- Streamlined design
- High-quality construction
- Stronger force feedback than the competition
- Quiet during use
- Great quick release system
- Extremely well priced
- Third-party power supply
- Not enough connections for peripherals
What is the Moza Racing R9 Wheel Base?
Moza Racing have started 2022 incredibly strong, with the release of the R9 wheel base and the fantastic GS steering wheel. If you haven’t seen the Moza GS steering wheel, you should check out our Moza GS review. Spoiler alert, it’s incredibly cool!
The R9 wheel base was released at the same time as the GS steering wheel and looks to be designed to compete for the best mid-range wheel base available. It features direct drive technology to produce strong and vivid force feedback from its small form factor.
Who are Moza Racing?
Moza Racing are relatively new to the world of sim racing. Having previously produced camera and stabilisation equipment for years, they entered the world of sim racing in 2021. Since then they have released a selection of sim racing products including wheel bases, steering wheels and pedals.
The products they have released have so far been met with relative praise, as they look to challenge the big names within sim racing. We have been testing the Moza R9 wheel base along with the GS steering wheel and our initial impression is very positive.
Moza Racing seem to be building a nice ecosystem of products that over time will continue to grow. On top of that, their support infrastructure is good, replying promptly to any questions. This is always a good sign for a company as you can rest assured that people are on hand if something did go wrong.
The Design of the Moza R9
Jumping straight into the design of the R9. This is a wheel base that takes a small form, allowing it to sit alongside your sim rig and blend incredibly well. After all, you don’t necessarily want to be looking at your wheel base protruding over the top of your steering wheel. Instead, you want to be looking at your screen and your wheel.
The slimline nature of the R9 allows it to tuck nicely behind your steering wheel, and there are no lights on the front of the wheel base to distract you. Well, technically there is a small blue light showing you whether it is turned on or off. But this can be disabled using Moza’s Pit House software.
When you first look at the Moza R9, you may notice a distinct similarity to another popular sim racing wheel base. I think Moza Racing has deliberately targeted the success of the Fanatec CSL DD and GT DD Pro. And they have noticed that there isn’t much competition within the low-cost direct drive wheel base market.
Moza Racing has seen how well received the CSL DD and GT DD Pro wheel bases were received, and how well they’ve sold. And they have produced the R9 wheel base with a goal of replicating that successful formula.
I think Moza knew that being a new company, they wouldn’t have the same user base as Fanatec potentially has. So they designed the R9 to beat the CSL DD and GT DD Pro in almost every way. And on paper it does. The R9 offers stronger force feedback of 9Nm compared to the 8Nm from the Fanatec wheel bases. It is smaller in size, and cheaper to buy. It really is game on between these two brands.
Getting back to the exterior design, Moza Racing has taken a slightly different approach to Fanatec with the aesthetics of the R9.
The CSL DD and GT DD Pro look incredibly aggressive with their fins and edgy design. This does allow the Fanatec wheel bases to fit in nicely with the racing theme. But both wheel bases are very square and boxy. This means they can look a little out of place when mounted to a sim rig. From some angles, the two Fanatec wheel bases seem a little stumpy and awkward.
Moza Racing has combated this by producing a wheel base that takes on a more streamlined and sleek aesthetic. The R9 is a fair bit shorter than the CSL DD, allowing it to look a little squatter.
When mounted to a sim rig, the Moza R9 doesn’t protrude up in the same way the Fanatec wheel bases do. Instead, the shorter height lets it blend into the sim rig, and look more purposeful.
Another aspect that helps the R9 fit better with a sim rig is the curves that are present across the wheel base. On both the left and right sides of the Moza R9 wheel base are two inward curves that make the exterior design look slimmer. These work well to bring the impression of size down despite the corners protruding out a little.
Moving seamlessly from the design to the build quality of the Moza R9, the outer shell is constructed from aluminium. This gives the whole wheel base a premium feel to it, despite its relatively low price.
On each side, you have the Moza Racing logo displayed across a selection of ribbed sections, presumably designed to allow heat to dissipate from inside the wheel base. The paint finish on these logos is good but almost a little unnecessary. The bright white logo appears on the front and on both sides, which is a little much. Sometimes less is more.
Around the back, you have a lovely glossy embossed logo. I would have preferred to see this more subtle gloss embossed logo used on the side instead of the bright white logo. That would have added even more to the premium look and feel as the gloss embossed logo is gorgeous!
Also on the back are all of the connection ports and the on / off button. The power button is certainly an upgrade over the horrible plastic power button found on the Fanatec CSL DD, but it does have a little wobble to it. It works fine but feels a little loose.
There aren’t many connection ports on the reverse of the Moza R9 either. You have your normal power supply port and USB that links to your PC. On top of that, you have a couple of ports for accessories such as the optional display that can be attached on top of the wheel base.
But there aren’t ports for pedals, shifters or a handbrake to connect to. This means that you have to run multiple USBs from your pedals and other peripherals to your PC or make use of a USB hub. This isn’t ideal and creates a less tidy solution compared to other wheel bases. Although it can all be easily remedied by using a USB hub net to your sim rig.
One part of the Moza R9 that I don’t like very much is the power supply that is supplied. This doesn’t have Moza branding on it anywhere and looks to almost certainly be a third party unit. It is understandable that Moza wants to save some money by using a cheaper third party power supply. However, it does take away from the premium nature that the rest of the R9 has worked hard to portray.
The quick release and motor shaft are another story. Simply put, it’s fantastic. The motor shaft that protrudes from the wheel base is constructed from aluminium much like the rest of the wheel base. And it features a selection of metal connections at the front. Unlike some other wheel bases, there are no physical connectors that can be bent. Instead, the whole motor shaft is a sealed unit, allowing for easy maintenance.
One area where the Moza R9 wheel base really wins out over the competition is in its price. The R9 is incredibly competitively priced. While technically, the entry-level Fanatec CSL DD is cheaper, that version (without the Boost Kit) only produces 5Nmn of torque, meaning it isn’t a true competitor to the R9.
When you introduce the Boost Kit to the CSL DD, bringing it up to 8Nm of torque, it is more expensive than the Moza R9. Below are the price comparisons of all of these small direct drive wheel bases.
- Moza R9 (9Nm) – £399/$439
- Fanatec CSL DD (5Nm) – €349/$349
- Fanatec CSL DD (8Nm) – €499/$499
- Fanatec GT DD Pro (8Nm) – €599/$599
You can see, with the Moza Racing R9 priced at £399/$439, it is considerably cheaper than the Fanatec alternatives. The 8Nm CSL DD comes in at £100/$60 more expensive, while the GT DD Pro comes in at a whopping £200/$160 more expensive.
All of these wheel bases are comparable in performance, so the price discrepancy has to come down to the perceived value of each company’s ecosystem. Fanatec has a huge ecosystem of products including steering wheels, sim rigs and peripherals. While Moza Racing is still developing its ecosystem.
Moza R9 Performance
Performance is what really makes or breaks a wheel base. It is the main reason we opt for specific wheel bases, and one of the main reasons Moza Racing has pushed so hard to get direct drive technology in a wheel base of this size.
The motor is capable of producing up to 9Nm of torque, which beats out its nearest competition. And all of that power is sent directly through the motor shaft and into your steering wheel.
When you first power up the Moza R9 and jump into a race session, you will be incredibly impressed with the overall power and detail that this direct drive wheel base is capable of. The first thing I did was turn the power output down to around 70% to test how well the strength translates at different outputs.
I’ve found that in other wheel bases, turning down the maximum strength can highlight some weaknesses across the range of force feedback. Some wheel bases start to lose certain key details when strength is reduced. But I’m happy to report that the Moza R9 didn’t lose anything at lower strengths.
Running a long practice session around Spa in Assetto Corsa Competizione is always my first testing ground for a new wheel base, as that track results in a lot of varied forces. I did this at 70% strength to start with and I was incredibly surprised at just how strong the Moza R9 felt, even when detuned to 70% strength output.
You could feel the bumps around the track incredibly well, as well as getting a good feeling for when the car’s weight and balance shift through corners such as Raidillon.
My initial praise for the Moza R9 at 70% power was only increased when I turned the wheel base up to full power. When operating up to the full 9Nm of torque, the Moza R9 is a monster, especially given its size!
The force strength is impressive, making you really have to fight the car through some corners. The strength is especially noticeable when you’re turning at high speed into corners such as Pouhon. You have to be prepared to wrestle your steering wheel and at some points lean into the turn, just like a real racing driver would.
When I compared the maximum strength output to that produced from the Fanatec wheelbase, the Moza R9 does outperform them in terms of overall strength. The difference between 8Nm and 9Nm is certainly noticeable.
If you have one of the Fanatec direct drive wheel bases already, the jump in power isn’t significant enough for you to switch I would say. But if you don’t have either, and want to maximise the strength of your wheel base, Moza does win out.
When it comes to force feedback detail, the story is a little different. While the detail found in Moza’s force feedback is very good as mentioned above, Fanatec has worked some magic to make its wheel base dance just that little bit more.
I did find a touch more clarity and definition in the force feedback from the Fanatec wheel bases when compared directly to the Moza R9. But only a little.
Pit House Software
The Pit House software is Moza’s in-house tuning software allowing you to adjust the performance of all Moza Racing products. This is the heart of your Moza Racing sim racing setup, where you can select different options, calibrate your products, set your steering lock and adjust your force feedback.
The UI of Moza Pit House is extremely good, allowing you to easily change settings without being too overwhelming.
For the wheel base you can adjust a range of settings including the strength of your force feedback, wheel dampening, self-centering strength and more. But the real party trick of Moza Pit House is the FFB Effect Equaliser.
The Equaliser allows you to adjust your force feedback strength across a wide range of individual frequencies. This lets you tune in or out specific areas of your force feedback. By increasing certain frequencies you can give more power to certain parts of your force feedback such as road effects, kerb effects, body bumps and more.
Currently, compatibility isn’t a massive strong suite for Moza Racing. All of their products, including the R9 wheel base are only compatible with PC. There is currently no console compatibility with either Xbox or PlayStation.
I have spoken to Moza Racing who have said they are looking at bringing console compatibility to the Moza Racing range. However, this may come in the form of new console-specific products down the line rather than a software update to make their existing products console compatible.
Their steering wheel and wheel bases are also only compatible with each other. While you can use third-party peripherals such as pedals and shifters with Moza racing wheels, as they connect directly to your PC. You can’t currently connect third party wheels to Moza wheel bases, or a Moza steering wheel to a third party wheel base.
This means that for now, you are locked into using only Moza steering wheels with the R9 wheel base. This isn’t a terrible thing, as the Moza GS steering wheel is incredibly good.
There are also a couple of alternative steering wheels for you to choose from, but the GS steering wheel really steals the show in their product lineup.
Should you buy the Moza R9?
Simply put, the Moza R9 wheel base is fantastic. It is certainly good to see more sim racing products coming to the market, especially when they’re of this quality.
While compatibility is currently a slight issue with Moza Racing products, if you’re a PC sim racer looking for a good wheel base and steering wheel combo, the R9 and GS steering wheel combo might be just what you’re looking for!