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Dale Buggins Aussie Daredevil

Submitted by on December 3, 2008

Long before anyone had come up with the idea of Freestyle Motocross or the Crusty Demons there was world famous daredevil, Evel Knievel. In Australia we had a guy with a far more spectacular name…Dale Buggins!

This is a great little retrospective video that shows Dale’s ascendancy from minibike champ to world record holder.

Dale Charles Buggins was a born in Wales and emigrated to Australia at 7 months of age.

Dale got interested in motorcycles when, on his ninth birthday, his father gave him a tiny motorbike that was powered by a lawn mower engine. While other kids his age were kicking footballs, Dale was on his property jumping his bike.

Dale went on to jump everything from cars to buses and also created a unique motorcycle high wire act with his sister Chantel that was hugely popular at Easter Shows around the country.

At just 17 he broke the world record held  by his childhood idol Evel Knievel. On May 28th, 1978, he claimed the record by jumping his Yamaha dirt bike over 25 cars at the Newcastle Motordome in N.S.W.

The crowds kept getting bigger and so did the money and by 1979 he was touring the States in the Evel Knievel Spectacular.

In 1980 he went to Seattle, Washington to have a jump off with famed American jumper Gary Wells. Here Dale had his only bad accident while attempting a 14 car jump. He miscalculated and clipped the last car and cartwheeled across the ground as his bike disintegrated. About the crash Dale said, “Everything happened so quickly I didn’t have much time to think. All I could do was hang on as long as possible. That’s all I remember.”

Dales fame continued to grow as young kids in Australia begged their parents for the “Dare Devil Dale Gyro Action Stunt Cycle”  for Christmas. However the ups and downs of his mad profession were playing on the young Aussie’s mind.

On September 19, 1981 Dale was schedule to perform at the Royal Melbourne Show, but he didn’t make it.

The day before, he shot and killed himself in the Marco Polo hotel in Melbourne. Sadly no one saw it coming and at just 20 years of age the world lost a legend and a unique talent.

Interestingly the current world record jump is held by another Australian, the completely mental Robbie Maddison. Check his 332ft jump here.

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