FMX Star Robbie Maddison Resets the World Distance-Jumping Record in Vegas

Air Time!

Evel Knievel said jumping the length of a football field on a motorcycle was impossible. But America's favorite daredevil didn't have a well-suspended, ripping-fast Honda CR500, or an army of Red Bull-fueled engineers calculating ramp angles and other "active math" equations like Australian freestyle rider Robbie Maddison did for his recent record-setting jump-the first in a series of "Red Bull Experiments" intended to exploit "scientific methods to test the limits of the unknown."

On New Year's Eve 2007-exactly 40 years after Knievel so unscientifically rag-dolled into orthopedic history at Caesars Palace- Maddo soared into the record books with a leap of 322' 7.5" over a faux football gridiron (complete with goal posts demarcating the launch and landing ramps) constructed in the parking lot of the nearby Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

The event (televised by ESPN) was typical Vegas spectacle, complete with a live rock soundtrack courtesy of Angels & Airwaves and a bevy of half-naked cheerleaders. Executed with picture-perfect control and precision, the jump itself was anticlimactic-an impression not improved on after Maddo, unsatisfied with the original distance, immediately repeated the jump (just 320 feet that time). Evel would never have made it look so easy.

Even if it fell short of his 360-foot goal (not to mention his uncertified, 350-foot practice jump the day before), this distance easily surpassed the previous record of 277' 6", set by fellow Aussie Trigger Gumm in 2005. Red Bull, it seems, really can give one wings.