it really all started years ago.... years back into when we were younguns. we could probably put most of the blame on our cousin who got us into snowmobiling with our Dad when we were 10 or 12 years old. After years of running sleds in northern PA, Dad got his first Quad, the 1986 Polaris Trailboss and to keep us safe, he purchased a 1984 Honda Odessey which had the full cage, a 250 two stroke motor, and 0 (zero/nada) rear suspension. Learning the ropes on old sleds and quads was alot of fun but as we came of age and got into our teenage years, we were looking into getting something to ride for ourselves. Thats when our Mom sat us down and told us we could purchase some fourwheelers for ourselves, this was a way we could start establishing credit (who would have thought credit would have come to mean so much, right?) but, getting fourwheelers came with a condition. this condition would mean that we had to agree that we would not consider getting into streetbikes. (looking back now, it doesn't seem to have had much of an impact. sorry mom...rip). Just a couple of years later, Jason purchased his first Streetbike, a 1986 Yamaha Radian where he learned a couple things, one is don't ride on potentially wet roads when there is subfreezing temperatures, and also what a great experience it is to ride a motorcycle. what freedoms it give you.
Jason always seemed more interested in powersports than Dan, he was more into what makes them tic, how they're built, what changes could be done to them to improve on an existing product. What better way to get a fix for that addiction than to get a job in the industry? So he did just that. in 1991 he got a job at West Shore Suzuki, his foot was in the door and.....the rest is not history. He soon upgraded his Radian for a New Suzuki Katana which he rode the wheels off of and soon upgraded the bodywork from the stock Black to a custom bright yellow (thanks to some close contact with the back of a car) at the same time, he was also growing at his job, West Shore Moved to the new location on the Corner and he encouraged them to get a Dyno for the service department. back then, it was unheard of for Bike shops to have such a tool, well, it worked very well and allowed them to grow their Service Menus to include tuning. Looking for more more power, Jason located and Purchased a 1986 GSXR1100... what a monster of a bike, not so refined like the newer bikes, loads of power, heavy steering, the tach didn't even register till 3K rpm. now considered a piece of nostalgic racing history. Years continue on.....
While Jason worked at West Shore, Dan had taken a job in the printing industry running sheetfed printing presses. Even though he had taken a different career path, he wasn't slacking in the toy dept. starting with his first bike A 1984 Yamaha RZ350 followed shortly afterward with a 1987 Yamaha FZ700. He was a regular fixture at West Shore, helping on occasion but often time just occupying space.
Time ticked by and bikes have come and gone for both Jason and Dan. There were some changes in Jason's timeline with a stint as Service manager for Yamaha of Camp Hill followed by a return to West Shore as General Manager as Dan continued to hone his skills with ink and paper. Then late in 1999, Jason was given an opportunity that would require him to leave his post but at the same time become self employed. So in the year 2000, Karns Performance was born. At the same time, He worked for GCC (later Europa Machinna) as a Tuner, Fabricator, Mechanic on Restored Porcshe Race cars and wrenched on Customer's bikes out of his garage. Over time, as his Customer base grew, he was finding a pretty large issue.....space. Due to the volume of work coming in his door, and still trying to work on the Race cars, things started getting out of hand and he needed to make a decision.... Go big or Go home (funny since he was working from home). So in 2004 he decided to leave Europa Machinna and lease a facility in Camp Hill that would allow him to grow with the space he needed and a very good location for his customers. He added an additional workbay, the Dyno, a small showroom and lots and lots and lots of anxiety and worry. Would he be able to do it? could he succeed? Well as the days got longer, and the word got around, he soon found he needed help. Which he got from Dan when he was available, ultimately he had brought in a few part time helpers until 2007. when he needed full time help. Jason decided what he wanted wasn't an employee, but a business partner. So after some meeetings with business associates and relatives, he decided to ask Dan if he had interest. After much debate, He Decided to accept the offer and left his Printing job of 17 years to become Jason's business partner. The First Year, Dan worked along side of Jason, taking care of the simple jobs, phone duties, and counter customers. It took a while to earn the confidence of the customers since they weren't use to the new face at the shop. But they soon learned, he wasn't going anywhere, so they might as well accept the fact.
The next year (2008), it was time to grow yet again, Karns Performance added Joe as a Part time technician to eleviate some of the excessive workload accumulating. It was almost like a wildfire, the number of customers increased at an alarming rate that required us to grow and grow. Joe then accepted the offer to go full time in 2009. Later in 2009, we were looking for some more help with the counter and errands, so along came Kyle, he was looking to get his foot in the door at a bike shop, and we answered his callling.
2010......a very big stepping stone for Karns Performance. Just as we thought we had "control" of the growth at the shop, we were presented with an offer in April. The owner of West Shore Suzuki asked us if we were interested in Purchasing thier inventory, and becoming the Suzuki Franchise in Mechanicsburg. Yes the place where Jason got his start. They were ready for the next chapter in their lives and it was time for them to sell. Soooooo, after much debate, we accepted. But our main goal was to not upset any of our customers who may think we have jumped ship by aligning with a Manufacturer to become one of "those Dealers".
Jumping to 2012, we think we transitioned pretty well. Kyle is now full time, Mark, the mechanic from West Shore, has stayed on staff and is also full time. Our focus hasn't changed, every customer is here because they believe in us and have trust in our services. We still consider ourselves an independent shop, only with big dealership capabilities.
We count on our customers.....that is why we are here. They put their trust in us and we expect nothing in return.