We have been a fan of this 75-degree, counterbalanced V-Twin since first getting it in the Adventure 950. Although this is precisely the same LC8 engine as in the big “trailie,” torque and power are said to be nominally improved by a different airbox and exhaust system. On the dyno, the SM’s 100 x 60mm bores smoothly spun the drum to the tune of 92 horsepower and 60 foot-pounds of torque, which is actually slightly less than a previous Adventure testbike. But our SM only had about 700 miles before dyno testing, and we’ve seen 10 percent increases on some bikes after thorough break-in. The torque curve is nonetheless sweet indeed, and it fills a small dip in the midrange found on the Adventure. The smooth power also aids in connection between what the rider’s right wrist is doing to the contact patch. There is no tach, but the engine revs to 9500, with peak power coming about 1000 rpm before this. The rev-limiter acts by retarding spark, which is a softer, gentler way of controlling maximum engine speed than cutting spark intermittently as on some systems. The 34mm carburetors work well, but fuel-injection has us spoiled. Choke is necessary for cold starting on the 950, and it really is best to let the engine warm up a minute before taking off; otherwise, it is pretty easy to stall. Also, the starter clutch was screeching on us occasionally. Once up to temp, though, the party is on.