Bubba Blackwell, The American Daredevil
At the age of eight, Bubba Blackwell, of Bon Secour, Alabama (the town
noted in the film Forest Gump), saw Evel Knievel on TV for the very
first time. From that moment on, BUBBA knew what he wanted to be when
he grew upa daredevil. Eager to start, he devised a jump on his
bicycle for the neighborhood kids jumping a line of garbage cans while
his Dad looked on. When his Mom came home, his Dad said, "Don't
bother going in, we're fixin' to go to the hospital," BLACKWELL
recalls. He added, " I made that
jump, which I think kind of surprised Dad. I think he was planning I
would miss and never do it again."
love of motorcycles dates back to the age of five, when he started on
a mini-bike. After growing up and a series of bikes that got progressively
bigger, BUBBA gave motorcycle road racing a try. After only on short
year BUBBA rose to the title of "AMA/CCS Heavyweight Superbike
National Champion". BUBBA actually won at the Daytona Super Speedway
twice. A couple of serious accidents on the racing circuit caused BUBBA
to reevaluate his future options. That's when he decided to dust off
his childhood dream and try his hand at doing stunt shows.
Since taking the leap into the world of motorcycle stunts, BUBBA BLACKWELL,
has thrilled scored of audiences around the country jumping cars, semi-trucks,
and busses astride his star-spangled Harley-Davidson XR-750. When BUBBA
rides into view, with his red, white and blue motorcycle and superhero
style leathers, a real "Captain America" comes alive, instantly
electrifying any crowd or audience. Recently, The Boston Herald
stated, "BUBBA BLACKWELL is the only
official Harley-Davidson daredevil to bring back the nostalgia and human
drama of the stunt jumping made popular
by the great Evel Knievel.
The Alabama Daredevil
freely admits that the legendary Evel Knievel is a major influence on
his own tailor-made stunt shows. "Knievel was definitely one of
the finest showman of his era; not just with motorcycles, but with drawing
in the general public's interest," Blackwell said. "No matter
how crazy people thought his stunts were, I think that deep down inside
everyone admired his courage and his unique presentation."
On April 26, 1998, BLACKWELL,
broke daredevil Evel Knievel's 1971 car jumping
record of 19 Dodge Colts by successfully clearing
20 cars on his Harley-Davidson
XR-750 motorcycle (the only person to beat
this record using the same type motorcycle) in front of Boston
Harley-Davidson/Buell in Everette, MA. An estimated crowd of
30,000 people watched as BUBBA took ownership of his first World
Record. It was a sensation.
Things from that point on happened quickly and BUBBA knew 1999 would
be a year unlike any other. He next set his sights on topping all of
Knievel's recordscar, semi-truck and bus jumps. In the days of
summer, BLACKWELL, also proceeded to break box office records, like
breaking the attendance record at the Del Mar, California
State Fair. BUBBA jumped 14 buses in front of 31,000 screaming fans
breaking the previous attendance record of 17,000 set by pop singer
Brandy. And he was the talk of Nashville, when he jumped at their
Riverfront Park in September. But, the best was yet to come.
A year or two back, Jay Leno from "The Tonight
Show" first contacted BUBBA about doing a jump "live"
on national network TV. In October, that idea became a reality. The
date was October 22, 1999, and before 6.5
million people, BUBBA flew his Harley over 14 semi-trucks,
creating a name for himself in the record books and daredevil history."
Not only did he jump the 14 trucks, but he won over everyone involved
in the feat at their NBC-TV Burbank studios. BUBBA's showmanship, southern
charm, and thrill of thrills evoked the head of NBC to comment,
'It was the most exciting stunt on TV I've seen
During the sit-down
talk with host Jay Leno, BUBBA showed his sense of humor by saying,
"Do I really have to do this? You know,
what a country boy won't do to get on TV." When
it was rebroadcast on E! television's "Talk
Soup" they said, "BUBBA
made the jump, but tripped going to his car and broke every bone in
his body and burst into flames." BUBBA
was the talk of the country.
In November 1999, Bubba was one of the special
guests at the annual "Love Ride"
which starts at Glendale, California. He joined fellow Harley-Davidson
riders like Lorenzo Lamas and Peter Fonda. "Love Ride 16"
helped raise over $1 million for the LA Times sponsored child reading
program and Muscular Dystrophy. Another milestone.
January 2000, saw Blackwell complete the
longest Harley-Davidson motorcycle jump in history in downtown Las Vegas
for the UPN TV show, "I Dare You, the Ultimate
Challenge". Bubba made it look easy as he sailed his 400
lb. XR-750, over 15 tour buses with room to spare completing the dream
of being the ONLY daredevil to beat all Evel Knievel jumping records
using the same type motorcycle, and the same size ramps. Bubba spent
most of 2000 focusing on a complete show makeover. Having noticed the
Harley-Davidson inspired Buell motorcycle was generating a lot of attention,
Bubba decided to add much needed time filler to the jump show, by performing
the European style of riding called "Street
Fighter" with an American Flare. Acquiring full factory
sponsorship from Buell Motorcycle Company,
Bubba began the 2001 season with much excitement.
February 10, 2001 Bubba decided to retry
the jump performed on "The Tonight Show"
14 semi-truck jump again. If you watched closely, you would have noticed
the rear tire landed about two feet short on the safety ramp. Bubba
said later, "I gave my word that I would
clear 14, so I wanted to try again in my hometown." The
event took place in Foley, Alabama with over 10,000 people attending,
along with the London England based production film crew for the Discovery
Channel. Bubba flew well passed semi-truck #14 this time, and it was
a big success as a portion of the proceeds went to finalize the project
of a Foley Kids Park where a honorary Bubba Blackwell stone is now placed.
With the success of yet another Harley-Davidson world record, the call
came to return to Del Mar, CA. Having set the attendance record for
a single act in 1999, The management wanted to see what we could do
July 4, 2001 Bubba Blackwell almost lost
his life while attempting to clear 22 cars
on a deeply graded horse track. The surface of the track at first, was
acceptable and smoothly packed. After several speed runs, the surface
began being chewed up. Unfortunately, it was about 9:30 PM and too dark
to notice. Blackwell accelerated toward the ramp and was going very
fast and the engine was screaming. However, the traction wasn't there
and the bike was robbed of the speed necessary to clear the gap. The
result was one of the most shocking crashes ever caught on tape. In
a coma and placed on Life Support it was clear that Bubba would be in
for a long road to recovery. Bubba Blackwell was in the news around
the world. Since the July 4th accident, Bubba has been touring the country
performing stunt-riding shows at Harley-Davidson dealers and special
2003 marked not only the 100th Anniversary
of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company but Bubba Blackwell's return to
jumping. The Travel Channel was on hand
and filmed a special on Bubba's first jump since July 4, 2001. In a
small parking lot at Uke's Harley-Davidson/Buell in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
With the help of a 20' high ski-ramp,
Bubba sailed his XR-750 Harley-Davidson over 10
Peterbilt Trucks. 25,000 people cheered
as Bubba marked his return to the Daredevil World with the successful
100' leap. Two weeks later saw the All American Daredevil clear 15
new Porsche cars in Reading, Pennsylvania at Classic Harley-Davidson/Buell.
The decision was made at the beginning of 2005
to get back on the jump bike more, and offer to the dealers a more exciting
option to the stunt shows. Three days after Bubba's first-born child
"Regan Faye" was born, Bubba
was back at Uke's Harley-Davidson/Buell flying his HOG. The jump was
successful and other jumps in 2005 included the Kansas State HOG Rally,
Morgan Hill, CA. Rossville, GA. South Padre Island, TX. And the biggest
jump of the year over 16 cars near home
in Loxley, AL. Although starting his family with daughter Regan Faye,
Bubba is still committed to being the most entertaining motorcycle rider
2006 saw Bubba performing at over 30
events from coast to coast. 2007
brought a few new changes. 2007 Laramie Edition
Dodge Dually, a 2007 44' custom tow trailer, with the addition
of a Harley-Davidson V-Rod, and Factory
Customized Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson Electraglide.
Bubba had one of the most successful tours to date with an early stop
to perform for the Riley's Children's Hospital fund raising event at
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bubba performed along with good friend
country singer Darron Norwood, at no charge
and even donated a custom painted 1200cc Harley-Davidson Sportster.
2008 shaped up to be a record year. Getting
started early in '08 with a jump atÊa new Harley-Davidson dealership
in Texas, then on to Miami, Florida for another... The crazy fuel prices
made for a challenging year but was able to close the year with the
last known Evel Knievel Record that Bubba didn't already own. A
jump over 52 cars at the Deep South Speedway. The average crowd
of about 750 to 1000 at $10/ticket, was shattered by drawing 6500 spectators
at $20/ ticket. The jump was successful and now the 2009 season is being
planned. The Harley-Davidson/Buell dealer meeting in National Harbor,
Maryland. at the end January '09 was very promising for another great
year. In a down economy, successful business owners know now more than
ever, you've got to advertise and promote... We
are the best at making this happen!!!
appeared on an episode of Dateline NBC to air February 2009
been one of the most successful touring seasons for Bubba. Also this
year was the official switch to an all Harley-Davidson motorcycle stunt
show. Bubba also became the only Harley-Davidson contracted stunt show
in the US!
be spectacular with a Harley jump at every stunt show!
Gotta go load the truck.... see ya on the road!