I agree that the old XPLOR forum seemed cliquish. The posters there were, without exception, friendly and good, but they all seemed to know each other, which could make jumping into the discussions seem more like an intrusion into others' conversations. The BMWMOA forum seems too big for that — more like a big rally where people come and go instead of a private party. I suppose each type of forum has its place, and I'm sorry to see the XPLOR forum die.
I also agree that the XPLOR forum software is awkward to use, and it lacks the niceties of a well-developed, full-featured discussion board like phpBB or vBulletin (the software that runs the BMWMOA forum). Still, the XPLOR forum design and layout has an active feeling to it that, I think, is a bit more exciting and engaging than the BMWMOA forum which is, well, gray. I'm just not sure that a grayish, dullish, generic look fits the personality of most motorcycle riders. The color and excitement here depends almost exclusively upon the discussions taking place and the vibrancy of the community — this despite the stage itself being a bit bare.
Just one more thing: this forum seems well-tended by people who actually care, pay attention and participate. The XPLOR forum seems run from a distance by uninterested absentee landlords who arrogantly show up to nail new building rules on the door only when the police or the health department calls them in.