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The Forum is Closing

Eric Hall

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Super sad to do this but I think we all knew it was coming.  Even from day one I think this project was not meant to take off due to the decline of forums in general and being displaced by first Facebook then other social media like Instagram and TikTok.  Had I started even two years earlier we might have gotten critical mass.


Even back in the day when we started, the comments and content weren’t that active.  But nowadays we get probably more rogue spam than comments.  We do actually still get a lot of traffic but I’ve never been able to monetize that.  The google network ads were bringing maybe $8-$10/month and that all went to my ThumperTalk partner.  At this point I’m paying $15/month to keep it going and there’s really no reason.


Like I said, the site has great SEO value relative even to many of the moto magazines and the sponsors love the backlinks for their SEO value.  Chances are when you Google “Dunlop Trailmax Mission tire review” you’ll see us in the top 10 results.


I spent a long time researching this before I started and one forum I modeled it after was by a friend in Spain named Isaac Feliu (who just raced his second Dakar and is the Spanish retailer for Klim, Motoz, etc…).  But even he took his forum down years ago for the same reason.  Another I follow in South Africa is also on its last legs.  AOLrider (my preferred name for that other big forum) got scale 15 years earlier than us and successfully (?) transitioned to an ad based model, but their traffic has still suffered.


Kind of reminds me of my ’05 Acura TL with 205,000 miles.  I love that car and it’s awesome but it just not worth much anymore.  I ended up giving it to my friend who is a church pastor.


I still believe in forums because adventure riding needs community.  We learn from each other, get safer, better and have more adventures together.  Social media does a really poor job of that, IMHO.


I’ll simply be taking the forum down and it’s going to be parked long term.  Someone else can pick it up eventually if they like.


One bright spot is I’ve been able to create some valuable “digital real estate.”  While I see some consolidation coming soon in motorcycle media, I think XLADV with it’s strong presence on Instagram, more than 1000+ monetized Youtube and about 23k Facebook followers represent a HUGE value to someone with better editorial and more specifically better content creation talent to essentially buy their own “Park Place,” to use a Monopoly term.  YouTube is really where content creation can make money (beyond sponsors obviously) because unlike Instagram, YouTube actually pays you for your engagement.


Sponsors still include Dunlop.  I love Rigg Gear but I felt I wasn’t giving them my best and it was for such a small amount.  I’m looking to take on a new gear sponsor but it has to be for a more realistic amount.  Yuasa still owes me $600 lol.  Past sponsors such as Shinko, Klim, Overland Expo, etc… still pass by every now and then for briefer periods.


Events are worth good money as well as they give the owner a captive audience upon which to leverage their brand one on one with real experiences.  While AltRider moved away from that, Giant Loop has seen huge success with their own event as well as Mosko Moto and others.


I’ll still keep going with the social media part but other activities such as High Sierra will fall to the side.  If anyone wants to take that over, please contact me with your plan and I’m happy to endorse the best one.


Thank you for your participation in this project.  It’s certainly enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams.

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On 1/26/2024 at 1:59 PM, greedyg said:

OK.  What's next?

Not sure.  Dunlop re-upped for another year and I just did a Trailmax Mission review and getting a lot of traffic on that.  May leave the forum up until the end of the year now.

My work contract (my real full time work) ended Dec 29 so I'm looking for a gig again.  Also putting up the 990 for sale :( Have to sell my Tiger 900 too since I cant get it plated here in Colombia.  Can ride it to another country and sell it there (Chile, Bolivia, Argentina) or maybe to Santiago, Chile and put it on a boat back to LA to sell.  I need to buy a legal bike here after that.  Until then I keep dodging the police here when I ride about once/month lol.

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