2,” airing Sunday, July 7, Pastrana and Matt Iseman are the hosts as freestyle motocross athletes Vicki Golden and Axell Hodges seek to put their names in the record books with a trio of stunts they’ll be performing at Southern California’s San Bernardino International Airport.

First, Golden, a three-time X Games gold medalist, will attempt to plow her motorcycle through 13 flaming wooden boards, breaking the record of 12 set in 2006. Then Hodges, a six-time X Games medalist, will attempt to jump 24 beverage trucks to eclipse the mark set by Evel Knievel in 1971 and equaled by his son Robbie in 2003. And in the finale, Hodges will go after the all-time record for longest-ever motorcycle jump, 379 feet 9 inches, set in 2011.

For Golden, her stunt is the culmination of a long road to recovery that began when she shattered her right heel, ankle and leg in a scary January 2018 crash at a Cleveland freestyle show. Now recovered but admitting she’ll never be back to 100 percent, she’ll don multiple layers of fire-resistant clothing, climb on her Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 and attempt to barrel through the flaming boards at what she calls the “sweet spot” speed of 30 miles per hour, her helmet taking much of the impact.

Vicki Golden is featured in “Evel Live 2,” airing Sunday on History.

“If I go too much faster, I probably won’t be conscious going through these things,” she says with a laugh, “so that’s the speed that I think we decided that would be safe for my brain. … We didn’t want to go too slow to where the boards aren’t even going to break because that’s going to suck for me. And then, yeah, to where the boards will break and I’m not just blowing by these things and no one even saw me go.”

Also taking the blows and heat will be the FTR 1200, a flat-track bike with a reputation for durability and solid performance, which Golden says was modified for this event.

“We did a couple of changes to it to make sure that it’s pretty much built to go through fire,” Golden notes. “We changed the front end of it so that way all the debris and whatnot can kind of be pushed away instead of pretty much just being pushed at me. So hopefully the design we use is going to just divert the debris away from me. That’s the most important thing.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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