From pioneers to present day: 100 years of motorcycle finance

This year Black Horse is celebrating a monumental milestone: 100 years of financing motorcycles. To commemorate this important moment, we want to take you on a journey of the motorcycle – from its rise to fame to the modern day bike – and show how Black Horse has been there through it all.

It’s 1921. World War I has come to an end but it’s sparked a growing interest in the modern motorcycle – a popular mode of transport for messengers delivering war communications. Despite the expensive price tag, some costing more than the average price of a house, there’s an increasing desire to own a motorcycle. The need for financial support is undeniable.

And so, Black Horse is created.

1920s. Arguably the golden era for many European and American motorcycle manufacturers that are still popular today – BMW, Triumph, Harley-Davidson, Norton and Moto Guzzi. This combined with an increasing availability of motorcycle finance through Black Horse makes the motorcycle more accessible to the mass-market audience. The industry is thriving.

1950s. The motorcycle becomes a style icon. Films like The Wild One catapult motorcycles into popular culture and they become a symbol of freedom for a new generation.

Late 1960s/1970s. Cars are becoming more affordable and the UK motorcycle industry sees a dramatic shift. Japanese manufacturers – Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha – see a gap in the market and start to produce smaller, speedier bikes that appeal to a wider audience. Black Horse dealers reflect the industry demand and offer a variety of models, helping motorcycles re-enter the mainstream market.

Late 1980s/1990s. The inaugural 1988 Superbike World Championship sparks a renewed passion for motorcycle racing. British rider Carl Fogarty becomes a household name as he accumulates four titles in the Superbike series. One-piece leather suits and helmets that display the graphics of leading riders become a must for Sunday morning social rides, and also popular attire in dealerships – including Black Horse.

2000s. A new generation enters the fold but they have different priorities when it comes to spending their money. As older riders begin to hang up their helmets, they aren’t being replaced by a younger crowd. Despite a steady decline in motorcycle ownership, Black Horse continues to offer motorcycle financing support.

Today. In a post-Covid world, there’s been a spike in demand for all classifications of motorcycles – new bike sales are up 13.4% since October 2020.* There’s more choice on the market for consumers than ever before. And in today’s financial climate, Black Horse are needed now more than ever.


But how does motorcycle finance work?

Instead of paying the full motorcycle cost upfront, you would typically pay a deposit and make monthly repayments, including interest, over an agreed term. This means Black Horse buys the motorcycle on your behalf and you become the owner once the final repayment has been made. To find out more about the finance products available to you, head to our motorcycle finance page.


After 100 years of providing motorcycle finance, we’re here not just to help you fund the bike of your dreams – but also to support the motorcycle industry now and for the years to come.

Visit Hall 3 to take part in our range of Black Horse stage events:

  • The Mega Motorcycle Store – Memory Game
  • MCN – Road Test Cinema
  • Blackhorse – TT Race an Ace
  • Witham Talks
  • VISIN Bike Balance
  • R&G – Wheel Change Challenge

Former British professional motorcycle racer Steve Parrish will be on stage hosting the Memory Game, TT Race an Ace and Wheel Change Challenge.



Exhibitors A-Z