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Video: The American Eagle Flies Again – Louis “Rocket” Re

Posted on April 16, 2012 by Andrew in Video. 30 comments

Imagine thusly. You’re a fan of Evel Knieval (who isn’t?) and you decide to honour your hero by trying a few big jumps yourself. Now you’ll be wanting a bike that’s up to the job. Something with a decent amount of go that’s light, tough and has a suspension set-up that can take a seriously bone-crushing landing in it’s stride. So, which bike would you choose? If you’re anything like the Nitro Circus or the Crusty Demons you’d probably opt for a nice little Yamaha YZ250 or the popular Honda CRF250F. Good choice, my imaginary stunters. And what bikes would you never jump in a million years? A Harley Roadking? Of course. What about one of those O.C. choppers with the 20 ft forks and all the spikey bits? No friggin’ way. And it goes without saying that you’d have to be as crazy as a shirt full of feral cats to try it on a stock standard 1970 Laverda 750 vintage racer, wouldn’t you?

Cinematographer and long-time friend of Pipeburn, Andrew David Watson, takes up the story. “I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good motorcycle short story since finishing the piece on Liberty Vintage last year. I was flipping through the pages of Classic Motorcycle and saw a short article about a guy named Louis “Rocket” Re, who jumps a stock 1970 American Eagle Laverda 750 in homage to Evel Knievel. I thought it was pretty awesome that he was jumping a vintage motorcycle and I was even more surprised to found out that he lived somewhat close to me. I decided to try and track Louis and see if he would be interested in being filmed. After only a few emails I was on the phone with Louis making plans to shoot.”

“Stylistically I wanted to do something that was a bit of a departure from my other work and other motorcycle films. Louis has a fantastic outlook on life so I decided to go with a more colorful approach. It was really great meeting and working with Louis. I really respect his dedicated, motivation and drive to follow his dreams, hopefully this piece expresses that!”

  • Asshole welder

    Hes a hero

  • Broken_Aero

    I saw Louis jump last year in Rhinebeck, NY on the Laverda. Quite an experience to see that bike in the air.

  • revdub

    Takes a lot of guts to jump a stock bike. I like this guy’s attitude.

  • Paddy

    Yup. Luois has balls and style, that’s for sure. As for being a hero? Well, maybe to some of the youngsters who watch him jump. And his kids, if any. Oh, and to Asshole welder.

  • Rdocrobert

    yoooo robert .still got the pic up ??   sell it to meeeeeeee.     robertsr.

  • Murphus

    For the record, the article on Louis wasn’t in Classic Motorcycle, it was in Motorcycle Classics. I know. I put it there!

  • Wannaholiday

    Thats awesome and typical Re. Spirit

  • Wannaholiday

    When are you coming to australia?

  • Andrew David Watson

    I’m very very sorry about the mix up!  As a subscriber to Motorcycle Classic I should know better!  Here is the original article.

    Thanks for watching! 

  • davmo

    Takes a certain type of guy who wants to follow in Evel’s shoes. Evel was a great and fearless rider…who had also broken just about every bone in his body. 

  • Kingstonmotorcycle

    Finally, a motorcycle video that’s more than just a bunch of fools putting around a desert or cityscape at night. 

    Finally, a motorcycle video that’s more than a bunch of hipsters talking about themselves and why they’re so rad.Finally, a motorcycle video that says something that’s actually worth listening to. 

    Take note next time you pick up your new Canon Rebel with 1080p video and think you’re going to make the next big motorcycle flick. 

    Unless you have a real reason to do so, don’t.

  • LRE246

    Thank you to the great people at for running this film. Thanks to Andrew Watson and his crew for the making of this film. Andrew is a cool young film maker that’s into riding and wrenching on classic bikes. Had a great time making the film. Evel jumped the American Eagle in 1970 – 71 twelve times crashing six. The man had incredible determination. I’m hoping with the right venue to attempt to tie or break Evel’s record on this bike. Hope to see everyone this season, keep riding, be safe, thanks again.

  • LRE246

    One more thank you, to Motorcycle Classic Magazine and photographer Ernie Copper for getting this started. If your into classic/vintage bikes this magazine is a cover to cover read.

  • Lee Sheridan

    Great video – very professional. The intro reminds me of a commercial for a highend motorcycle brand. I’m going to post it on FT FB page. Thanks for allowing us to share in your dream and thank you for showing many that following your dreams can oneday become a reality.

  • Murphus

    Andrew, here’s a link to the piece we ran. It was in the January/February 2012 issue. And Louis rocks! He’s the real deal and very informed on Laverdas. 

  • John B

    Seen Lou jump several times. Each show better then the next! Unreal seeing how much work and preperation go into these jumps! A true daredevil in every way!

  • Mre12736

    Loved the film! Expertly created…start to finish. I’ll be showing it to my kids at school during career week to emphasize the importance of what a positive attitude and clearly defined goals can accomplish! Very proud of the man and rider my brother has become!

  • Big Fan JO

    Nicely done piece.  Louis is a true daredevel.  He may be the most interesting man on the earth (but his apartment smells like gas & oil).  Good job cuz!

  • Nicx528

    Wow Lou, this video is pretty cool def could see this as a tv show! You’re fearless!!!

  • JD

    Awesome video! Mate, what a wicked outlook on life! Quite true, its why so many people are happy just to have a boring daily grind job (that doesn’t interest them) 9-5 for the rest of their lives. Stay upright and may you get that record.

    • LRE246

      Thanks mate,  put a few shirmp on the BBQ and a few beers on ice, see you then.

  • Andypassaretti

    He’s a personal friend of mine. He treats me with k.l.d.he’s following his dreams excellent performer and jumper and best of all were dear friends and fans of mr evel knievel his family is Awsome too even his friends also

  • dekeyboy

    WOW !!! to freakin cool
    It is not every day you get a new hero in life

  • Jami

    Lou- what an awesome video!! I hope to see you break Evel’s record!! Thank you for sharing this~ Jami “Millhouse Inn, Yaphank NY”

  • Hdjumper

    Very nice… Lou Re is a good guy and brave enough to try and make a dream or two, come true… Good for you!

  • Csdcds

    xczczxc zxc zxc

  • Ejcopper

    Great video of  Louis Rocket Re. I shot the pictures of him at Rhinebeck that were published in Motorcycle Classics. I’ve gotten to know him better since we first meet years ago at a show he was doing with Doug Danger at the Lawrence County Fair.   Louis is a calculating free spirit doing things nobody else does. No net, no smoke, no mirrors ( but sometimes fire.) This video accurately  captures a small part of what it takes to do this kind of thing. Well done. Spread the word.

  • Louis Rocket Re is a cool cat. We share affection for those old 750 American Eagle Laverdas. Couldn’t imagine parting with mine. Couldn’t imagine jumpin’ it either. But we’ve got Louis for that. Kudos. 

  • Phlyin’ Phil

    Thank god he’s running Works Performance shocks on that baby! Much respect…