Custom: Alonzo Bodden’s 1098

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Like so many other sport bike owners, comedian and Last Comic Standing winner Alonzo Bodden crashed. When Buttonwillow raceway did a number on his pristine yellow Ducati 1098, he decided to build a custom rather than returning the bike to stock. Alonzo called Nick Anglada and the bike was shipped out to Florida. Take a look at the bikes Nick builds, and you might assume Alzono was looking for an extended swing-arm, 300 rear tire, and front-to-back wild paint. But Alonzo was looking for a street-fighter and Nick jumped at the chance to build his second-ever Ducati custom. The bike that resulted is exclusive to Hell For Leather.

Photos: David Damiata and Sean Smith

The styling on Alonzo’s completed street-fighter is subdued compared to Nick’s other bikes. Instead of bright and flashy themed paint, it combines a simple black frame and gray swing arm with unpainted, raw components like the Ducati Performance aluminum tank and wild-looking Double Dog Moto carbon fiber tail and pipes. Though the headlight appears to be from the Michael Uhlarik Yamaha MT-03, it’s an Urban kit from LSL with custom brackets.

The raw aluminum and simple color palette is offset by impressively well-matched gold anodized parts. There might not be flashy paint on fairings, but you’re sure to notice Carrozzeria wheels, reworked stock forks, Beringer brakes and an entire catalog’s worth of Speedymoto parts. Mostly hidden from view, you’ll also find a set of Bazazz electronics with map selector and traction control switches. What you won’t find is turn signals. Nick felt they ruined the design: “Alonzo wanted turn signals, and I told him he had two good hands he could use.”

There’s notable custom work that’s been done: Speedymoto rearset brackets have been welded on, the LED tail-light is a custom job and most all of the brackets, including the headlight and dash mount, have been custom built. My favorite detail just might be the improvised coolant catch can. “Here’s the deal: I made another one and basically it was a little bit smaller, a little bit harder, cast aluminum. I powder coated it black and it had a hole in the top of it, right? I got it done probably two hours before I’m supposed to go to the shoot out in LA and I’m thinking, this, with a nine volt battery for the tag bracket light, probably is not gonna pass through TSA. I mean, I’m not saying those guys are sharp, but they’re probably gonna pick up on that. So it’s a soap dispenser is what it is,” said Nick.

A trip around Alonzo’s garage shows he takes his motorcycling pretty seriously. During the shoot I counted a BMW HP2, Hayabusa and a Triumph Rocket III. His Multistrada was off being worked on. Also in the garage was a Britten V1000 poster and an M3 that was covered in bugs from a recent trip up Highway 33. I doubt that this 1098 will end up as another show bike trophy queen. The photoshoots aren’t even done and he’s managed to get the chicken strips most of the way off.

There’s 21 original, exclusive photos in this gallery.

  • Trev

    Wow, I didn’t even know he owned a motorcycle/is a rider. Great collection and sweet Duc!

    • Sean Smith

      He’s got a Britten poster in his garage. Between 18 and 22 or so, he didn’t even own a car. He’s a pretty hardcore rider.

  • michael uhlarik

    Awesome. The headlight really makes it


    • Ken D

      Those headlights have a remarkable effect on Speed Triples too – quite a handsome bike when you get rid of the Marty Feldman eyeballs.

    • MotoRandom

      Do you get royalties every time someone uses one of these knockoffs? They’ve become very popular with the streetfighter crowd. I’ve seen them on Buells, Ducatis, all manner of literbikes. I think that’s a pretty good testament for your design that it looks so good on so many different bikes.

    • Nick

      Micheal the headlight design is positively genius! I beleive that if I had used any other headlight the bike would not have been so well received.

      • michael uhlarik

        I get nothing, but I am sure the Yamaha Intellectual Properties department is raking it in.

        • Trev

          LSL must be paying them a ton by now for their headlight design.

    • pinkyracer

      it’s funny, because Alonzo once told me he really wanted an MT 01. And now he’s got an even cooler streetfighter, with a similar headlight.

      Michael, the MT’s are gorgeous! It’s crazy they never tried to sell them here.

      • michael uhlarik

        I only designed the MT-03, not her bigger brother. It is a shame, because it is the only bike I did that I would like to own, but Transport Canada/US DOT won’t let them in the country.

        Funny thing is, after they stopped production in Italy, it was moved to Brazil where they make more of them in a year than they did in 5 years in Europe. Brazil gets all the cool bikes. You could still buy a new RZ350R until the late 1990′s there.

        • Julian

          I love my MT03 – it’s my first bike and great to ride in berlin city.

          Thank you for this fantastic design.
          I made some minor modifications (arkras radial grindig, heat-wrap, rizoma stuff etc.) and now it’s really a love affair.
          BTW, I didn’t know they moved the production to brazil.

        • ike6116

          “US DOT won’t let them in the country.”

          why the christ not?!

    • Ben Incarnate

      Gorgeous headlight. I’d love to slap one on my bike, but it’s tough to imagine doing so without also replacing gauges with something far smaller than stock.

  • Coreyvwc

    That is positively evil.

  • T Diver

    That is sick, I guess it pays to be funny. ? The pic of the side with all the gears (#4) is technotastic. Some dude at the shop on Pico said Ducs are buggy because they have so many moving parts. Whatever. It’s a badass bike. I wish I could ride it.

    • desmoworks

      So many moving parts… what is this 1950!?

    • Sean Smith

      Ha, those are pulleys. Take a look inside an R6 motor and airbox sometime for some serious moving parts. Ducs are actually pretty damn simple.

  • Dan

    The spiderweb cam belt covers are there to remind you of what a ferocious pain in the ass a valve adjustment will be on a 4-valve Ducati. Such is the price of beauty though.

    • ontheroad

      I’d rather do a testastretta valve adjustment than an *insert Japanese 600 here* any day. There are only two ferocious components: the cost of tools and the learning curve.

      • Dan

        Agreed, although I’ve only done the little-brother 2V job. I used for the gear – they’ll send you a full shim kit and only charge you for the ones you use. Run by a really nice guy, too.

  • fasterfaster

    Nice to see the DoubleDog tail and pipe on a street bike. Those guys do top notch work (true performance parts, unlike most ridiculous bling) and are super nice to boot.

  • Dan

    What is that perforated plate on the bottom of the shock reservoir?

    • Sean Smith

      License plate mount. It’s a pretty slick solution.

      • Dan

        Very smooth. Did he make that or is it off the shelf?

        • Nick


          that is a modified electronics mount from Techmounts. It is usually utilized to mount a radar detector or camera onto the top of the forks. I had to open up the inner diameter to work on the shock reservoir.

  • Ben

    Too much mismatched gold anodizing, too many EXPENSIVE bolt ons compared to how little fab work there is.

    I’d ride it, but as a custom bike I don’t think its “magazine story” innovative compared too some of the other fighters out there these days.

    Haters gotta hate. It’s still nicer than my multistrada-engined 749 and props to DoubleDog for bloody SMASHING the mold on what bolt on parts can be.

    • Sean Smith

      All the fabrication and really trick stuff is hidden and well done. Nick chopped up the frame pretty good to make the tail fit, cut off and re-welded the rearset brackets, fabricated a really slick dash mount and spent a week hiding 100 feet of wiring for the traction control system.

  • pinkyracer

    I love the seat! I don’t think I’ve seen that level of fabrication in Nick’s other bikes.

  • dux

    A bit avant-garde for my tastes. But it does look cool. Will it be featured in the new Transformers movie?

  • Liquidogged

    It’s a cool bike and the level of craftsmanship is obviously very high. The gold forks with gold wheels don’t work well, and I’m not sure about the overall gold/aluminum palette… but it’s bold and executed well. Love, love the tank and seat. Vertical LED tailight on seat is really well done.

    You can definitely tell this bike was meant for mild, sunny weather. If it existed anywhere other than cali for florida it would be filthy and gross in minutes. All those exposed moving parts…

  • Padraic

    The tinyness of the thing reminds me of a fixed gear bicycle, with everything pared down and stripped away to the bare essentials with a fashionable flair.

  • Thom

    It looks like it might hurt you ! In such a good way !

    proves the adage ;

    You’ve got to be bad to be good … in the right measure

    Very bad . Yet so very very good .

  • ontheroad

    Alonso seems like a cool dude and a genuine moto-junkie, I met him once years ago at the now-defunct, soon-to-be resurrected Ducati NYC. He went on and on about how much he loved that 1098, so cool to see it’s still with him, and how!

    I like what Nick did with the bike, a little challenging visually but well executed. I prefer interesting to “gee that sure is purty”.

  • Archer

    No rearview mirror either, eh?

    • Sean Smith

      I’m not so much a fan of not riding with mirrors either, but some guys seem to be ok with it.

  • wwalkersd

    Beautiful bike. I gotta wonder, though, with all the bike builders in LA, why Bodden went with a builder in Florida.

    I’m really glad I’m not the guy who has to wash that thing, with all the exposed mechanicals.

    Oh, and in photo #4, the oil is low. :)

    (yeah, I know, it’s on the sidestand. jk)

  • Isaac

    Wow this bike is a master piece! I think if I knew how much all this costed, it would hurt my feelings.


  • RSassi

    Black and Gold.

  • DoctorNine

    Sometimes, it’s essential to be unique.
    Myself, I’d rather have a Monster.
    So sue me.

  • Deryl

    I can appreciate all the work that went into this bike and marvel at it’s functionality.
    What I see is a Zombie with it’s flesh falling off revealing inner workings that I don’t really care to see. If that is your thing then more power to you, but it just don’t flip my switch.

  • Emmet

    The way the LED taillight snakes up the glossy composite tail section is giving me goosebumps. That detail completes the bike.

    • Sean Smith

      It’s pretty impressive in person too. The cool thing is, that’s like a $12 solution.

  • David

    It looks badass, and wait till you hear it!

  • ike6116

    I remember Alonzo talking about this crash (and turning his Ducati into a naked bike) on the Adam Carolla podcast some months ago, awesome to see it pop up here.

  • Alonzo

    To those who love the bike, Thanks To the haters I apologize, In the future I’ll be sure and check with you before I build or buy anything. Of course I’m sure you’ll help finance the project.
    I’d build another one right now but first I have to crash , then break my wrist, then call Nick etc etc.There’s really a lot involved in the construction of a bike like this
    Love you guys Thanks for the feature

  • Alonzo

    BTW I was being a smart ass, Its part of my job