Today, we’re proud to showcase the Honda CX500 Rose Edition, the third CX500 custom in the X-AXIS fleet. After years of competitive racing, two-time British motocross (MX1) champion Billy MacKenzie created the X-AXIS workshop to pursue his love of building and riding custom bikes.
This build began in the hands of “shit-hot welder” Ben Rose, who built the custom rear subframe, brat style seat, and the incredible custom exhaust. While the X-AXIS team handled the rest of the mechanicals, the engine itself was placed in the hands of the legendary Amor brothers — Keith and Guy — of Isle of Man TT fame.
We featured the first iteration of this custom CX500 recently. Since then, Billy and team have stepped up the build, most noticeably with the traditional rose art of Spanish tattoo artist Monki Diamond, whom Billy met in Edinburgh. The CX tank proved a fitting canvas for the piece.
Below, we get the full story on this CX500 brat tracker from Billy MacKenzie himself.
Honda CX500 Rose Edition: In the Builder’s Words
The third Honda CX500 in the X-AXIS fleet was given up for adoption by our on the pro welder Ben Rose.
Ben saw the beauty in the CX like we did, and went to town with a fully custom rear subframe and brat style seat. We can’t hold it against him for neglecting the mechanical side of things after the love he put into the HRC spec factory fitted exhaust system, but we both knew that to pull this bike into the light it would take a full overhaul as he fell out of love with it when the stator packed in.
I wasn’t a fan of the styling and knew it needed beefed up. The tyres were thin and scrawny, and the tank looked like a piece of grey plasticine on pram wheels…. The exhausts are a work of art though and I knew how to pull the natural lines out of the often overlooked standard fuel tank.
I handed the engine over to the Amor brothers who gave next level attention to engine and wiring loom detail. From Ben’s limited engine knowledge, into the hands of the the experienced Isle of Man TT race craft of Guy and Keith. Immaculately prepped and finished, the engine became a subtle backdrop for the showpiece exhausts Ben had spent so long creating.
With all of our CX 500’s, the first thing was to fill the gaps with a fresh set of Firestone Champion Deluxe tyres. A swing arm modification was needed to fit the 18 – 4.50 on the rear and with only millimetres left we managed to slot the 19 – 4.00 on the front.
An already upgraded front end from a 2009 CBR600R and a Brembo 19mm front master cylinder for maximum stopping power and handling, minimal domino MX style throttle, Rental grips, and Motogadget buttons, the cockpit of this Honda CX 500 is a statement of simplicity.
Final design details came together with the help of Monki Diamond’s traditional Rose taking prime position on top of the fuel tank. A Spanish tattoo artist I met in Edinburgh, I became fascinated with her artwork, she wanted to tattoo me but I’m too white for tattoo’s so told her I’d use the CX tank as a canvas. It was a fitting tribute to Ben’s CX creation and a vision of using Monki’s traditional tattoo art when X-AXIS began its roots in Edinburgh.
Everyone that has been on this little X-AXIS trip with me all had a part in the final steps of the Rose Edition CX500, it’s nice trusting the skills of everyone involved.