He was born to make people laugh but what puts a smile on Alonzo Bodden’s face is no joke. Like a certain Tonight Show host who maintains a hangar full of ready-to-ride dream machines, Bodden is a comedian by trade who seems to be building up quite an impressive stable of bikes himself. The Last Comic Standing champ has become a familiar face at MotoGP races, ride events and local Southern California rider hangouts so it was just a matter of time before our paths intersected. We were checking up on a project over at All Industries Performance in Van Nuys, CA when we eyed Alonzo’s wicked looking 2005 Triumph Rocket III on a lift sporting more than the ordinary bolt-ons.
Bodden’s Rocket III looked more like a cruiser-weight than the 800-plus-pound super-heavyweight bruiser that it started out as thanks to a fighter-style bar setup, some tastefully placed carbon bits, a more aero-looking Daytona 675 front fender, a custom bobbed rear, and a set of carbon fiber BST wheels. A one-off Graves exhaust can and a trio of K&N pods improves the flow of air through the huge 2,300cc engine requiring a Dynojet PC3 loaded with one of tuner Chris Jones’ custom maps. All of the upgrades blend nicely with the rich look of the BMW metallic brown finish and custom stitched saddle.
The three other bikes currently in Bodden’s garage show that his penchant for making folks laugh disguises a very eclectic taste in motorcycles. His 2013 Ducati Diavel has yet to see a wrench and serves as the regular go-to ride while a 2000 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is undergoing a bobber makeover with a supercharged Twin Cam for power. But his wicked ’07 Ducati 1098 streetfighter is so over the top that we had to ask what the story was behind the build.
“I’ve done track days off and on for about 10 years now,” says Alonzo. “I’d say at my best, I’m mid-pack of the intermediate group. I wish I were at my best more often, especially that day I took the 1098 to Buttonwillow for a track day. I re-learned a valuable lesson that day: Never try to go fast in a slow turn. I high-sided exiting Turn 3, which is a slow turn, and broke my wrist.”
Bodden healed up nicely but the 1098 required extensive rehab. If you know how much a single Ducati body panel costs, you can understand why people build streetfighters. The 1098 underwent an extreme process of deconstruction, repair and customization by Nick Anglada Originals in Oakland, Florida, and when Alonzo got his first look at his rebuilt bike being lowered from the shipping truck, it was more than he envisioned and the first thing he did was click off a cell phone pic.
We asked Bodden about his plans to hit the track again and he said with a smile, “I think I’m retired from track days. I took about a year and a half off after high-siding the 1098, but I didn’t want to go out on a crash. I did one more track day on my BMW Megamoto HP2, and my last “track” experience was at Honda’s recent Grom Prix launch. I guess that’s about my speed now as the guys from M1GP have invited me to participate in their upcoming mini-bike races.” If you know how big a guy Alonzo is, seeing him race a mini would surely have us all in stitches, like a true comedian.