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Rejuvenated Z1R line is ‘in it to win it’

By By Kate Swanson

Newly added brand manager part of big plans for future

Finding the right helmet can sometimes be a challenge, but such was not the case for Z1R brand dealers and customers who were offered two new helmet models and a core offering of leathers at the Parts Unlimited NVP in Madison, Wis., in late August.

Powersports Business caught up with Jay Savignac, who was announced as the new brand manager for Z1R and Arctiva, to talk about what’s new for 2016. “The Z1R product line has been in the marketplace for more than 10 years. Within the last two years the entire line has gone through a makeover. The helmet line has expanded to include some newer street models and dirt helmets,” Savignac said.

At the Parts Unlimited NVP in Madison, Wis., Z1R displayed its new Roost SE top-selling off-road helmet alongside the Jimmy helmet.

At the Parts Unlimited NVP in Madison, Wis., Z1R displayed its new Roost SE top-selling off-road helmet alongside the Jimmy helmet.

Before coming to work with Z1R, Savignac worked in a different industry, specializing in product development and bringing new products to market.

“The fact that they’ve invested heavily in new tools and new designs in the helmets and at the same time invested heavily in a core offering of leathers, they’re in it to win it,” Savignac said. “And bringing in a brand manager specifically to handle the Z1R line says a lot about their support for the product and where they want to go with it in the future.”

Savignac has used his background to help Z1R launch two new helmets, the Strike Ops and the Roost SE. The Strike Ops helmet features an aerodynamic shell and a scratch-resistant, polycarbonate shield for street riding. The new Roost SE is designed for off-road, equipped with a contoured shell and a molded eyeport gasket to secure a goggle strap.

In addition to their unique features, the DOT and the European ECE approve both helmets. “That’s important to know that in the industry because they look at the safety of the helmet from two different angles,” Savignac said. “There are two different testing requirements, so meeting both of those requirements validates the helmet.”

Z1R supplies helmets for multiple segments, including snow, street and off-road. Savignac says that the popularity of the helmets can be traced back to the number of machines being sold in those segments, with the Strike Ops and Roost SE taking the top spots.

“We’ve been having struggles keeping up with demand because it has been received so well in the marketplace. The new ROOST SE and the new Strike Ops helmets have blown away our forecasts,” he said.

On the apparel side, Z1R has introduced a whole new line of leathers for rider comfort and protection. The majority of the line is made with premium milled cowhide leather with vents for maximum airflow. Z1R’s leather vests, jackets and chaps include one of the largest size ranges in the industry — XS to 5X — and leather gloves are available up to size 3X.

Launched earlier this year, the Z1R Strike Ops helmet is DOT and ECE approved.

Launched earlier this year, the Z1R Strike Ops helmet is DOT and ECE approved.

“Given the overall market conditions, I think consumers are looking very closely at the value of their expenditures. And so having an affordable product, the consumers are still discerning and demanding the quality,” Savignac said. “It’s a value proposition. You’re getting a really high quality product at a value price.”

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