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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Ronnie Harris - Chop Docs Choppers

Fuel Cleveland Builder Series Profile:
Name: Ronnie Harris
Shop: Chop Docs Choppers
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Build: Pan/Shovel – Chet Hall

01.22.18 Intro

Ronnie Harris has been building bikes since 2003 and has made some instant head turners. Winning countless awards and top notch finishes on everything he touches, his natural gift to making high end machines is absolutely incredible. We had received an email from Ronnie a few weeks ago telling us the story of a long lost bike that Chet Hall was building before he died and the Hall family had actually recovered the bike after 10 long years of it being missing. The family asked Ronnie to rebuild it the way Chet would have. What a huge honor and overwhelming task to be given... Ronnie told us he wanted to unveil it to the Hall family for the very first time at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018 and there was no way we could said no. An amazing builder like Ronnie paying tribute to another midwest legend builder, the late Chet Hall, it's truly going to be something special and not to miss.

-Mikey Revolt

Ronnie's Award winning Royal Enfield at the 2017 Smoke out: Photo by Mikey Revolt

Words from Ronnie:
This ride had started from when I was a kid. When I was 4 years old my dad put me on a mini bike; he and my grandpa were both into bikes. I had the best of both world’s, my dad and grandpa were both automotive body man and painters. Anything with a motor to me was my thing. Working at my Dads body shop started my career. Doing restorations on cars, custom paint work and then he showed me metal flake! I was hooked but doing cars started to suck because car people suck!!! In 2003 I built my first bike and it was awesome. The bug had bit me. I had still worked at a Pontiac dealership as a body man in Detroit but after that first bike, it was on. I went to the 2004 Daytona Bike Week and I won a couple shows and knew that motorcycles was my lane.

I started Chop Docs Choppers in an old shitty garage in Waterford, Michigan behind my house. In the beginning I started building some bikes for friends and doing a lot of motorcycle paint and repairs. As time went on, I was for the most part a start to finish shop; building/fabricating/painting. I worked at the dealership until 2009 when the Pontiac line got the axe. So at that point I rented a building and went full time with Chop Docs Choppers building custom bikes for customers, doing insurance work, spraying metal flakes/candy’s/lace/leaf etc. Anytime I build a bike, and the customer has a vision… when it’s all said and done… seeing the customer face with that ear to ear smile and they have a bad ass bike… Fucking priceless…

In 2014 a friend of mine Jamie Hall called me up and said “Ron I found the last bike my dad was in the middle of building when he passed away and I want you to finish it for me.” This bike had be missing for 10 years. I was stoked to get a chance to finish a legends work, the one and only Chet Hall!!

Chet Hall's last project he was working on before he died.

I went and pick the bike up. There was a swing arm, frame, gas tank, fender, a Panhead lower end and a 4 speed transmission. Got it back to my shop and called Fab Kevin. Kevin knew Chet very well and has given me pointers on how Chet built his bikes… speed holed and fast. He also mentioned that Chet had the same ‘Fuck’ you attitude and that Chet and I would be on the same page. A special thanks to the Hall family, The Horse Backstreet Chopper and Mikey Revolt / Lowbrow Customs. I will be finishing this bike and unveiling this bike at the 2018 Fuel Cleveland.

B Side

Straightening her out.

Some of Ronnie's other builds you may recognize from over the years.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Jason Ochoa - Four Speed Mayhem

Fuel Cleveland Builder Series Profile:

Name: Jason Ochoa
Shop: Four Speed Mayhem
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Build: S&S Knucklehead in 1945 frame.

01.09.18 - Intro

I got word through the grapevine a few months ago that the great man from Texas we all love Mr. Jason Ochoa was in the middle of building a Knucklehead. So, I reached out to see what the deal was and man, I learned more about Jason's shitty year he was having than the build at first. It made me feel even more shitty not being a better friend and keeping in touch with him more. He then told me a little about the Knucklehead and how he taking it slowly piece by piece and just taking it easy because of his accident. I had to raise the question about bringing it up to Fuel Cleveland to unveil it on July 28th, 2018 and with little to no hesitation Jason gave me a hell yeah! 

-Mikey Revolt

Words from Jason:

It’s been one hell of a year for me and I can honestly say that 2017 can kiss my ass. I haven’t worked on many bikes most of 2017 because of a motorcycle accident that messed me up pretty bad. After several operations and almost 5 months of healing, it didn’t leave much time for me to continue working on bikes. Fortunately, while I was healing, I was able to get a great deal on a knuckle frame and motor with no idea of what direction I was going. Luckily my insurance cut me a pretty nice check for my wrecked Shovelhead, and I was able to use most of the funds towards the Knuckle build.
I am building a 60’s inspired Knuckle that I hope will help me push my limits a little further this time around. This build will be a true garage built bike that I look forward to unveiling at Fuel Cleveland and then riding the living shit out of once I get it back home. I have some cool twists and details in the works and a killer paint scheme that my buddy Scott Hoepker from Chemical Candy Customs and I have lined out. There are no fancy tools, no lathes, just basic hand tools and shitty equipment just the way they did it back in the day. I am sure there will be many moments of me shouting, FUCK THIS and a few tools and parts thrown around the garage, but in the end it will all be worth seeing the bike I envisioned in my head completed. I can tell you there won’t be any chrome or many shiny parts on this build, but it will still reflect my style of bikes that I have gravitated to in the last few years.

I am still by no means a builder by trade or as near as talented as a lot of the invited builders and I am ok with that, but I push myself to continue to learn something new every time I step foot into my garage whether it be from research, trial and error or friends. I have always been the kind of person that sets a goal and continues to work on obtaining that goal until I succeed. I am not going to lie, it has been a long journey and through a lot of learning what not to do and the help from some great friends, I continue to press on. This build will be a true garage build from beginning to end and more than excited to show it off at Fuel. I am very humbled and grateful to be included with such talent and the best part of it is I will be traveling with one of my best buds, Steven “Choppa” Bates, who will also be showcasing one of his latest builds at Fuel Cleveland.

A huge thanks to Mikey and Tyler for inviting me out for a second time around, I can truly say that I am humbled to be included with such great talent. I am also looking forward to seeing some old friends, which include Austin Martin and Jay Medeiros and meeting some new ones. See you soon Cleveland!!!!

Jason Ochoa – Four Speed Mayhem

Purple Haze - Photo by Matt James Aims

You may remember Jason came up for Fuel Cleveland in 2016 with his Purple haze Panhead. We are all really stoked to get to see Jason again here in Ohio, and he's bringing some friends with him this time. Make sure to follow along with his build on this page along with on his instagram @motopsycho73.

Here are a few of Jason's other builds.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Fuel Cleveland 2018 Builder Series: Dan Rognsvoog aka "Cabana Dan"

Fuel Cleveland Builder Series Profile:
Name: Dan Rognsvoog aka "Cabana Dan"
Shop: His own
Location: South East Wisconsin
Build: 1974 Turbo Shovelhead
IG: @cabanadanrogns

Meet Cabana Dan Rognsvoog from Southeastern Wisconsin. Not the latest internet sensation.

The big quiet guy from Wisconsin has been building off-the-wall customs since the late ‘90’s. He first got noticed at the 1998 Easy Riders show in Chicago, with his 1979 Ironhead Sportster that had a bottle (nitrous) and a homemade turbocharger. After winning first in the Judged Radical Class, he went on to win 2nd place Sportster at the Columbus, OH invitational.

Cabana Dan in 1998

Lots has happened in the last 20 years. He’s been featured at Michael Lichter’s show at the Buffalo Chip and had bikes written up in Easyriders, Hot Bike, American Iron, American Cycle, and Thunder Press. He was one CycleSource’s “Top 10 Garage Builders” a few years back. He was also the featured builder at the Black Hills Bike Show and a frequent winner at the Donnie Smith Bike Show. 

Photo by: Michael Lichter

A welder and machinist by trade, he builds for the love of the craft and as his artistic outlet. A 1913 Harley-Davidson restoration, a triple engine Harley Hummer land speed bike and everything in between are in his portfolio.

The Harley Hummer Land Speed Bike

Cabana Dan got introduced to motorcycles through his uncle, a Racine (WI) motor officer. Then, he met his neighbor, Marv. Marv had cool Harleys, knew beautiful women, and threw wild parties. As the story goes, the rest is history.

Why “Cabana” Dan? He earned that nickname when he was crew chief for a top fuel Harley drag racing team in the late 90’s and 2000’s. The pilot was based in Florida and his girlfriend always urged Dan to move to FL. Dan’s reply was, “if you can find me a rich old woman who has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, I’ll move there and be her cabana boy.” No rich old widows yet, but the nickname stuck. 

Cabana Dan’s latest creation is a turbo Shovel, “Blew Bayou”. The bike is built on a plunger frame and a homemade front end. The turbo is a one-of-a-kind creation hand-built in Dan’s garage. Several of his “support team” played important roles with this build. Jayme Schmidt of Blue Moon Kustoms and Calico Hand-Painted Pinstripes showed why they’re the best out there when it comes to paint and pin-striping. Terry at Bert’s Polishing made the whole bike shine. Ron & Carl came through with amazing chroming. You will be able to see this amazing build unveiled at Fuel Cleveland on July 28th, 2018.

Cabana Dan’s future is as bright as the chrome on the turbo Shovelhead. He’s building a 1920’s custom H-D Peashooter for Michael Lichter’s 2018 Buffalo Chip show. In Sept 2018, he’ll be on the crew of “Team Effort,” on the 2018 motorcycle Cannonball. Team Effort is running a 1911 Excelsior Single belt-drive, piloted by Chris Tribbey. The Cannonball will run from Portland ME to Portland OR.

Cabana Dan runs between SE, WI and Sturgis, SD, where his Motor Maid wife Leah lives.

Here are a few of Cabana Dan's other builds you may have seen over the years.

1924 Cleveland - photo by: David Carlo
1913 Harley-Davidson