As part of the ESPN2 reality series “Metric Revolution,” Carl Stephens was asked to customize a stock Triumph Speedmaster.
Carl Stephens wants to remain a hard-working 30-plus-year veteran of the trucking industry, hauling cars just as his father and brothers did before him. But Stephens may end up with a face that won’t go unrecognized, especially among motorcycle aficionados. The Pine Knot, Ky., owner-operator is appearing on ESPN2’s motorcycle build-off reality series “Metric Revolution.” Stephens is among several contestants tasked with transforming a stock metric import — brands such as Yamaha and Suzuki — into a jaw-dropping marvel. And he’s done exactly that in his creation, dubbed Ratikul.
The Pine Knot, Ky., owner-operator is appearing on ESPN2’s motorcycle build-off reality series “Metric Revolution.” Stephens is among several contestants tasked with transforming a stock metric import – brands such as Yamaha and Suzuki – into a jaw-dropping marvel. And he’s done exactly that in his creation, dubbed Ratikul.
“We had free reign as far as design and fabrication,” Stephens says. “Some of the parts were given to us, but a lot of the expenses came from our own finances.” As of press time, he was preparing to travel to Las Vegas to film the series finale and learn whether he’s won the show’s $10,000 rookie cash prize.
Stephens, who had not seen episodes focusing on him as of press time, says he’s more excited about his chance to display his 18-wheeler skills than his two-wheeler handiwork. The “Metric” camera crew visited Stephens and his wife, Penny, to film him working on Ratikul, but set aside one day to concentrate on his trucking.
Stephens hopes the show and his daily routine bring a positive spin to the industry. “I am ever-attentive of my hygiene and appearance,” he says. “Also, I have to check my attitude many times throughout the day.”
Those impressions stick. Tammy Boltz, president of carrier/broker service Infinity Auto Express in Louisville, Ky., has known Stephens for 10 years, but has met him only once, at an industry show. “He definitely stood out in my mind when he came up to see me,” she says.
Stephens picked up his passion for wheels from his trucker father, Claude Stephens. Carl Stephens and his seven siblings spent much of their childhood shuttling between homes in Delaware and Pine Knot. The moves were based on the seasonal factory output of the car makers that Claude hauled for.
Claude often would arrive home with a secondhand motorcycle or dirt bike purchased for the children. “I would always try and claim the bikes,” says Stephens, who’s also fond of well-used cars. “I love old pickups, old cars, rusty metal.”
But trucking always was the center of Stephens’ life, thanks largely to his father. “Since I was old enough to remember, I was part of the crew on his truck when he came home,” he says. “Repairs, maintenance, cleaning, painting