The current site will shut down on February 28.
I'd like to see the new forum ready for launch before that date, not after.
So with that in mind ...
1. vBulletin forum, hosted on their servers via cloud
. Subscription fee for this starts @ ~$180/year for 25GB/month of bandwidth use. ~$360/year for 75GB/month. Upgrade/downgrade as necessary to cover bandwidth.
2. Fundraising will be done once starting immediately to cover startup costs, mostly to pay 1 year's cloud hosting in advance. Once operational, all founding contributors will get any & all forum features turned on for the first year, maybe more. Depends on what kind of money is raised, but could even be 'lifetime of the board' if ad revenue covers ongoing subscriptions. This could be determined by members at the end of the first year.
3. Basic 'free' membership once the board is running will allow searching the forum, viewing the tech section & posting in most forum sections. Supporting members get more functionality on the board like hosting pistures, custom profile pics, signatures, etc. All of this is configurable on vBulletin
4. New members will be given the option of supporting the forum & gaining additional features like posting pictures after ... 50 posts? Lots of forums do this to weed out 'hit & run' spammers & those who come in to sell something then disappear, never to be heard from again.
5. Rock River Powersports will be considered a sponsor & have advertising privileges on the forum. RRPS doesn't splatter FB with advertising where they have thousands of followers, no reason to inundate the forum with it but there will be ads. Hopefully those ads will eventually make the forum pay for the cloud hosting as well as generate revenue to guarantee the future existence of the forum.