Hello tarmac lovers, Matthew here! You know what’s good? Competition! And as of lately, we’re not lacking any of it in the sim racing gear universe. Especially when it comes wheelbaseseses (looks to the side), the direct drive offering, which has experienced such a boom that even Logitech stepped into the ring with their model, yeah, it was… I thought I was dreaming actually… And even more is yet to come. Yes, I’m thinking of you Thrustmaster! C’mon, hurry up, let’s go, everyone is already at the party on their third drink and stuffing their mouths with those tiny tiney sandwiches, and you’re like trying to be all fashionably late and stuff.
Anyhow, in that whirlwind of new gear dropping down so fast that even Latifi would be jealous of, a completely new brand arose and entered the ring – Moza. Racing. Moza Racing. I’ll just call them Moza, it’s shorter. Today I have one of their highest tier model, the R16, and I’ve been playing with it for the better part of this year, so I can deliver you this – content.
They Went All in with Moza R16
Honestly, I think that we were all in shock when Moza came out blazing with their R16/R21 and pedalset, then R9, and quickly R5 wheelbase models, a direct competitor to the Fanatec CSL DD direct drive budget wheel. It wasn’t something you’d expect from a new player, that kind of an outburst of offering, more so since they did all of that in like less than a year span and seeing and comparing that outcome with some other brands, knowing how they go about releasing their new products, it means that they Moza was cooking something in the background for some time now.
And as it seems, they are using the right ingredients and recipe. Right away they looked mature in what they were doing, presenting and delivering, from the design to build quality, from that general first look you could feel the presence of someone experienced handling this project, and that turned out to be true, yes, they do have a background. Their partner/sister company, that is, Gudsen, has been in the business for some time now, dealing with professional and consumer level gimbals, so I guess that they’ve decided to expand their business strategy. It maybe looks like bit of a weird market segway, from gimbals to sim racing gear, but for Moza, it seems it was a more than the right call. As you’ll now see it turned out to be a prime example of what you would get when you would observe, take notes, improve on mistakes that others make, and minimize your own. It’s basically that easy, so others, yeah, do what Moza did – take note please! And most importantly, listen to the community. Simple, no?
Orange is the New Color
Here I have their R16 wheel base and this beefy RS Racing Leather wheel model, which looks and feels almost like something pulled out of a real GT car. Tricked out with rotary dials, switches, joysticks, LED shifter indicator, and carbon fiber flappy pedals, they are a bit on the loud side (shows clicking en face), the weight of it, everything just screams – hey we really put some thought and effort into it. But the thing that stood out the most was this – yeah, it’s not on the front of the wheel, but rather on the back of it – the quick release mechanism. It’s just plain good, really good, almost you can use it in a, again, real GT car good. Probably the best from everything I’ve tried so far, it goes on and off like a butter on a freshly burned out toast, and you won’t hit yourself in the head when pulling the wheel off. Most importantly, there’s also zero play in the locking mechanism of it and the wheelbase, it’s as stiff as it can be (shows a ^^ face).
Of course, the wheel is just a minor part in the whole experience, I did enjoyed using it although it’s on the largerside from what you usually use, but this is where the wheelbase takes over the bigger part of the task making you feel like you’re controlling something really serious behind the wheel shaft. And I’m happy to report it does so in a way it is comparable to the likes of any other 1.000$+ direct drive wheel base models on the market. In this custom made motor case, Moza placed a brushless motor capable of delivering up to 16 Nm in this black and orange model variation, while the fully black model can deliver up to 21 Nm, hence the R21 in its model naming. If you wondering if the 16 Nm is enough torque, let me just say it outright, yes it is, more than enough, and it wasn’t too overpowering for my Trak Racer TR160 rig that I have here behind me, feel free to check it out later, it was rather interesting to see how they progressed in creating and updating this model
Out of the box, the R16 is extremely smooth. There was no cogging or notchiness that I could feel when turning the wheel. Putting in a couple of hundred laps between getting the wheel and this point, I could say that this was extremely impressive bearing in mind that this was their first in this segment marketed product ever. There are some few points of potential improvements, and here I mostly comparing it to my Simucube 2 Pro since it’s the highest end model I own, you can check my review of it here, that mostly boiling down to how it deals and feedbacks when it comes to response time in those more sudden direction changes. I’m talking about a truly minor differences here, nothing to be greatly bothered about, especially if you’re coming from a non-direct drive wheelbase.
On the other hand, the performance consistency in games, or maybe better to say ease of tuning it and getting the same force feedback end result in games, was pretty decent across the board, nothing I could complain about, more so with knowing that this is something you’ll always need to do jumping from game to game and especially in my case when having to try different wheelbase from time to time. The road texture and feel I got from it was exceptional, in some cases it was a bit more emphasized, but nothing you couldn’t dial in, and in the end, it’s expected from you going from title to title, as each of them interpret and delivery the force feedback differently, but bottom line is that it managed to deliver a “same car feel”, for the lack of better phrase, across the board.
Oh, if you’re wondering why are my looking so happy on this pedal set that I’m using, well it’s because this is the Asetek Invictus model, and I can tell you that they’re truly something different, as this my first time trying a proper hydraulical-based brake system, be sure to subcribe, I’ll have a lot to talk about!
As with any other direct drive wheel, since the wheel is free spinning into infinity, it’s obvious that there’s no wired connection in the wheelbase, so you’re probably wondering how the wheel and wheel base are connected. We have two things happening here – The way the wheel is powered with using magnetic induction, similar to what we today have for wireless smartphone chagrining, or as they call it qi charging, while the data is being transferred using simple wireless transmitter, and it does it job in a way I couldn’t say anything other tha it just worked, no issues whatsoever, even with being surrounded by multiple wireless devices and UniFi access points. Mystery solved, onto another one!
Another Unexpected Suprise
So, with everything being more than good on the hardware side, we have one unanswered question left – software. I remember opening it up for the first time with a fearful face grin, but once, again, I was pleasantly surprised. There are some bugs here and there in the begging, some miss-matches in translation, still, everything considered, it got a well above passing score, especially as time passed by, they proved to be on top of it with constant updates, being it on the software side or wheelbase and wheel side.
The interface is clean and simple, not intimidating, definitely steer away from what we usually see in this segment, more on the user-friendly side. There are preset settings depending on the type of car you’re driving, and that does its job really well, but if you’re a person who likes to fiddle with settings and take control into your hands, you can do that too, as they’ve also included those more advanced controls.
Of course, here you can also fiddle with button remaps for the wheel that you’re using, and besides that, from other features, you’ll also have an option to configure the wheel to the game in question with one click, so everything is good to go from the moment you launch the game, and you can also do that from there Moza Pit House.
Wax on, Wax Off
Well, what’s else there for Moza to do now that they seem to have more than a decent start? First, set up and establish a good partner and distribution network in EU and USA, that’s a must, and it seems like they’ve already been doing by looking at their webshop. Secondly, as mentioned earlier, to have a rapport with the community when it comes to polishing out any of the software and hardware related problems, general good customer support. I’m already seeing some positive feedback on that matter, but do let me know if you had some experience with Moza in comments down below, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I’ll also forward them any questions or concerns you may have.
Lastly, they need to expand their offering with other models, which, well, they’re already doing with their R9 and R5 wheelbase, pedal and wheel rims offering, loving the open wheeler F1 style FSR model. I’m hoping to have a chance to try everything or most of it out down the line, so I can compare it with the likes of Fanatec’s DD and other mid-tier models and help you out with your next irrational purchasing decision. No, that’s not me thinking it’s irrational, I completely approve it, it’s everyone around you that thinks it is. I know how you feel.
Thanks for watching, and staying this long, drop a like if you did and if this helped you, and be sure to subscribe and click the social media thingy things, because I have plenty of more content in the pipeline, yes I do do do. OK, bye, bye.