It seems we are on a return tour.
First it was Dallas last year and then recently San Angelo and now we are going to the Hot Bed of the Oil Field in Hobbs, New Mexico. The last time I jumped there was back in 1980 at the old Stock Car Track which has been gone for over 15 years. What I remember was the overwhelming hospitality from the New Mexico people and all the press the local Newspaper gave us as well as the radio and Tv stations.
First off I would like to thank Tate Branch Dodge for there sponsorship and support and I will do my best not to put a tire mark on any of those 10 brand new cars and trucks!
This will be the first time I have jumped the Harley Sportster that Curt Winter from BTR MOTO built for me. To say I am excited is a huge understatement! New frame, all sorts of cool stuff, and a narrower, lighter bike that will have a transmission and also an on-board electric starter as well as huge brakes – everything I need for a tight indoor jump like Hobbs will be. There is a stairway that I will be riding down a ramp that will cover the steps and then coming onto the floor at an angle out of the corner and grabbing gears heading towards the take off ramp.
Wow what a rush!
When I decided to get back into jumping I pulled my Rotax 600cc Harley Rotax off my credenza in my office and got it ready to jump in Salt Lake City, Utah. From the time I started that project it was one bad omen after another but I would not back down from the fight and just kept putting in long hours trying to get that bike ready. My friend Kenny Tolbert who has been AMA PRO RACING’s WRENCH OF THE YEAR many times took a look at the oil filter before I went out there and it was covered with metal shavings. Kenny says, ” It is a death trap and this thing will kill you!”. You know what he was almost right.
Thank my Lord Jesus for letting me live thru this one! I was in intensive care for 2 days then 2 more in trauma and then told them I was done and was walking out the door – they let me out and I and Jon Heddon took off with me driving all the way because Jon did not have a DL at the time. I was one hurting man after I got to Denver as the pain pills had went away. The next day I made it home to Texas and for two days I was not moving out of bed.
Moral is ……when Kenny Tolbert says something listen and do what he says!!
Check out this link to show you the video and you can hear the motor lock up as it was going thru the air ……..whew what a ride! slc crash Jan 5, 2012
Several months ago we went searching for a back up jumper for the Snake River Canyon Jump. We must have someone in place in case something stupid happens to me as we know this gift of life is measured in seconds and know the “SHOW” must go on no matter what.
Paul was elated to share the news, “I’m honored that Ed has the confidence in me to be his back-up driver for this historic event. I‘m behind Ed 110% to complete this jump, but if he needs me, I’m there for him. My childhood hero was Evel Knievel and who could forget the Snake River Canyon Jump. I’m thrilled to have the chance to do this jump.”
Paul Stender is the definition of adrenaline junkie! A native of Big Bend, Wisconsin, Paul grew up in a racing family and started out at a young age racing motorcycles and snowmobiles. Soon after, he made the jump to high horsepower Outlaw Sprint Cars and Midgets. With his strong mechanical skills, Paul was recruited to work on many different Indy Car and NASCAR race teams. As exciting as that sounds, it just wasn’t the same as being behind the wheel. After seeing a jet funny car race at the local drag strip, Paul found his calling. He raced his first jet vehicle in 1995, the Jazz Jet Funny Car at speeds of nearly 300 MPH.
Not long after, he was building his own jet rides. The projects got more and more insane as the years went on. Paul has driven and built over 40 jet vehicles since 1995 including a jet snowmobile, jet motorcycle, numerous jet ATVs, a jet school bus, 400 MPH jet trucks – and the legendary seventy mile per hour Jet Powered Outhouse, which has been on TV shows around the world. Stender and his vehicles have been featured on Discovery Channel, the BBC, CNN, TLC and Speed Network, among others.
As any driver knows, he is only as good as his team. Paul’s crew chief for over six years is his wife, Therese Gabrielle Stender, who has her own need for extreme sports. Therese, a 6’3” former NCAA volleyball player and MCSA sailboat racer, travels the world with Paul to perform, along with their number one groupies, their two Great Danes named Saber and Atlas.
One of Paul’s next goal is beating the land speed record. He is in the process of converting a Cold War era Russian fighter jet into a land speed car that he hopes will reach speeds of close to 1000 MPH.
We picked up an EVO SPORTSTER Hill Climber back about a year ago. We knew it needed a face lift from Curt Winter at BTR MOTO who is the one that built my main jump bike that I have been using for the last two years.
When we finally got it to him and he finally got started on it over Christmas vacation it was apparent that there was so much wrong there was no way to put a bandage on the hole in the damn so to speak. Curt stripped it down and found the frame was junk and weighed nearly 100 lbs! So he took one of his Big Twin frames he had in stock and started to modify it when he threw that idea out and started from scratch to build a complete new bike.
Wow what a week! We were in full belief we had full filled all the City of Twin Falls needs and wants and were in full compliance with the contract they provided and then at the latest Twin Falls City Council meeting something weird happened and they were saying no jump should be done at all.
If you want to know what happened in Twin Falls read this.
We finally get to go back to a former hometown of Big Ed. San Angelo is where Ed lived in 1975-1976 and ran the Honda-Yamaha Shop there.
The only time Ed jumped there was at the Lake Nasworthy Speedway which has since closed. He jumped there on a SC 500 Yamaha outdoors at the speedway where over 5,000 people stacked in a place that only held 3,000! Here is a picture of Ed on the Yamaha that night.
Appearing with the Hot Rod Truck N Tractor Pull and Monster Truck Show Down Big Ed’s jump will be dangerous and must be done right, come see if he can make it! Saturday night January 25th at 7:30pm the show starts and Big Ed Beckley will be on the Harley flying thru the air!
Team Beckley has allot on their plate and much to do the next few months.
Currently we have many projects and all are requiring huge hours of commitment by our entire team as we continue our quest for the Jump of the Century as we launch a rocket assisted motorcycle over the Snake River Canyon on the 40th Anniversary of Evel Knievel’s ill fated attempt. We are dedicated to make this a safe and successful jump and it a great experience for the City of Twin Falls, our neighbors in Jerome County, and the 100′s of thousands of spectators that will attend this historic event.
Our team of engineers are waiting for the motorcycle engines we shall use to power the jump bike down the track heading to the massive 52 foot tall 22 degree take off ramp that we will construct in a way not to damage the original dirt take off ramp that Knievel was going to use before he elected to use the metal launch pad.
Our bike builder Curt Winter (from BTR MOTO) says no more than 60 days from the time he has the plans to the time he has two bike running ready for tests. The leading engineer and chief scientist Doug Malewicki, explained they will be using a tried and true solid rocket engine that has no fuel supply other than what is used to burn that rocket to propel the jump bike across the canyon which really helps the safety and any eco questions. But …..we must test and that is scheduled to happen in late May at Lake El Mirage in California.
Before that BIG Ed is no pun intended “Jumping at the Chance” to do some indoor ramp to ramp jumping with his new BTR Harley Sportster Jump Bike! Curt Winter is working on it now and should have it ready for a jump in San Angelo on January 25th and more to be scheduled.
Stay tuned there is more happening soon to be released!
The Snake River Canyon Jump Video
Click on this link to the video of our simulation which is really close to scale showing the bike and me flying off the take off ramp and climbing upward to the apogee of the jump to coming down with the para sail to safety!
Of course there are missing elements on the video but it is our design and engineer team desire to show you how they are working for a safe and spectacular jump across the Snake River Canyon. Hope you enjoy and keep those positive thoughts going.
Thanks for all the letters and calls the support has been overwhelming from all over the world!