Originally Posted by Nashville Kat
The head gaskets for these is generally crap- if you look at the situation carefully, you'll probably notice that the gasket is designed to cover very little between the head and the cylinder body.
In short it's designed to fail and keep you buying more product, more gaskets
I disagree. One only gets so much force from the head bolts and it is considered wise to apply that force in a very narrow band such that one gets more pounds per square inch on the mating surface. If the contact area were double, one would get only half the pounds per square inch.
One might note that Royal Enfield used a diamond-shaped ring in place of a head gasket on their high compression heads. The pointy edges of the ring were at top & bottom to give the least amount of contact area, but with a force per square inch that was truly astounding.