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When the company refused to promote him to vice-president after he had been a few months on the job, he quit.Wanting a new start away from Butte, Knievel moved his family to Moses Lake, Washington.Knievel was a cousin of the former Democratic Congressman from Montana, Pat Williams (b. Knievel left Butte High School after his sophomore year and got a job in the copper mines as a diamond drill operator with the Anaconda Mining Company, but he preferred motorbiking to what he called "unimportant stuff".

During the early 1960s, he and other dealers had difficulty promoting and selling Japanese imports because of the steep competition of their auto industry, and the Moses Lake Honda dealership eventually closed.

Business was very good until game wardens realized that Knievel was taking his clients into Yellowstone National Park to find prey.

The Park Service ordered Knievel to cease this poaching.

Shortly after getting married, Knievel started the Butte Bombers, a semi-pro hockey team.

To help promote his team and earn some money, he convinced the Czechoslovakian Olympic ice hockey team to play the Butte Bombers in a warm-up game to the 1960 Winter Olympics (to be held in California).

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