Billy MacKenzie first made a name for himself in the motorcycling world competing in various MX events before eventually going on to claim back-to-back MX1 British Championship titles in 2007 and 2008. The Edinburgh-born rider also represented the UK in the Motocross of Nations before MacKenzie announced he’d be hanging up his race leathers to focus on building custom motorcycles.
Billy then founded his own shop, X-Axis — a New South Wales-based operation specializing in transforming vintage Hondas — which I imagine may have something to do with the fact MacKenzie used to race for Big Red’s factory team. For this build, Billy was planning on originally using another CB donor, but friend, fellow racer, and former IOM TT competitor Keith Armor convinced MacKenzie to instead opt for the later-model CBX, arguing the merits of taking the road less traveled.
The CBX750 was put up on the bench and then completely stripped down to the frame. The three-quarter-liter straight-four was torn apart, fully blue-printed and rebuilt by Keith Armor’s brother, Guy — a seasoned professional TT mechanic — using a lightened and balanced bottom-end, all new bearings throughout, and new pistons, rings, and bearing shells, along with a new clutch.
Having made quite a few connections during his illustrious MX career, Billy was able to call on high-end MX exhaust outfit, DEP Pipes — which backed MackKenzie across his whole race career. The Kent-based pipe purveyor fabbed up a pair of custom two-into-one exhausts, following the contours of the frame and terminating in a set of carbon fiber cans beneath a set of aftermarket rear-sets.
The front-end off a 2014 Honda 600RR was married to the CBX’s detabbed frame via a machined one-off (frame) tube stem. Billy decided he wanted to use the CBX’s stock 16” wheel, which had to be extensively machined to accept the oversized discs and calipers off the double-R, and to get it fitted in the new fork. Both wheels were then shod in Metzler Lazertec tires, and a YSS shock was installed out back.
The stock fuel-cell has been replaced with a one-off unit that sweeps into a sleek tail-section that sits atop a custom subframe. A bespoke suede saddle rests perfectly atop the lines of the new subframe, and a small tail cowl is positioned above the LED taillight nestled in the rear hoop. The new tank and tail give the CBX a markedly more sleek and modern look whilst making the blacked-out, rebuilt, Japanese mill the centerpiece of the build.
The oil-carrier is now housed inside the tubular frame via custom-braided lines and couplings running to the oil-cooler. A new TT-style race loom — courtesy of Guy Armor — was also added to the mix, with the CBX getting a total rewire, and a Motogadget M-Unit. While the shop admits it didn’t weigh the bike before and after, it’s positive a substantial amount of weight has been shaved off the bike’s stock weight.
All in all A-Axis has delivered one very tidy CBX. In addition to being featured in BikeExif’s Custom Bikes of the Week and The Bike Shed’s London Show, Billy’s CBX received full write ups on Pipeburn and Return of the Cafe Racers. I don’t personally dig the use of the stock headlight, but otherwise I think MacKenzie did a stellar job breathing new life into the mid-‘80s Honda.
You can find this custom 1984 Honda CBX750 by X-Axis for sale here on TheBikeShed in London, England with a price of $21,900 (or £17,000).