The story is a biography, with fictionalized events, of the famed motorcycle daredevil, who grew up in Butte, Montana. The film depicts Knievel reflecting on major events in his life, particularly his relationship with his girlfriend/wife, Linda. The film opens with Knievel (Hamilton) at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California. Knievel is speaking directly to the camera describing his upcoming daredevil motorcycle jump:
Ladies and gentlemen, you have no idea how good it makes me feel to be here today. It is truly an honor to risk my life for you. An honor. Before I jump this motorcycle over these 19 cars — and I want you to know there’s not a Volkswagen or a Datsun in the row — before I sail cleanly over that last truck, I want to tell you that last night a kid came up to me and he said, “Mr Knievel, are you crazy? That jump you’re going to make is impossible, but I already have my tickets because I want to see you splatter.” That’s right, that’s what he said. And I told that boy last night that nothing is impossible. Now they told Columbus to sail across the ocean was impossible. They told the settlers to live in a wild land was impossible. They told the Wright Brothers to fly was impossible. And they probably told Neil Armstrong a walk on the moon was impossible. They tell Evel Knievel to jump a motorcycle across the Grand Canyon is impossible, and they say that every day. A Roman General in the time of Caesar had the motto: “If it is possible, it is done. If it is impossible, it will be done.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I live by.
Following his introduction, the story follows a flashback narrative through Knievel’s life.
The film ends with Knievel successfully completing the February 1971 jump at the Ontario Motor Speedway (129 feet) and riding off onto a dirt road which leads to the edge of the Grand Canyon. (At the time of production, the real Evel Knievel was hyping a jump over the Grand Canyon.)