MOZA R12 Wheel Base Review

  • Reviewed by

The MOZA R12 direct drive wheel is designed to compete head to head with wheels such as the Fanatec ClubSport DD. In this review, I check out how well it performs and whether its worth upgrading from the R9.

Buy MOZA R12
MOZA R12 Quick release

Our Verdict

9.2 / 10

Product Design

90

90
Gameplay

93

93
Value For Money

94

94
Compatibility
PC

Pros

  • Just the right level of force feedback
  • Responsiveness is impressive
  • Fantastic rumble effects
  • High-quality construction
  • Brilliant MOZA quick release

Cons

  • Very similar performance to other MOZA products
  • Default Pit House settings not optimal
  • Design is getting a bit boring and isn’t unique
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What is the Moza Racing R12 Wheel Base?

If you’re familiar with MOZA Racing and their current lineup of products, you may look at the MOZA Racing R12 and wonder what exactly is new.

I mean, it looks very similar to MOZA products that we’ve seen before, and the headline figure of 12Nm of peak torque isn’t too far away from the 9Nm of the R9 or the 16Nm of the R16. So, you may be wondering, why you would look at the MOZA R12 and think, that is the wheel for me?

Well, as it turns out, the R12 may actually be the best choice if you’re looking to enter MOZA’s ecosystem.

In this review, I’ll examine the new R12 wheel base’s design, compatibility, and, most importantly, performance.

But before I go any further, I want to disclose that this R12 wheel base was sent to me for review by the guys at MOZA. As with all reviews, this does not impact the outcome of this review in any way.


Watch our video review of the MOZA R12 wheel base


Price

I’m going to start by looking at the price of this wheel, as this is important to further determine exactly how this wheel base compares to other MOZA wheel bases and others that are available.

The MOZA R12 slots in directly between the R9 and R16 as expected at €599/$559. This is a price difference to the R9 of around €/$100. That is a relatively small increase, considering the extra performance and compatibility you get from the R12.


The Design of the MOZA Racing R12

Next, I’m going to look at the design of the R12. This may be one of the quickest design reviews I’ve ever done, and that is because I’ve already reviewed the design of this wheel base in a previous video.

If you go ahead and check out our MOZA R9 review, you will see everything I’m about to say here. And that is because this R12 wheel base looks, well, pretty much identical to the R9, with a few very minor tweaks.

For those who haven’t seen our MOZA R9 review, I won’t make you go and watch another video. I’ll run through the design and what I like and don’t like right here.

MOZA R12 Wheel Base Design

So, starting with things that I like about this wheel base;

The design

The overall design is very smart and looks clean yet modern, although at this stage, it may be getting a little bit old. This is the third wheel base that is utilising this exact same design philosophy.

Both the R9 and R5 wheel bases implement this design. It would have been nice to see a little design flare, maybe something that makes this R12 wheel base stand out from the crowd a little.

For example, look at what Fanatec did with the CSL DD and GT DD Pro. Whilst both wheel bases use the same overall shape and form, both look distinctly different.

This works to allow both products to stand out and become their own entity, despite at their core being almost identical.

Whatever the next MOZA wheel base is after this R12, it would be nice to see a little of that extra design flare.

But getting back to the actual design of the R12. The exterior is constructed from black powder-coated aluminium. This acts as both a sturdy outer casing and a heat sink to help dissipate internal temperature.

MOZA R12 Build quality

This outer casing looks incredibly smart and makes this wheel base feel pretty premium compared to some others. To aid with the thermal dissipation, some cool fins or grooves are on the side with the MOZA logo printed within.

This is a nice subtle design choice that showcases the branding but without throwing in your face.

The rest of the wheel base follows this smart and understated appearance. The outer case has a rounded feel, predominantly across the top, which matches the shape of the large motor hidden beneath the exterior.

Each corner rises away from this circular design to form a relatively square, boxey shape. Despite the dips and creases throughout, the wheel base does cut a rather sleek and attractive frame.

An aluminium driveshaft that houses the quick release is protruding out of the wheel base. And this is where this wheel base does stand out from a lot of the competition.

If you like to collect MOZA wheel bases or this is an upgrade over the R5 or R9, you will spot some subtle design changes from the R9.

The wheel base is slightly longer despite maintaining the same overall profile and shape. There is a little R12 graphic on the side, to remind you which wheel base you have in case you forget. And the driveshaft and quick release are marginally smaller in diameter than the ones on the R9.

MOZA R12 Quick release

The quick release

MOZA’s quick-release implementation is undoubtedly one of the best around. It follows an NRG style, which features interconnecting ball bearings to lock the steering wheel into place.

This allows any MOZA steering wheel to be quickly attached just by pushing it onto the wheel base. Once in place, there is zero movement or flex, which is crucial for a sim racing quick release.

If there is even just a little bit of movement or play between a steering wheel and wheel base, it can cause havoc during use. You can sometimes feel the steering wheel actually moving independently of the wheel base, which can put additional strain on the quick release mechanism itself.

So I’m really happy to say that this is absolutely not a problem with the MOZA quick release.

If you want to detach a steering wheel, there is an activator behind it, which you simply pull towards you. Then, you can simultaneously pull the whole steering wheel away from the wheel base.

Some steering wheel designs make this a little harder to do as you’ll need to wrap both hands around the steering wheel. But generally, this is super quick and easy to perform.


Moza R12 Performance

Next, I will move on and look at the performance during use, because this is where this wheel base needs to set itself apart.

Now, I’m going to throw some terms out there that are super techy, that some of you may understand and love, but being honest, most of this stuff goes over my head.

*Tech alert*

The motor inside the R12 is designed with a high-slot fill rate, high-permeability magnetic cores and high-strength neodymium magnets. It features a 16 pole high-slot design, which features the highest number of poles in its class.

I’m not a tech guy, but class-leading pole count. That sounds very impressive. High-permeability magnetic cores, also very impressive.

I mean, I have no idea what half of that stuff does from a technical standpoint. But one thing I do know is how a motor performs, and I have to say this one performs pretty damn well.

MOZA Racing R12 gameplay

Responsiveness

So the first thing I noticed when jumping into a race session with the R12 was the extremely low latency. The force feedback felt incredibly responsive and direct.

The instant something happened on track, whether hitting a kerb, riding a bump or shifting the car’s weight balance, I felt it through the wheel.

This is possibly the fastest response time I’ve felt from any MOZA racing wheel so far, and I have to say I was impressed.

One of the key things that a racing wheel does is provide you with real-time feedback on what is happening in the sim. And the faster you feel that feedback, the quicker you can react.

This ultra-fast response lets you drive with confidence that you are feeling the car at that exact moment. You can then make precise inputs to continue to attack the track.

Another thing that I noticed, other than the response times and the impressive force feedback strength, is how smooth everything is. The force feedback has almost no granularity, allowing the steering wheel to glide throughout its rotation with ease.

Equally impressive is the feeling of weight transfer. The way the steering wheel pulls at you as you ride undulations and shift your car’s weight from side to side is really nice.

MOZA R12 Gameplay

Damping

One thing I wasn’t so keen on was the slightly sticky feeling that can sometimes plague some MOZA wheels. I mentioned it in my R9 review, and it is back again with the R12.

When I say sticky, I’m talking about the damping, and how it adds weight and resistance to your wheel. With the default and recommended MOZA settings, you’ll notice how the steering wheel feels slightly too slow or sticky when turning.

You can spend some time tuning this out using the wide range of settings in Pit House. But lowering and raising some of the settings a little further than I’d like to makes me feel like I may be missing some ultimate performance.

Where the R12 really shines

One area of the force feedback where the MOZA R12 excels is in its handling of vibrations and rumbles. Many sim racing wheels don’t handle vibrations such as ABS vibration or riding on kerbs overly well.

The MOZA R12 handles these situations extremely well. In Assetto Corsa Competizione for example, if you turn the steering wheel too much and start to understeer, the wheel base will start to rumble. And this rumble will be sent through your entire rig, in a good way.

You can feel this effect in your seat and pedals, almost as if you were running a Buttkicker setup. This happens as well when you ride over kerbs and any other time where you trigger the rumble.

This rumbling sensation isn’t present to this degree in any of MOZA’s other racing wheels and is a part of the force feedback handled incredibly well in the R12.

MOZA R12 Mounted to a sim rig

Force feedback strength

Now, I do want to touch on the strength of this wheel, because, really this is one of the key differentiators from the R9 wheel base. And it is great to report that at 12Nm of peak torque, this wheel base feels just right.

10-12Nm really is the Goldilocks zone when it comes to direct drive force feedback. When racing with the R9, I often fancy just a little extra oomph from my wheel.

The MOZA R9’s 9Nm feels great in longer races and will be spot-on for many sim racers. But it does sit just below my preference for force feedback strength. This R12 wheel base corrects that while simultaneously nailing the perfect amount of force feedback strength.

This is the main reason I honestly think that the MOZA R12 will surpass the R9 as the most popular MOZA wheel base in the coming weeks and months.


Pit House Software

I mentioned the Pit House software just now when talking about the damping of this wheel. This free software is available to use with all MOZA wheels and products.

It lets you really delve into and customise the performance and output of your MOZA wheel, and I highly suggest doing so. The R12 suffers a little bit with the default settings and requires a bit of tuning to get it really singing.

And those who like to tune their cars and sim racing products will be in heaven with Pit House. It features more settings that can be tweaked and adjusted than any other sim racing software I’ve used.

And that is both to its benefit and detriment. It allows those who love to tinker the freedom to really create the perfect force feedback configuration. But it can also be overwhelming to those who aren’t as keen. Even the basic settings include many different settings that can be configured.

Thankfully, you can import settings, so if messing around with wheel settings isn’t your thing, then you can always import some settings from your favourite content creator.

Here is a great guide for a full rundown on how to use Moza Pit House.


Compatibility

Compatibility with other MOZA products is good. You can use almost all MOZA Racing wheels with this base. The only wheels you cannot use are older wheels, including the RS, GS, KS and CS wheels. All other MOZA wheels, including the updated versions of those wheel rims, are supported.

Thanks to the MOZA quick-release adapter, you can also use steering wheel rims from different brands with this product.

MOZA R12 Connection ports

This adapter lets you attach any sim racing wheel rim by mounting the QR adapter. This lets you use your chosen steering wheel with the MOZA R12 wheel base. It is worth noting, however, that some of the wheel rim functionality may not fully function due to no data transfer from third-party wheel rims to the wheel base.

While we’re talking about products from other brands, its important to say that the MOZA R12 can be used with any pedal set, any shifter and handbrake from any sim racing brand. All of these peripherals can be connected directly to your PC, allowing you to add this wheel base seamlessly into your existing sim racing setup, as long as you are on PC.

If you are racing on console, however, unfortunately, MOZA still doesn’t support this. There is currently no Xbox or PS5 compatibility with the MOZA R12 or any other MOZA product, which we’re hoping will change.

The final improvement in compatibility that MOZA has made with the R12 wheel base is the additional ports on the rear of the base. Some previous MOZA wheels have lacked connections for the pedals or other peripherals.

On the R12 though you have connection ports for everything, you can connect all peripherals to this wheel base, and run a single USB cable to your PC.

There are five connections for peripherals, which include a port for your pedals, shifter, handbrake, dashboard and e-stop. This is a big improvement and one I’m glad has been implemented.


Should you buy the Moza R12?

Well, if you own either the MOZA R9 or the R16, then you can probably give the MOZA R12 a miss. It performs incredibly well within its performance range. However, it isn’t different enough from either the R9 or R16 to warrant an upgrade.

On the other hand, if you don’t currently own a MOZA racing wheel and you are looking at entering the MOZA ecosystem, I would almost always recommend the R12 wheel.

The MOZA ecosystem is quickly becoming one of the most impressive product ranges within sim racing with a wide number of steering wheels, wheel bases and other accessories already available.

And the MOZA R12 sits right in the sweet spot of direct drive force feedback. This product iterates on MOZA’s current formula, but will quickly become their best seller in the coming months, and for good reason.

Technical Specifications

  • PC Compatible
  • Diredt Drive Servo Motor
  • Aviation-grade Aluminum
  • 12Nm Maximum Torque
  • Intelligent Temperatue Control System
  • Ultra-low FFB Latency & Steering Response

Review written by Felix König

About Felix König

Felix König is a professional Esports sim racer from Seattle, WA, and is the founder and editor of Sim Race Reviews. In addition to over 10 years of professional sim racing and competing in both iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione competitions, Felix has been sharing his sim racing knowledge and expertise with other sim racers. His passion lies in sim racing, and in particular in the plethora of sim racing hardware from racing wheels to pedals and more.