Originally Posted by Sparkslingerburdge
I am new to the scene. Just wondering if the fat front tire had any benefits or is it just for looks?
I am going to say, "It Depends". Part of why I say this is because some of the characteristics may be advantageous to some, but not to others. Are you looking to put a fatter tire on the stock rim, or are you looking to buy a wheel / tire combination to get the look you want?
For instance, if you stuff a tire designed for a 6 inch wide rim on a 5 inch wide rim you are causing the profile of the tire, and the forces exerted on the sidewalls to change from what was engineered. This in turn affects the contact patch with the road.
If the overall diameter of the tire/wheel combination changes from stock then you affect ease of turn in. Smaller overall diameter increases ease of turn in and larger overall diameter decreases ease of turn in. But, at parking lot speeds the larger diameter could cause the front end to flop in once you reach a certain point.
A larger tire can provide additional road imperfection absorption depending on tire pressures which some find desirable, but can also make the bike feel vague in when going through the curves.
Of course, folks get used to anything when they have a certain goal in mind. Just ask anyone running a square profile car tire on the back of their bike. They will argue the benefits all day long.
Bikes designed with fat tires "like bobbers" have been engineered to handle well. They typically have smaller diameter rims with the proper width to accommodate the fatter tire. So, if you are buying a wheel and tire combination you will probably come out neutral.
Now, I am sure some folks can shoot holes in some of the statements I have made. My statements are generalizations because I haven't done the math on the Road Glide since I am happy with the low profile tires on my Special.