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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

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