Moza R16 Long Term Review
It seems a common trend now that some sim racing hardware companies already have a background in creating and delivering products in a different market. MOZA is the latest of this type of company to emerge, and with their unique looking wheelbases with bright playful colours, they hope to make a big impression. I’ve been sent this MOZA R16 base for review and today, having used it for several weeks now, I want to share my long term review with you. I’m Laurence, welcome to the channel!#
Product link (UK Affiliate link): https://abruzzi-official.co.uk/moza/?wpam_id=2
Product link (EU): https://www.simwear.eu/webshop/product/moza-sim-racing-wheel-r16
On the left you’ll see all the sections in this video. I’ve put timestamped links to each section in the description below. While you’re down there please hit the thumbs up button to help YouTube to suggest this video to others like you. 70% of the people who watch my videos are not subscribed. Please consider subscribing and hit the notification bell if you want to be notified about upcoming reviews.
Every company dreams of breaking into a new market with a bang, especially if you already have significant experience in creating tech products. However, despite being quite established in the camera gimbals industry, MOZA got off to a less than ideal start in sim racing it seems, with relatively primitive software and firmware options. However, I’m delighted that this is a long term review. MOZA has been working incredible hard to listen to the feedback of people like me and where they have gotten this product to is pretty incredible, even within my limited few months of ownership.
For context, this isn’t an off the shelf or third party motor either. MOZA makes these motors and they actually also make automotive parts. There’s a lot more to MOZA than just camera gimbals it seems.
- First Impressions
I had asked them for the black version as it looked decent in the photos. However at the time, the R16 was only available in orange so that’s what I got. Despite looking better than it does on the photos, the shape of this wheelbase confused me somewhat. Mounting it was a bit of a chore, which i’ll get into in a moment, but also the design with its fake cooling inlets just didn’t really do it for me. It still doesn’t, to be honest. But looks aren’t really this product’s party piece. This looks more like a belt driven wheelbase than a DD unit. MOZA has sent me this unit for review, free of charge.
My first impressions were decent. The hardware is good quality and the very impressive looking software made for a satisfying product with great potential. I began to write my script but I kept having to update the force feedback section because the automatic software updates came thick and fast, with excellent changelogs. I’m really glad I didn’t release this review sooner…
The prices for these units and bundles vary a lot so it’s worth shopping around. If you’re in the UK I recommend checking out Abruzzi who have this bundle for £1239. In the EU I recommend Simwear.eu who have this package at an incredible €1259 right now. I have included links to both in the description below.
There’s also a mounting bracket available at an extra cost which is ideal if mounting directly to aluminium profile but if you’re going to need to drill anyways like I did, you probably wont end up using it. I’d love to see a simple drilling template sticker with the square mounting pattern included with this product to make life easier for those who need to drill into their mounting plates.
For an extra €200 you can get this beautiful looking DDU display. I was also sent one of these but on this occasion, I have chosen NOT to review it as it did not live up to the expectations that it needs to. It didn’t fit correctly and had relatively limited sim title support, along with a relatively limited set of dashes, despite being beautiful and vibrant. I hope that they improve this unit accordingly but for now, I simply cannot recommend it.
- Installation – Hardware
I like having lots of mounting options. Generally, it means that more people will buy your products because installation will be a breeze. With that in mind, I was very disappointed that the Moza R16 wheelbase only caters for base mounting. So despite using a relatively widely adopted Fanatec mounting pattern (same as the Simagic products), there’s no option to front or side mount this wheelbase. And the lack of options to mount seems to be born out of the fact that they chose to make this DD servo motor wheelbase look more like a belt driven wheelbase than a servo motor wheelbase.
Anyways, they did provide me with a mounting bracket which is extra as mentioned. This mounting bracket is a base mount adapter and is probably only useful to mount to a piece of aluminium profile. I try to avoid mounting brackets underneath my wheelbases as it tends to mean that whatever the wheelbase mounts to ends up closer to my legs.
I chose to drill holes in my sim-lab base mount, which surprisingly didn’t cater for this mounting pattern. Once installed, I didn’t have any issues but I never did warm to the styling which features a hump on the top which makes it a little difficult to slide under monitors for that perfect FOV. One other thing to note also is that the MOZA R16 does not feature a perfectly horizontal incline. It’s actually inclined about 5 degrees which is nice for people who don’t have an adjustable wheelbase mount.
- Installation – Software
I had a rocky start from a software point of view. I had conflicts with audio drivers but MOZA soon fixed those with impressive efficiency. It really began to become apparent that MOZA listens to the users and has an active dedicated team to implement improvements. Every software changelog is packed with enhancements and fixes.
MOZA aims to have an incredible amount of customizability in their software, which is great news for most people but can overwhelm others. They do offer settings presets which are decent out of the box. One funky and innovative feature is this graph which allows you to raise or lower forces in certain ranges. It looks like an equalizer and it effectively is. If you’re not feeling enough kerb feedback, you can increase it here without needing to know too much about the underlying details. This works quite well although I must say that these days in most sims, I leave this graph relatively flat because the 16Nm motor is very capable of giving clear and precise feedback through my hands.
You can also customise the LED rev meter on the wheelbase too which is nice. For this to function, you need to have the MOZA software open. The rest of the wheel’s functionality all works fine without the software running.In the software it detects the sims that you have installed and you can launch them with one click. This is especially handy for some titles like Dirt Rally 2 which will not work until you have launched it from within the MOZA software. It does a one time configuration behind the scenes to make life a lot easier for you. This again, it a really nice touch.
- Quick release
This is yet another NRG style quick release. Thankfully, MOZA have chosen not to customise this QR like some other brands have done. This means that we can use cheap aftermarket options as well as using D1 spec, Simagic or even NRG quick releases. This is by far the easiest and best quick release system on the market and although not exclusive to MOZA, it really adds a lot to the product especially if you swap wheel rims occasionally. I’m not sold on the gold look here, but it’s also not that in your face. It’s not bad and I appreciate that MOZA is trying to differentiate from the competitors, but it does seem that deviating from the current trend of simple black sim racing gear can do more harm than good when it comes to how people judge your products aesthetically.
- Wheel rim
The MOZA RS Round rim is really good. It does feature a relatively generic steering wheel rim but the button box is where the magic is. You get 2 directional hats although they are each only 5-way hats. There is no rotary functionality on them which for me, isn’t a big issue. It’s worth noting that these multi-directional sticks don’t have a click when you move them. They move freely which can be a little bit difficult to get used to, especially when wearing gloves. Occasionally while pressing one of the buttons near them, I accidentally also touched these sticks. They do click down nicely and all in all, they’re really good for sim racing and the functionality they provide sets them apart from some of their closest competitors
The buttons feel nice and accurate to press although they do look just a little bit cheap in my opinion. Some people will love the multicolour look but I prefer my hardware to look simple and elegant. During spirited driving, I actually had one of these caps come off completely and I couldn’t put it back on easily. Eventually i stuck some blu-tac in behind it and it has stayed there ever since. MOZA say that they have improved on this button quality since my unit was issued to me. There are 10 buttons on this wheel rim which is more than you could possibly need. They’ve really done a good job here.
The rotaries are fantastic. They’re so easy to grab and have a crisp detent that really made them easy to use and trust. They offer click down functionality too which is very handy and easy to use without rotating them. These rotary switches are excellent.
The LED rev gauge gives a nightrider like pulse on startup and offers great customisability to get it to behave exactly how you prefer. It’s also a handy indicator to show that the base is on, and there’s a power switch on the rear to make life nice and easy.
the crushed carbon fiber is glorious, but the yellow striping and busy colours takes away from it a little bit in my opinion. There’s more crushed carbon fiber on the shifter and clutch paddles. They look incredible and the little slot in them allows your finger tips to dig in and get the perfect grip for a timely gear change or launch. The travel on the shifters is very clear and feels like it is finely tuned. The clutch paddles offer a great stiffness and smoothness for those excellent launches at standing starts. Bravo MOZA, you are on to a winner here.
Not because of all the great things I just mentioned, but because you have catered for absolutely everyone by including a functioning and realistic horn button.
- Wireless system
The MOZA wireless wheel rim system is excellent. It just works. there’s no setup, no pairing, nothing. You could be fooled into thinking that the power pins in the quick release also handle communications. The wireless protocol is so good in fact that it allows you FAR more functionality than even the leading wireless sim racing system; the Simucube SC2 wireless protocol. Where Simucube allows for up to 28 binary inputs, MOZA allows a whopping 31 inputs including the 2 excellent analog clutch paddles which I mentioned earlier.
The only thing that could make this system better is wider compatibility with third party products or even better, a standalone bluetooth module and battery pack. I can see why companies don’t do that, but in my opinion, trying to lock people into a single brand ecosystem is a thing of the past.
- Force Feedback
The force feedback from this MOZA R16 has evolved a LOT over time. It was never really bad, but there was clear room for improvement. I’m delighted to say that it’s now really good. It’s accurate and nice to use. I do think that at times it has slightly less definition that some of its competitors but this is a software settings issue or a firmware issue which I’m sure will be improved upon in the future. Everything that I need and expect from good force feedback is there and most of the time it was impossible to tell this force feedback apart from its competitors. At 16NM of torque, there’s plenty of power available to give you a high end sim racing experience that you’ll probably never need to upgrade.
iRacing force feedback was excellent. ACC was also very very good. When I tried drifting in Assetto Corsa, I was very disappointed. However, at the time i was using a beta version of the software which didn’t allow you to change the ‘hands off protection’ feature. Hands off protection is basically a feature that kills your wheelbase’s rotation completely once your hands are off the wheel rim. This is ideal for hard crashes or spins. However, for drifting, it’s not ideal, so I leave it off all the time. At times during use the wheelbase got warm. It makes me wonder whether the design of the housing is a help, or a hinderance?
- Final Thought
As I said, the MOZA ecosystem got off to a rocky start. But is it not by our success that we should be judged, it is by our ability to recover from our failures. And MOZA has recovered in style. Yes, the styling isn’t for me, but this product is about FAR more than just style. The substance is there, the quality is there and most importantly, the MOZA team listens, innovates and communicates well. If not directly, then to their resellers. I speak with resellers frequently and they love working with MOZA. That says a lot about their goals and investment in the community.
I’m happy to recommend this wheelbase and steering wheel to anyone who is in a position to upgrade. I’d go for the black R16. The round rim gives you everything you need for any type of sim racing, but I’m very drawn to their GS formula style rim which I simply cannot wait to get my hands on. They also offer a 21Nm version of this wheelbase which I imagine would definitely address the extremely minor shortcomings of this wheelbase. Their trio is rounded off with the R9 which also looks to be a great piece of kit. Furthermore, they’re constantly releasing more and more new products which shows that they can produce quality at scale.
Again, I’m glad I waited to review this product as it has become what we all hoped it would be. It’s not perfect, but it’s really good. The future is bright for MOZA in sim racing. What was initially ‘just another company cashing in on sim racing’ is now a brand that people are genuinely excited about. I stream every Tuesday and Thursday and I’m always using the hardware I’m reviewing whilst on stream. I’m Laurence, thank you so much for watching, I’ll chat to ye later.