By Cody Hooper
I started this company from the love of manufacturing and racing like many do. In a garage, working late hours after a regular job. “This is how Pro Armor President & CEO Alex Danze describes his first days in the ATV industry, in a family surrounded by manufacturing and machining.
Manufacturing CNC parts continued to be a key role in Alex and Marcelos experiences, and by 1990, they had accumulated a handful of well-known customers. By 1994, they were now supplying billet parts for GT bicycles, and later that year, a company would contract them for parts that would change everything. Yamaha Motor Company contacted the small CNC shop to develop billet accessories for their RoadStar Cruiser Motorcycle, Yamahas most popular Cruiser bike to date. Quickly after developing parts for the RoadStar, Yamaha requested parts for their Raptor 660 ATV project. The Raptor 660 was a revolutionary ATV at the time, and creating the accessories for this bike opened their eyes to the possibility of aftermarket accessories, and others like it in the growing market.
Pro Armor Equipped XP1000 in Glamis during the 2015 UTV Industry Ride
OEMs continued to contact us to develop and manufacture their parts. We had built quite a good reputation with Yamaha, and that good reputation started traveling, and FAST. Soon we were an OEM supplier for all four large manufactures, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda. We also became a supplier to Polaris and Arctic Cat Alex could see he needed to make a move.
In 2001, I took my knowledge and experience in developing and manufacturing quality accessories for the motorcycle and ATV market and decided to start my own brand, called Pro Armor. I wanted to choose a name which portrays the durability and strength that goes into every product that Pro Armor was to produce.
Pro Armor has always tested and raced the parts they develop and sell to the public. National Championships have been won almost every year since Pro Armors inception, using the same bullet proof parts they sell to the public. With names like Joe Byrd, Dustin Wimmer, and Bill Ballance winning championships all running Pro Armor products, the ATV industry was plastered with the familiar shield and helmet logo.
Pro Armor sponsored ATV Racers
It has been the steadfast commitment to developing only the very best components and making them with the utmost quality which has kept Pro Armor in the forefront of the industry says Alex.
Pro Armor aluminum doors on a RZR XP 900
As UTVs gained popularity, Pro Armor began to grow their product portfolio to include doors, harnesses, bumpers, seats, and accessories. The Polaris RZR was their single largest platform, with their bolt-on door system making up the vast majority of their sales at one point.
The UTV industry evolved quickly, and Pro Armor remained a household name by shelling out new, innovative product with each fresh release. Last year, Pro Armor was bought by Polaris Industries and took on a slightly more corporate structure, but the core staff remained, keeping the spirit alive.
To this day, Pro Armor continues to develop great products for all popular UTVs. Their latest venture, ProBilt, is an in-house customization shop developed to build custom UTV packages for customers that dont have the means to do it themselves. With tie-ins to many OE manufacturers, Pro Armor is able to deliver product quickly, and their manufacturing facility is streamlined to keep up with the high demand of the UTV aftermarket.
The Riverside, California-based manufacturing house still bends and welds every skid plate, door, seat frame, and bumper in-house, allowing them to keep a close eye on their quality control. An in-house powdercoating facility keeps turnaround times short. Pro Armor also has a full upholstery shop, full of talented individuals that are focused on building high-quality, attractive products.
Pro Armor has developed a line of tires as well, including four different tread patterns for various terrain types. For more information on their products and the business, log on to www.ProArmor.com.