Just happened to fall into the world of karting as the old site was being shut down and was on it for a few months before migrating over here. I’ve been on many automotive forums nearly since their inception, and am marketing director for a large motorsports company in the automotive side.
As far as improvements for the new forum, the biggest thing I see if the lack of search. As a newbie there is tons of information out there that I am looking for, some of which may have been hashed over hundreds of times. Currently this site doesn’t have many of the answers I’m looking for, so I end up having to resort to Google next.
While I don’t know your traffic reports pre-or post change, I’m curious why you guys didn’t use 301 redirects for the old site prior to shutting it down? The big problem I see is that now that my searches are taken to Google, E-Karting News always comes up towards the top with an answer, but now that answer is a 404 Not Found and I move onto the next result. It’s only a matter of time before Google begins to penalize you for these dead links once the crawlers get ahold of them. Adding redirects could at least get some of the traffic directed towards the right place and hopefully help get your user base back here. I like others check the forums first and homepage second, and lately as there has been less new content for me to peruse, I find myself checking the forums and the site less often. (Rememering that Karting has so many divisions, regions, engine types, etc. With thousands of topics to sort through, you typically found 5-10% that were releveant towards your needs. Now that 5-10% is of a much more limited number and simply not enough currently to peak my interest).