Does it really hurt our bikes that much if we ride around town?
Well...it kinda depends on how much low speed riding you are doing, as in how long and how often you stop. If you live 6 miles out of town and ride in at 55 mph then spend only ten minutes riding around before stopping, then ride back home..you are likely alright. But if you run from store to store, turning the bike off and on, along with riding in stop and go traffic, your not doing good things to the bike.
Generaly you need to avoid stopping and starting the bike frequnetly in short time spans...as this puts some strain on the battery, along with the engine itself if the bike never gets to run long enough to charge properly, and constant stop and go is bad for any engine.
Many folks when riding in parades notice the battery never charges well, and add to that riding a liquid cooled engine at a slow pace tend to make it overheat.
Other than putting a strain on the battery, you likely won't notice any detremental effects right off, but they add up. Short trips (less than 8 miles?)are bad for the oil, and thus can be bad for the engine.
If you "finish" a ride of stop and go with a nice 15-20 minute ride at cruising speeds , you are doing yourself and the bike a favor.
But don't get paranoid about all this, just keep an eye on the temp gauge ...a voltmeter is a nice thing to have too , so you can moniter the battery. Most folks don't keep the engine turning at higher rpms when riding around town...part for noise and part for just making the bike hotter, but the bike does need to get its rpms up for at least a little while to make sure the battery charges.
So moniter your "in town" riding habits and see exactly what kind of running the bike is subjected to.