Cardiff-based independent finance provider MotoNovo has begun implementing a planned entrance into the motorcycle finance market.

The company is exhibiting its motorcycle financial services this month at the Motorcycle Expo, held at the NEC Birmingham, and has brought motorbike finance veteran Mike Chilvers on board as division manager for motorcycles.

Chilvers, who held the post of motorcycle development manager at First National Motor Finance and then Close Motor Finance among 15 years’ experience in motorbike finance, said on his LinkedIn page he held "ambitions for a more ‘industry led’ as well as ‘dealer focused’ motorcycle finance proposition".

Two years, two wheels

On welcoming Chilvers to the company, Mark Standish, chief executive of MotoNovo, said the investment strategy had been two years in preparation.

Expansion plans for the company were announced in November 2012 on the back of £1.8m investment in the company by parent Wesbank, the vehicle financing arm of FirstRand Banking Group.

The motorcycle finance market is dominated by independent lenders, particularly Close and Black Horse, with BMW and Honda the only marques regularly in the top 10 best-sellers to employ captive finance partners. Even then, BMW Group uses quasi-independent lender Alphera Financial Services to supply finance for its subsidiary brand of Husqvarna motorcycles.

Changes in the sale of motorcycles by segment, however, have led bike enthusiasts in the industry to predict there is an opportunity to write more business on two wheels.