It is interesting that you think more cylinders is better. While this is as generic as saying more CC’s is better, I’ve always been of the other opinion.
Yes, a single or twin has a lot more low end torque, so if you twist the throttle hard, you’ll jump more than you would on a four cylinder. But the power is also much more linear. It is much easier to gague what increase in power a turn of the wrist will give you, because no matter where you are in the power band you’ll get a similar result. With an engine tuned for peak horsepower, you get drastically different results based on what rpm the engine is turning.
Twins are almost always described as forgiving engines. Whether it is V, L or parrallel, they are consistently called “friendly”.
As for singles, these are an even safer bet. Yes they have the most torque per cc, but they also have the lowest revs, and frankly, the lowest power. A 40hp single is not going to be throwing the front end of a cruiser in the air. On a dual sport that is pretty easy to do because the bike is so light and designed to do that.
So this shows what I see as a hole in your logic. You say the idea of a single doesn’t sit well because it’ll have more torque per cc, and thus be more jerky on the throttle. But, while the inlines and V-twins have less torque per cc, they also have more CCs (unless you are talking about another 500-650). So the net power is in fact greater – often even at the same rpm.
If you want to learn more about the various engine layouts, and what characteristics they have, these links here are pretty good (the entire beginner section at total motorcycle is pretty good imo):
And lastly, Kari has some REALLY good points about weight. I’m 6 foot, 180 pounds, and I am fairly fit. I find handling even a 450 pound bike to be real intimidating. I don’t think I’d be comfortable moving a 600 pound cruiser around on uneven or sloped surfaces. And not all parking spots are flat!
One last tip – always back into parking spots… no reverse gear = hell to push a bike up out of an inclined parking spot