For years we have struggled to keep these forums alive. From both a financial and technical manpower respect, the demands are constant. The costs of equipment and hosting, social management, technical management and content management are demanding of our constant attention. Try as we might we were never able to find anyone technically capable of managing Andy’s side of the communities. With the drastic changes in the economy over the last few years, both Andy and I have found it more and more difficult to find the time to manage the communities. Coupling this with reduced member and vendor subscriptions and ever increasing costs, we have found it to be more and more difficult to pay the bills and manage the technical requirements of this community on our limited budget and thinly stretched personal time. The forced move of our servers last year really taxed us, both financially and in terms of time. Andy made it clear that his personal circumstances may not allow him the time should we encounter any technical emergencies. I certainly do not have the skills to do it without his help.
Late last year after the move it became very apparent that our income from supporters were not going to be enough to cover the costs of operation. The costs and time to move our equipment from California to Houston impacted us personally at a time when neither of us were in a position to deal with it. We were also way behind in making some much needed software updates to the community. We have been trying to find the time to do this for at least two years. We have been looking for ways to augment our income through advertising, but that also would require the time to update the forum software before we could even think of banner advertising, etc. Since neither of us could devote the time needed for these upgrades, we also were looking to find a long term solution for the technical aspects of maintaining this community. Through all of this we had to keep in mind that this community was very important to us and that we had to be very careful that our choices would protect and preserve its long-term survival.
The more we looked the less satisfying our options became. We then found the perfect solution which would insure the long term survival of this community, provide the technical support team and expertise to keep the forums growing and the resources to add valuable content on a regular basis. At the end of last year we decided to transfer ownership to motorcycle.com, who own many other motorcycle communities. The folks at www.motorcycle.com
have become the preeminent force in motorcycle enthusiast web communities and are a natural fit for this community. Historically they have proven to be good shepherds of similar communities, keeping the structure of the communities and continuing the same management style. They will be adding some advertising, but there will be less for registered members and even less for supporting members.
This change in ownership need not affect the community in any way. The community’s strength is in its members - the change in ownership will only enhance the future stability of the services, and should not affect in any way how the community is managed. The real value of this transition is that there is a large and competent team in place to keep the machine going, instead of just a couple of guys with precious little free time. I plan to continue my role as an administrator and hope that all the other moderators and administrators continue on.