In business for 20 years now, Accelerated Technologies has built their reputation specializing in advanced suspension solutions in the power sports industry. Our expansive knowledge of how vehicles handle and behave has mandated a very comprehensive knowledge of vehicle maintenance, dynamics, and operation. Whether you ride a motorcycle, ATV, side by side or snowmobile, Accelerated Technologies will help you get the absolute best out of it. We want that vehicle to match and exceed the expectations, and the hopes you had when you bought it. We are happy to look at options and discuss your ideas and your budget to make that drastic improvement in the bike, quad, buggy or sled you love!! Have a browse around our new website and then get in touch with us to get started.
About John Sharrard
Birth to my 20s
Like many of you, my first exposure to two wheels was on a friend's Z50 at a cottage up north. I was hooked instantly and still have memories of that ride some 25 years ago. Then at age 11, my dad bought me a nerdy step through CT90. I managed to wreck that thing in fairly short order. My Dad passed away the next year and I was then on my own mechanically. Way before you could Google anything, I learned how to figure it out on my own. Anyway, fast forward to my mid-teens, when I rode my brother's old Bultaco 360 in the summer and a Moto Ski Mirage 2 in the winter. I modified the "Bull" so they both shared the same carburetor. You can imagine where my first exposure to jetting came from.
My first street bike was a beloved RD350, with a gremlin. The bike worked fine when on the side stand but had an intermittent hesitation when moving.
Checking the side stand switch, the plugs and the jetting yielded nothing. I finally traced the problem to the wiring harness, in a hidden spot; it was rubbing on the rear spring coil, only while being ridden. The interfering coil was nowhere near the harness whenever inspected; it would only touch with the seat on and 180 lbs. on board...man that one was tricky!
The RD led to an RZ 500, which was blindingly fast but handled like a tricycle. About the same time, I bought my girlfriend an RZ350, which I found myself having to test ride all the time for no apparent reason. That was a turning point in my riding skills, the 350 handled amazingly well compared to the 500. There was a lesson there for sure; you rarely become a better rider on a bike that is powerful enough to be intimidating. When the bike doesn't scare you, you tend to hang it out a little more, gain confidence faster, learn more and have way more fun.
20-years-old and heading to the track!
I then graduated to an FZR 750R Limited, which I sold…four speeding tickets and a track day later, for an FZR 400. That was my first race bike and my first exposure to building a four-stroke. My second year on the bike, I won the Canadian National 400 Production Championship, winning four races in a row and setting three lap records across Canada. Worth noting is that this National Championship was won when there were usually near 100 entries for Amateur 400 Production. For Saturday qualifying, there were 3 heats of 34 or more riders and only the top 10 of each heat made it to the finals on Sunday, the other 60+ riders were done for the weekend! Then at the end of the day anyone who didn’t qualify was welcome to try out in the consolation race… This was a 4-lap qualifying race with over 40 riders and only the top 4 made it to the finals. If you crashed on Saturday in your heat, you started at the back of the “consi” as we called it. It was insane. You had to pass 40 some odd riders in 4 laps to make it. If that didn’t teach you careful aggression, nothing did!!
Going Pro in 1992
After that year I moved up to Pro on Yamaha TZ 250 Grand Prix equipment, running the GP's in Canada and the U.S. and travelling with current Sport Rider editor Andrew Trevitt and Mark Orchard. It was there that I was forced to learn the serious business of two-stroke tuning by guys like Rich Oliver, Alex Mayes and Jon Cornwell. The art of getting a 6-foot-plus guy around the track on an 80hp road racer really developed engine and chassis tuning skills, and quickly. It was around this time that Shannonville opened the “Pro Track” layout to host smaller events, and I held the outright lap record on my Little TZ for a whole weekend (LOL) at a low 1:08, which wasn’t too slow on the tires we had back then! It was then that Ohlins fork and shock oil became a part of the blood stream. I managed to win a bunch of Pro 250 GP races and stole a Shannonville Pro Regional Championship away from my good friend and ultra- Fast-guy, Andrew Trevitt, as we figured that bike out. In the off-season, when I found time, I competed at the Expert level in Hare Scrambles and Ice Racing in the winter.
Racing Pro Superbike as a Privateer
In '97 I switched to racing Superbikes, building a 175 hp Yamaha YZF 750/1000 hybrid. Yamaha Canada supplied Ohlins forks and a works frame, and my contacts at Yamaha U.S. helped out with a kit swingarm and magnesium wheels. I had an adjustable offset triple clamp made and started testing all options. At 175hp with slicks, there are so many barriers to the lap record it is crazy. I had custom-made swingarm pivots to try and minimize chain pull and I spent days in Atlanta with the people from GMD Computrack as we fine-tuned the chassis. That year, I learned a pile about chassis geometry, rigidity, and adjustment.
Started working on forks...
In '98 I switched to racing R1 and R6 equipment with full factory support. At the first regional event in Shannonville, I thought the R1 was fantastic except for this pogo bounce the front end had coming onto the front straight. I literally had to wait for it to settle before I could get on the gas. I came in and added compression and rebound damping and it was a little better. I wanted to add some more but it was in all the way. The next week I took the forks apart four times, investigating and testing in an effort to make them better. In my working life, I had trained in Servo Hydraulics, Fluid Dynamics and electronics as I took post-secondary in Fluid Power Robotics. So, what was going on inside the forks was right up my alley. I was able to identify which parts of the circuits did what and where I wanted some more resistance.
1998 Accelerated Technologies surfaces
I had started a company called Accelerated Technologies a couple years back to help me cash and write cheques for my Pro racing team, but now its focus started to switch to testing and modifying aftermarket replacement pistons in the forks and investigating shock tuning. I had also done crazy stuff like modifying Ohlins hydraulic preload adjuster hoses so they would reach the triple clamps for on the fly adjustments. I found that with the soft Michelin tires, a bike that was set up perfectly on new tires wouldn't turn into the corners when the tire was shagged. The difference in radius was hard to measure at full lean, but it was enough to be a factor. A sharp steering chassis is way more important than big power.
By '99 I was building forks, shocks and engines for more and more of my fellow competitors. My last year racing was in 2000, when I finished fourth overall (if memory serves) in National Pro Open Sport Bike, finally deciding to retire from competition. At that time being a factory Pro for Yamaha was just 20% off the purchase of the bikes (I had three) and a small parts credit. We were competing against full on Works Superbikes from Kawasaki and Honda with paid riders. Although fast, I just couldn’t afford to financially compete with these teams. In 2000, Honda opened the purse strings to put an end to Kawaski’s stranglehold on the Superbike Championship and imported 2 RC51 Superbikes built by HRC rumored at around $260,000 each. At the Mosport development track, they were untouchable. That would be my last year competing at the Factory level in Pro Superbike and Pro Open Sportbike and Pro 600, I didn’t retire, I quit.
2001 My Racing ends, hired by the Factory Honda Superbike team
In 2001, Jeff Williams approached me to tune for him at the factory Honda team, with Paul Fournier and Alan Labrosse. Jen (my new wife) and I worked for the Factory Honda team that year as weekend Crew Staff. It must have gone well as that fall the new Team manager Kevin Graham offered me a full-time position in '02 as in house crew chief for the Factory Honda squad. There I built engines and suspension for Frank Trombino, Steve Crevier and Kevin Lacombe, who were riding F4i's, RC51's and 954's. In '03, I was hired away by the Factory Kawasaki team to build equipment for young Matt McBride and guide him along. That year Matt progressed brilliantly, qualifying on the front row by the last two rounds alongside Pascal Picotte and Steve Crevier.
2003-2005 Factory Kawasaki
My last year with Kawasaki Canada was in 2005. While working full time at Kawasaki I was being asked to do more and more suspension service by my growing customer base in the evenings and weekends. Also, that year, John McBride asked me to put together a program for his son Matt to help him at the Regional Races. With Matt at the controls, I was awarded the RACE Superseries John Nelson/Danny Rae Tuning Achievement award for “The Highest Level of Mechanical Skill, Preparation and Success” in 2004. Back at the shop, I was in charge of the 600-engine program and we were testing different bore and stroke configurations which were legal at the time. Kawasaki had the 636 then so different displacements (under the 620cc limit) were permitted and inexpensive for us to test. We enjoyed a full-time staff of 4 guys, a full machine shop, an in house dyno and a shop big enough to park our Tractor Trailer inside! It was quite a time for Road Racing in Canada. At the end of 05’ I asked to borrow one of our bikes to compete at a Shannonville Regional for fun. I guess the rust wasn’t too thick as I managed to beat Matt McBride and almost win the Qualifier on Saturday! The bike was a handful with the wrong springs in it (I stubbornly didn’t bring any as I didn’t want to work on the bike, just have fun… mistake) and I couldn’t hold on to the lead on Sunday and finished third or fourth in the final for Pro 600 lol. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t try that now, Matt has gotten SUPER fast and at Shannonville or Mosport is almost untouchable. Love ya Matty!
2006 Out on my own
At the last CSBK Superbike National in 2005, Multi time AMA and Canadian Superbike and 600 Champion Pascal Picotte approached Jen and I (yes, Jen was also working on weekends with the team) and asked if I would be interested in running his program in 2006. He had admired my work ethic while with Kawasaki as a competitor, and our 600s were blindingly fast. To work with Pascal’s team, if I accepted, meant a switch from a full-time career with Kawasaki to a weekend only, basically hourly position with Pascal. How would I make up the difference in income? I accepted an offer from Pascal and built up a service trailer and took it to the Shannonville Regional races and began to help amateur and Pro competitors alike with bike set up, chassis and suspension tuning and evening service work. This combined with working for Pascal during the Nationals kept my summers very busy indeed. I also began working for Pro 6 cycles at their track days helping with technical inspection and offering my services for their track day customers. Pascal and Kevin Lacombe were the Factory Yamaha riders and we tested in Daytona, Barber and Jennings Florida preseason, then across the country at the Nationals. It was a hectic summer to say the least. The regional racers and some of the Pro 6 track day riders kept me busy in the winter with upgrades and service work. 2006 marked the first year that Accelerated Technologies didn’t have a single source income and began the structure of the company closer to how it is today. It was at the Regional races in 2006 when I first started to tune, then sell Elka’s Road racing shocks.
2007 Continuing with Pascal Picotte
Early in the season, I fly to Phillip Island, Australia to test the new K7 generation Suzuki GSXR 1000R Supersport bike for Inside Motorcycles. Pascal as Picotte Performance moved from Yamaha to Suzuki equipment in 2007 as a subcontractor to Blackfoot Cycle. We tested and campaigned the GSXR 1000 and GSXR 600 that season and also ran Steve Crevier on the Factory Buell XBRR Superbike at select US National rounds beginning again with Daytona. My previous year helping regional competitors was starting to generate a demand for the same riders competing at the National rounds. Racers were asking for help after hours at the Nationals, which was difficult as we often worked till 12 or 1 am. My work with Pascal didn’t generate any winter income, but my work with the regional racers created tons of service opportunities in the off season. Got me thinking… At the end of 2007 I decided not to continue with Pascal and grow my presence in the Road Race community by attending the Nationals as a freelance contractor rather than be tied to one team.
2008 Busy at the race track
Before our season began I was asked to test the new BMW HP2 Sport at a closed track test in Rhonda Spain. It was a nice help as we were going to work with tuning the bike at the Nationals this season. I then flew to Italy to test the new GSXR-600 in Milano, Italy at the Misano Raceway where they hold Moto GP rounds Again, this year was another step forward for Accelerated Technologies. I took my service trailer to Pro 6 track days, the Shannonville RACE regional series, and all the National CSBK rounds. No longer committed to just one rider, I had advertised and accepted contracts to help racers as a hired crew chief track side. I had maximum 3 racers for Amateur 600, Am Superbike, Pro 600 and Pro Superbike, as well as Canadian Thunder class. Preseason I had inked a deal with KTM Canada to help guide their factory Racers Michael Leon and Eric Bosejour on their KTM Super Dukes, as well as BMW Canada to help their Factory riders Michael Ferreira and Paul Glenn on their exotic BMW HP2 Sports. One of my contracted riders was the young amateur on his Honda, Jodi Christie, who was heading to the front with massive momentum. Later in the year, we were asked by KTM to test their RC-8 Superbike at Mid Ohio Race course in Ohio, a super cool street legal racer that marked their entrance into supersport street bikes after their tremendous growth in the offroad segment.
2009 More Honda
More of the same at track with staff added at track to help with my commitments. We worked a little closer with first year Pro Rider Jodi Christie as he entered Pro 600 Sport bike. We helped Honda Canada prepare their CBR 125R class bikes utilizing Elka Shocks and our custom modified forks. Gary trusted me to install an Elka rear shock onto Jodi’s bike. I said if he didn’t go quicker on the first day with the Elka than he did the season before, I would take it off… The Elka shock stayed on. At the end of the season we were again awarded the RACE Superseries John Nelson/Danny Rae Tuning Achievment award for “The Highest Level of Mechanical Skill, Preparation and Success” in 2009 for our work with Jodi at the Shannonville Regional RACE Super Series.
2010 Started helping young Jodi Christie
In early spring, I worked with CSBK boss Colin Frasier to supply a safe suspension package to the new CBR 125R Challenge geared towards new younger riders. Elka supplied the shocks and we created a fork modification to match, helping keep the young riders safe as they progressed. In April 2010, no longer able to keep up on my own, I hired my first employee, Ron Smith as my assistant in the shop. Ron previously owned a dealership and has brought tremendous business experience to the company. This season I was contacted by Gary Christie (Jodi’s Dad) to come on board with them full time at track to give Jodi some guidance and look after his equipment. Gary realized that Jodi had amazing potential and wanted someone like myself to maintain his equipment and tune it track side. In 2009 Jodi typically finished between 9th and 7th. In 2010, he had an epic jump forward. He was immediately a threat for the win at every round and typically finished less than .4 seconds behind Jordan Szoke often 10-15 seconds ahead of third place. Calgary Race #1, Jodi finished 0.1 second behind Jordan a full 26 seconds ahead of third. After the race season, at the huge Toronto International Centre Motorcycle Supershow, I was awarded the Max Award for Excellence in the Tuning category for my efforts at the CSBK Nationals.
2011 Our first National Championship Pro 600
Late in 2010, Jodi, Gary and I met with the bosses at Honda Canada and came to an agreement to support Jodi officially. Now on Factory Honda’s designed and assembled at Accelerated Technologies, Jodi had an awesome year and he won the Pro 600 National Championship on his Honda CBR 600RR. The CBR 125R Challenge gained momentum with full Tractor Trailer support from Honda to help the young upcoming riders. In the shop, we lowered our first BMW motorcycle for a shorter rider. Motorcycle lowering has grown to be a major portion of our business. That winter, back in the shop, we encouraged Elka Suspension to build us a custom one-off set of Ski shocks for our Yamaha Vector Snowmobile. At first reluctant, we encouraged them to leverage their massive knowledge on ATV Suspension and apply it to a snowmobile. We assured them there was a market and promised them that we could likely sell a set or two. The modern Elka Snowmobile shock took shape. Encouraged by the massive performance improvement out front, I hand assembled a rear shock from parts for the very first Elka Monoshock Skid shock. We were able to incorporate a dual spring rising rate set up to combat the falling rate nature of the rear suspension design and dramatically increase the operating window of the sled. It was way more comfortable and could be ridden faster with increased safety.
2012 Our second National Championship Pro 600
This year, CSBK and Honda grew and introduced the CBR250R National Race Series. We repeated the formula and plugged in a new affordable entry level Elka shock and a formula for the forks to help prepare the bikes for competition. Honda hired us to run a media day at St. Eustache for the journalists to kick off the series. Having another year with Honda, Jodi dominated the Pro 600 National Championship on our bikes, losing only the first round to Frank Trombino, then won every race after that all year. We dabbled with a stock CBR 1000 R this year to get Jodi on a ‘big’ bike as we knew Superbike was in his future. He podium-ed in Shubenacadie Nova Scotia and finished 7th in Pro Superbike at the year end points. Later that fall, we changed our seasonal gears and went to the Toronto International Snowmobile show to show off our Elka Snowmobile Shock technology and see if any riders might be interested in a dramatic improvement in their snowmobile’s handling and performance. After the race season, at the huge Toronto International Centre Motorcycle Supershow, I was again awarded the Max Award for Excellence in the Tuning category for my efforts at the CSBK Nationals.
2013 Our third National Championship Pro 600
At the National Superbike scene, the Honda CBR250R Series continued to grow. In 2013, Accelerated Technologies and Jodi Christie had a banner year. Jodi got pole position at every round, and won every Pro 600 race in the series, a very rare ‘perfect’ season. In Superbike, Jodi vaulted up to 3rd in the year end standings, recording our first ever Superbike win at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Nova Scotia. A rare crash at Mosport took us out of title contention against eventual Champ Jordan Szoke. At the final round, Accelerated Technologies was awarded the coveted CSBK National Team of the Year as voted on by peers and competitors.
2014 Our very first National Pro Superbike Championship
With snow still on the ground, 2 of our sponsored riders Kirk Hastings and David Price took their Team 7 BPR Race sleds to a podium finish in Cain’s Quest, arguably the toughest snowmobile endurance race in the world. We helped them fit custom ELKA Snowmobile shocks to their sleds and spent time tuning and calibrating them before the race. As the snow melted, the CBR 250R Race series continued, but seemed to be at a peak of its popularity, but change was in the air. Other manufacturers were debuting entry level bikes and riders were ready for a multi manufacturer championship. Altering the record books, Jodi Christie took the Accelerated Technologies built CBR 1000RR to the 2014 Pro Superbike Championship, beating out Jordan Szoke for the title. In the past 7 years, we have been the only team to wrestle a National Road racing championship away from the ultra-talented Jordan Szoke. Again, we were awarded the CSBK National Team of the Year. After our season, we ventured down to New Jersey AMA, a track where we had never been before. Jodi qualified an amazing 6th astounding the paddock. I in the wet race #1, after passing 4-time AMA Superbike champ Josh Hayes on his Factory Yamaha Jodi got up to 3rd place and quickly reeled in the 2 leaders before sliding out of the race due to the adverse conditions.
2015 Our last year running the Factory Honda Team
In early spring, we work closely with Kawasaki Canada on a suspension package for their Kawasaki Ninja 300R. Kawasaki is keen to participate in the entry level National Road race scene and announces an exhibition race to run at the last round at Mosport in 2015 and compete for another 2 years at the CSBK series. We created a package to install an Elka shock and Ktech fork cartridges in the Kawasaki Race bikes for the utmost in rider safety and performance. Also, in 2015, we had hired another full-time tech to help in the shop as I was spending more and more time building the 4 Factory Honda Race bikes for Jodi. 2 beautiful Honda CBR 600RRs rolled out, joined by 2 CBR 1000RRs. Unfortunately, Jodi sustained severe internal injuries while riding his personal dirt bike a month before the season began which set back his physical training and condition considerably. We started the season with a cautious win in 600 at Calabogie, followed by a Pole position in Superbike and a cautious 2nd behind Jordan Szoke. That was really the highlight of the season as we struggled for the remainder of the year. The harsh reality was that the CBR’s took significant investment to match the BMW in Superbike, and the R6, Triumph 675, GSXR and the Kawasaki in Pro Sport Bike. We were under financial stress from the initial build and struggled with the costs of repairing our bikes as Jodi had uncharacteristic crash after crash as he did his best to win races. At the end of the season, we decided to focus on our growing customer base that was a safer source of income for the shop. With Jodi at the controls, we secured 4 consecutive #1 Plate Pro CSBK Road Race Championships. During this string, we were awarded the CSBK Team of The Year twice, with zero mechanical failures. I think we showed the country what Accelerated Technologies was capable of and stepped back from competition for the time being to focus on delivering this level of preparation and performance to our quickly growing customer base. In the winter of 2015, Yamaha Motor US was interested in switching their Yamaha Factory Hillclimb Snowmobile team to Elka Suspension from Fox. I was hired to go to Jackson Hole Wyoming by Elka to go down and introduce the product to the race team and put on a training school for the racers and crew chiefs. The next day we installed our Product and tested on the mountain. The test went so well that Elka inked the deal for the team to run Elka product and the Factory Yamaha Cross Country team signed up as well. Yamaha USA arranged to send us up a new Yamaha Viper RTX for testing and calibration. We started to gain tremendous traction at the winter shows as word got out about how our product was helping the average consumer and the racers too.
2016 Growth in the shop
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 series kicks off at the Nationals with 22 Kawasaki Ninjas outfitted with Accelerated Technologies suspension competing handlebar to handlebar. Back at the shop, with a focus shifting slightly to our street customers and local off-road riders, the shop gets busier and busier. Technicians came and went as we tried to find a sharp young perfectionist to help us keep our work load in check. The reality of our business is strong importance on perhaps the most technical part of how a powersports vehicle operates. It takes months to train a technician, which is very time consuming for our senior staff, so growth is not explosive lol. The summer of 2016 has seen significant growth in ATVs and the new off-road beast known as the UTV or Side by Side in at our shop. Due to the crazy growth in Snowmobiles, our business has lost its Sine curve shape of busy in the spring/summer and slow in the fall/winter to be far more evenly distributed across the different power sports markets. We continue our track presence by attending select National and regional races and even some off-road events as well.
2017 Widening our presence
From the January bike show forward we are swamped with Race preparation jobs for our track customers, general maintenance and lowering for our street customers, set up and tuning jobs for our dirt customers and a barrage of Snowmobile, ATV and Side by Side suspension install and set ups too. In 17’ we attended some track days, a couple CSBK national events and some Regional Races at SOAR as well. Tyler Pierce joined our team as our lead Technician in the spring of 17’ coming highly recommended having just won the Yamaha Technical skills competition for Yamaha Motorcycles. Our off-road suspension tuning takes a jump forward and we help privateer Aaron Wilkins win day one of the Courduroy Enduro Pro Class with our shock and valving modifications. Factory Acura and Hyundai Car Racer Mark Wilkins and Ex Ferrari Crew chief Mike Ferguson chip in to help us tune our off-road and snowmobile development programs. Near the end of 2017 we get involved with PMP Boss Colin Frasier as we work on launching a suspension package for the new for 2018 CSBK Lightweight Super Sport class. Finally, the entry level class at the CSBK Canadian National road races is open to multi brands with Yamaha’s R-3, KTM 390, Ninja 300 and later the Ninja 400 line up against Honda’s CBR 250R and CBR 500R for light weight bragging rights! Our Snowmobile program got a ‘boost’ as we turbo charged our test Viper up to 216hp as we worked with, then became a dealer for Hurricane Performance snowmobile engine specialists.
2018 Here we grow again
Erica and Jen officially joined our team to help manage our administration duties. With this new first line of contact, it allows Ron, Tyler and I to stay at our bench to help get through our workload. Erica and Jen help us communicate WAY faster with our customers, manage our Social Media and help us launch this new website. We got to the Road races earlier this year and helped our suspension tuning customers get sorted from their winter and early spring service. In May, CSBK boss Colin Fraser asked me to spend a day on his Honda CBR 500R to see if the bike would be competitive even though it was tacked with a heavy weight penalty due to its larger displacement. We decided that competition is the fastest form of development, so we entered the inaugural Amateur Lightweight Supersport class held the week before the first National round to test the capability of the bike. We did one practice session Saturday morning, then Tyler and I made about 8 changes to the bike and entered the qualifier. We qualified third fastest, which was humorous as our goal was to try and test the bike and not be dead last lol. After lunch the first race began and when the checkered flag fell we had won the event. I thanked Colin on the podium and declared the bike competitive! Now… enough fun, back to work.