TOPEKA, Kan. — One of the most famous motorcycles in history has been re-"tired."
Evel Knievel's original 1968-spec "American Eagle" Laverda recently was restored with Avon motorcycle tires. The famous stunt performer's refurbished motorcycle — which Mr. Knievel used to make a host of jumps during the late 1960s and early 1970s — was unveiled Nov. 6 at the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka.
Avon Tyres is a Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.brand.
Restoration of the motorcycle began when Louis "Rocket" Re, a friend of the late Mr. Knievel, and a stunt rider himself, tracked down the original Laverda several years ago. After receiving permission from the motorcycle's owner to carry out restoration work and display the vehicle at the museum,
Mr. Re contacted Avon to confirm the bike's original fitment of Avon Safety Mileage MKII tires and obtain a set of the brand's current day Safety Mileage MKII tires as part of the restoration.
"We are pleased to be involved in a restoration project that involves such an iconic motorcycle," Dominic Clifford, Global Manager – Avon Motorcycle, said.
"Avon offers a line of classic tires that give motorcycles an authentic appearance with the benefit of modern-day technology. The Avon Safety Mileage MKII utilized in this restoration offers a period-look block pattern with a new compound design and the latest construction methods for exceptional grip, handling and stability," Mr. Clifford said.
"This is my first experience with Avon Tyres, and I really like the vintage style," Mr. Re said. "I could see the quality craftsmanship right away. The like turned to love when I rode the bike with the new tires; I had great cornering traction and high-speed stability, and confidence equals a fun, safe day of riding."
Robert Craig Knievel, known professionally as Evel Knievel, was an American stunt performer whose career spanned three decades from the 1960s to the 1980s. He attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps over the years, the majority of which were completed successfully.
The motorcycle, which will be on display at the museum for two years, can be viewed alongside other iconic items such as Mr. Knievel's original Mack Truck.