The Stunts of Marvel Universe LIVE! | PHOTOS

How gnarly are the motorcycle stunts performed on the set of Marvel Universe Live? We grab a GasGas trials bike and find out.

Captain America in action during a rehearsal.Photo by Jeff Allen

Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes is a stage show put on by Feld Entertainment that is currently touring the United States. Some of the performers in the show ride trials bikes and when the tour came through Southern California, Feld Entertainment invited us to try some of the trials stunts performed during the live show. The only two we weren't allowed to try were the 14-foot splatter and the backflip. Having grown up competing in trials, I was selected for the assignment. We arrived at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with a GasGas TXT Racing 300 trials bike and got an hour on stage to see what each stunt was all about.

The GasGas TXT Racing 300 I rode is the same brand and model of bike used by the Marvel performers, except theirs have an oversized (fake) fuel tank, seat, and a different color scheme applied to the entire bike. They put the tank and seat on my bike just to give me an idea of what they ride with during the show, but took the items off before I went out on stage.Photo by Jeff Allen
A sneak peak backstage of some of the performers, bikes, and prop containers.Photo by Jeff Allen
I got an opportunity to warm up outside with Troy "Smallz" Neault, who plays Spider-Man. Our brief ride outside consisted of several wheelies and nose wheelies up and down the concrete entrance to the back of the stadium.Photo by Jeff Allen
The first stunt was a rolling 180 nose wheelie. Clark Myers, who plays Captain America, explained to me the idea is to land the rear tire as close to the barrier of the stage as possible for dramatic effect.Photo by Jeff Allen
Clark made it look easy and landed his rear tire within inches of the barrier each and every time. My first few tries weren't as close, but I managed to get within about a foot of it on my last attempt.Photo by Jeff Allen
After Clark and I finished doing the rolling 180 nose wheelie and jump, Smallz showed me a few tricks he does during the show.Photo by Jeff Allen
The first stunt he showed me was a 90 degree rolling nose wheelie into a 270 degree circle wheelie. At the end of the wheelie, I was to cross my front wheel up suddenly as during this scene in the show, he pretends to knock three other performers over. The amount of precision it takes to do this stunt properly each and every time takes a lot of skill.Photo by Jeff Allen
The rolling nose wheelie was fairly simple, especially after having just done the same thing in a 180 degree turn with Clark just minutes earlier. The 270 degree wheelie turn was a bit more challenging and I imagine it would be even harder during a live show with other performers so close by.Photo by Jeff Allen
Smallz then took me over to the freestyle ramp where he does a backwards rolling nose wheelie. I can safely say after trying it about five times that it's even harder than it sounds. Smallz began his nose wheelie at the very top of the ramp and rolled all the way back to the bottom. He told us that it took him six months of practicing this stunt everyday before he felt comfortable enough to do it during the show.Photo by Jeff Allen
The final stunt we did was a running wheelie. Smallz explained that during the show, Spider-Man learns to ride and this is part of the fumbling around he does while figuring it out.Photo by Jeff Allen
I tried the running wheelie on flat ground first and found it to be surprisingly easy. Doing it on stage was a bit different because I had to ride up a short, but steep ramp onto the stage before popping the front wheel up and hopping off the back.Photo by Jeff Allen

At the end of the day, these performers are motorcycle riders first and stuntmen second. Each of them could compete at a high level in the sport and are very skilled riders. Be sure to check out the October 2017 issue of the magazine for more photos as well as my full evaluation of how challenging each stunt was.