Norton 350 Single (Harry Hinton)

Source: Dennis Quinlan

Photo taken by the late George Lynn, founder & editor of the motorcycle magazine. A drive side shot, with Harry Hinton, Snr. to the left & the rider, Ray Blackett to the right. Ray Blackett, who rode the Hinton Desmo at a big motorcycle meeting at Bathurst, NSW over the Easter period in 1960. Ray is quite sure as to what happened & said this was the only time the desmo was raced. He did 2 or 3 laps in practice & was part way around the 4 mile circuit still in practice, when the con rod broke under the little end . A breakage here is always due to over revving & Ray is sure he never exceeded 8000rpm as it was it’s first outing. A standard 350 DOHC Manx revs to 8600rpm & I know that the tachometers used were the Smiths ATRC conical 80mm dia. versions with a 9000rpm scale. There was metal everywhere evidently as it burst through the crankcase. Harry Hinton Senior was unhappy, but accepted Ray’s comments that he never exceeded 8000rpm. A conference was held with Dave Stuart, it’s builder & it seems they had revved it to 11,000rpm during dynamometer testing. Harry was furious, stating that had he been told they would have changed the con rod in the engine before the meeting. In fact he fell out with Dave Stuart over it. So contrary to my earlier comments from Eric Hinton, the engine was never raced into a finishing place. Ray said in the few laps he rode it, it push started so easily in about two paces ( at this time all races in Australia were push starts & continued this way into the 1980’s I think). He said it accelerated really well & he felt, was better than when it was in the works 350 DOHC format. Ray thought that the engine parts had only recently gone back to Dave Stuart.

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[Classification = Group “unknown”]