CORNWALL, Ontario – When Trevor Jeaurond and his wife bought their home on Paragon Road they lost a member of the family.
Jeaurond’s 1978 Kawasaki KH400 was relegated to the basement – underneath the stairs, in fact. The bike was only 10 years old, but with life and a family taking a priority over the open road, the Kawasaki was forced into an early retirement.
“It was running when I put it in the basement, but I didn’t have a place to put it,” said Jeaurond. “So I put it under the stairs.”
That was 27 years ago…but Jeaurond’s motorcycle is making a comeback.
With the help of his “son-in-law to be” David McDonell the duo set to restoring the bike and are in the homestretch of a return to the road.
The restoration work began in the spring and the bike has experienced a renaissance that includes everything from engine pieces that have come from all over the world, to other items that were put away when the motorcycle entered storage.
In the late 1970s, when Jeaurond was just 16, he traded in another motorcycle for the brand new KH400 for about $1,200. It was your typical “crotch rocket” – built for speed over style.
Jeaurond has a new plan for the bike now. The KH400 has mirrors, upright handlebars and a grab handle on the back end that was removed when it was all about looking cool in front of your friends.
“I have to thank my wife (Mary-Ann) for not letting me sell it,” he said. “Everybody I have talked to that had a motorcycle wishes they would have kept them.”
Jeaurond accessed a wealth of knowledge online via a Canadian website that offers tips for Kawasaki enthusiasts, and he’s even reconnected with locals with an affinity for riding, including the experts at Bob’s Cycle in Cornwall.
“I know there are people who have bikes like this in their basement,” he said. “Let’s see them on the roads.”
The KH400 will see the road before the snow flies. Jeaurond has “a bit of tinkering” to finish on the engine to guard against leaks.
But then it’s time to roll.