Fortunately, no such penalty exists in Germany, and BMW's engineers have seen an opportunity to offer our American cousins a bagger with three times as many cylinders as usual. This is borderline blasphemy in some parts of the US, but for those enlightened souls prepared to try something new, revelation awaits.
BMW's K 1600 B is, let me search for an appropriately measured phrase, absolutely fan-bloody-tastic.
I started riding this bike full of critical thoughts about its existence, born as it was of a desire by the marketing department to worm its way into yet another new niche segment. Rip the top-box off a K 1600 GT and, voila, a bagger. Exactly the type of bike I detest.
By the end of that first day of riding I was preaching the virtues of this German bagger to anyone unlucky enough to stray too close. I felt reborn. New life breathed into me by the first big cruiser I've sampled that is such fun to ride.
Not only fun, it is easy to ride, too. At slow speeds - often the Achilles' heel of cruisers - it feels light and manageable. And at high speeds it sticks to the road like a genuine sport-tourer.
And those speeds are stratospheric for a cruiser because the 1,649cc in-line six-cylinder engine develops 119Kw and a faintly unbelievable 175Nm. That's pretty much double the power of any of its competitors. It revs up to 8,500rpm and is so smooth you'll forget you ever even knew the meaning of vibration.
This is undoubtedly one of the great motorcycle engines of the day, combining performance with civility and delivered with a soundtrack that will bring weakness to the knees of any petrolhead.