1. Once tagged, the heads and cylinder sets are taken to the robot room and mounted to an engine fixture using the factory boltholes. This allows the fixture to sit the same as the cylinders would on the motor cases with no risk of damage to the gasket surface. Then the robot operator chooses the proper program for the individual motor parts, like Harley's Twin Cam or Evo. Although the parts may look the same, there can be as much as 1/2-inch difference in size from each motor company. To make sure that every cut is the same from top to bottom, the robot probes all points of each fin. It probes to check the thickness of each fin, then the length of each fin compared to the next fin in order from top to bottom. As you look at the cylinder you can see that from the bottom to the top the fins get bigger, more area to cut. The probe makes note of the size change and notes each fin.
2. Every day new shipments of heads and cylinders are delivered to the shop from all over the country and abroad. Each set of heads and cylinders is tagged with identification info. Then all the head ports (intake and exhaust) are taped off to help keep any metal chips from getting into a valve port. After they are cut, each set is packaged securely and shipped.
3. Another advantage to probing is that the human eye can't always see warped or bent fins or unevenly shaped fins. If there are any fins not up to par, the robot simply skips that fin and moves on with cutting. This gives the shop a heads-up on any damaged fins. At that point they can be repaired and cut by hand.
4. Once the probing is done, the robot switches to the diamond-cutting bit- this is where the magic happens. The robot can cut the fins at the same angle throughout the entire cutting steps and within .0002 of an inch of each cut.
5. Once the robot gets started, it moves around the cylinder cutting one fin at a time from start to finish, then moves to the next fin. If there is any reason a fin was skipped, the operator will make note and hand it off to one of the technicians to inspect, and finish cutting the fins by hand. It takes a long time and a lot of practice to do by hand what a robot can do.
6. Before Diamond Heads cuts the fins after some time with the robot.
7. ...after some time with the robot
8. Here is a set of black Harley-Davidson cylinders (the cut fins on the left-uncut on the right).
9. The spark plug cover can be cut (by hand) to finish off a set of heads.
10.&11. Diamond Heads can cut the edges or fin of any aluminum parts, whether they're chromed, powdercoated, or polished.
12. Keith and Amber showing the three U.S. patents and one overseas patent. Diamond Heads prides itself on quality and is fighting to keep the copycats from stealing its business and name. Diamond Heads is the only patented engine-cooling system that adds sparkle and bling to your bike.
Diamond Heads, a family owned and operated company since 1999, specializes in diamond cutting motorcycle cylinders and heads. Located in Henderson, Nevada, Diamond Heads is the only company of its kind, adding sparkle and shine to your bike while helping it run cooler by adding more surface area to cool the fins. The cut fins create more surface area, and the diamond cuts create turbulence in the air that flows over the fins. When tested at U.N.L.V., they found that the Diamond Head-treated heads cooled down 12 percent faster compared to stock. Owner Keith Brinton and his wife Amber started the company after Keith decided to enhance the looks of his FXR motor with polished fins.
After he polished the fins, he felt it was not enough, and they would require upkeep. Not wanting to clean and polish the bike every time he rode it, Keith tried cutting the fins with a set of hand tools and a technique he learned as a jeweler and gemologist. The trick was to get the cuts on every fin to look exactly the same. Knowing how to do this requires years of work and experience with expensive gems.
Once Keith's FXR was back on the road and could be seen by all of his friends, they wanted the same thing done to their bikes. At the time, Keith did not want to do it. It was a lot of work and it took a long time to do. However, every time he took his bike out for a ride, people were asking who did it, how did they do it, and how much did it cost? Keith was working a full-time job at the time, but when he got home he found himself in the shop cutting cylinders and heads for his friends and new customers.
Now, thanks to technology, the bulk of the work is done with state-of-the-art robots to help keep up with orders from large companies like S&S;, Big Dog, and Victory, to name a few. Once the robots are programmed, the speed and accuracy can't be beat.
Although the robots are integral to the business, Keith still does plenty of cutting by hand. This helps keep his skills sharp and allows him to take pride in his work. We wanted to show you some of the inner workings of Diamond Heads; we can't give away all of Keith's secrets, so we'll just show you what we can.