The humble zipper used in your current motorcycle suit or jacket is under fire. The people behind Gore-Tex have created the Lockout Closure, ad it could change you motorcycle gear forever.
This is the Gore-Tex Lockout Closure. Calling it a waterproof zipper would be factually incorrect, but it'd get the point across. It's a twin-rail closure, sharing more in common with a re-sealable sandwich bad than a zipper. The two edges of the garment feed into a Y-shaped clamp which locks them together as it slides. When sealed, the closure has no gaps for water to get through.
Beyond a simple waterproof fastening, the Lockout system offers new opportunities to motorcycle gear manufacturers. The prototype suit we've seen has eight large vents with Lockout Closures. A single Lockout Strip can replace the conventional two zipper and a flap that make a jacket closure waterproof. With no teeth, jamming is impossible and you'd be hard pressed to catch anything in it. The Gore-Tex Lockout system didn't fail during crash simulations at 100km/h. And Gore-Tex say that lab tests for wear, repetitive motion stress and water ingress after 2500 cycles of use resulted in not failures.
We tested a prototype jacket on our last European visit. Conditions varied from heavy rain to bright sun, and the Gore-Tex Lockout Closure didn't leak or fail at any point. You can force it open with a large amount of unnatural movement, but I'd still continue to ride in it.
Gore-Tex tell us that several motorcycle garment manufacturers have currently products with the Lockout Closure system on the market.