I'll miss Evil, too. I remember watching him at the Las Vegas jump, thinking to myself "he'll never live through that crash". What did he break, a few dozon bones?
He was never my hero, I followed guys like Brad Lackey, Dick Mann and Joel Robert. Steve McQueen was a hero, since he was in the classic On Any Sunday
and rode as many of the movie scenes that he could, including some of the ones in The Great Escape
I watched Evil. He was a bit of a clown and kind of a circus geek, but he was an American icon. He's probably lining up a jump between the clouds in heaven, even as I type.
Note 1. Brad
raced for Husqvarna, CZ and three of the "Big Four" Japanese factories. First US rider to win the 500 GP Championship.
Note 2. Bugsy Mann
was a racer's racer. He won Daytona, rode dirt track and set the 24-hour speed record, saying "it's the most boring thing you can do and still be doing something dangerous".
Note 3. Joel Robert
may have been the most naturally gifted rider in history. He'd show up at the race hung over and too late for practice, waiting for the start with a cigarette in his mouth. Then he'd beat the pants off all the guys who worked out, ate right and practiced constantly. One of his teammates at Suzuki asked for a demotion to the 250 class, so that he could get away from Joel and win a few races, so Joel jumped to the 250s and kept beating him like a runaway stepchild. He was really gifted.
Note 4. What can you say about McQueen? The guy was a good actor and a suprisingly good rider. He went to bat for motorcyclists when the public's idea of motorcycling was the Hells Angels stereotype. I've been told that he walked off the set of The Great Escape
when they required a stuntman for the scene where he jumps the old BMW over the barbed wire. They had to go drag him back to the set to finish the movie. He wanted
to do that jump himself.