I joined Chop Cult in the Fall of 2009 and it was my first exposure to a message board of any kind. It has seen it's ups and downs in my opinion but I have met some really cool guys, had great deals in the classifieds, and learned some cool tech the past 4 years. I highly recommend Chop Cult but understand it's not for everyone.
The first message board I was ever on was the about.com motorcycle forum. I joined in 2001 I think and was very active until it pretty much fell apart after firing the head moderator and hiring a guy who focused more on the site and less on the forum.Like you said about Chop Cult, I made some really good friends. One of the main members started a get together in Maggie Valley, NC that I still attend every year. The only board I am real active on is BamaRides and people who are in to choppers/customs are the minority but the people are awesome.
Lay it out here: