- Good value for money
- Excellent manufacturing quality
- Easy, stable assembly
- Maximum torque 9 nm
- Immersive force feedback
- Rather limited compatibility: only with PCs
Our rating : 9.7/10
Sim-racing peripherals have come a long way in recent years, especially since the democratization of the Direct Drive not too expensive. In the past, you had to pay a considerable sum of money for such a base. But today, you can get one of the best on the market for less than €400.
The democratization of such products also means the emergence of new competitors who want a share of the sim-racing market. In less than 10 years, we have seen the birth of brands such as Simagic, Sim-Lab or even Moza Racinghave come to compete with major sim-racing players such as Fanatec, Thrustmaster or Simucube. Well, for Simucube this is not really the case, as the company remains one of the best in the world, if not the best, in terms of innovation, technology and know-how.
Speaking of Moza Racingthe Chinese manufacturer offers a rather comprehensive range of sim-racing peripherals and is targeting one competitor in particular: Fanatec. Today, we’re going to take a look at one of its mid-range bases, the R9.
Main and technical characteristics of the base
- Direct Drive base with maximum torque of 9 nm
- Aluminum construction
- Compatible only with PCs
- Unlimited maximum steering angle
- Compact size: 240 x 157 x 124 mm
- Weight: 6.8 kg
So, the R9 takes its design cues from Moza Racing’s other lower-end base, the R5. It’s pretty compact, aluminum and all black, with a few white logos here and there. Frankly, it’s a success as far as I’m concerned, and that’s only to be expected given that Moza Racing drew a great deal of its inspiration from Fanatec for its bases(CSL DD). This point doesn’t bother me at all, because if you copy the work of the best, it’s because you want to be like them, if not better.
The drive shaft is in black, with a larger diameter than the competition, and an in-house QR performs very well in the process. Overall, I really like the design of the R9 and will blend perfectly with any setup.
Assembly of the R9 is fastened from below using 4 screw slots. If you have a cockpit, you’ll need to mount this base directly on its bracket to get the most out of it. For those without cockpits, the R9 can be mounted on a table or desk using a base that screws into the underside of the base and a clamp bracket.
Assembly of the R9 is very easy to build, whether you do it on a chassis or on a table, and it won’t move a muscle, especially if you opt for a cockpit. For tables/desks, you’ll only need sturdy furniture that can withstand the torque of the base, but also the weight of the device, since it weighs in at 6.8 kg, without accessories.
Manufacturing and finishing
For manufacturing and finishing, Moza Racing didn’t do things by halves, and brought us a base using an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. As far as I’m concerned, it’s simply superb, very well constructed.
The finish is meticulous, with all parts fitting together to the millimetre. I didn’t notice any burrs or manufacturing defects on the entire outer shell. It’s perfect, that’s the word, which is impressive coming from a company with only a few years’ experience in the game.
What’s more, the R9 uses a passive cooling system, transforming the entire housing into a kind of large-scale radiator. There’s no fan inside, which eliminates an extra moving part, and therefore reduces the likelihood of breakdowns. Clever design.
Getting to know the base
The first thing you’ll feel when you pick up the R9 is its weight: the beast weighs almost 7 kg on the scales! This puts it virtually in the same class as a CSL DD with power supply unit from Fanatec.
Honestly, you’re not going to manipulate a base that much, because you’re going to take it out of the box, put it on your setup and that’s it. But the operation is more or less easy to do, and you just have to pay attention to the dimensions of the R9because it is quite small.
On the other hand, what I find excellent compared to Fanatec is the connection between the steering wheel and the base. On the German manufacturer’s products, at least those competing with the R9, you have a physical connection, with pins. And these are easily damaged if you’re not careful.
With the R9Everything is done wirelessly, offering peace of mind and a product that’s very convenient to use on a daily basis. So you take your Moza steering wheel and put it directly on the drive shaft without thinking too much, and I love that.
Sensations during play
It’s time to get down to basics: what does the R9 as sensations? The simple answer to this question is: the R9 provides excellent gaming sensations, no matter what title you’re playing.
As for the force feedback, it’s extremely well balanced, even when you turn down the engine (9 nm max torque). Typically, as soon as you start fiddling with the maximum power settings, you can clearly see the weaknesses of the engines. But with the R9that’s not the case at all. You’ll get the same sensations, but diluted, less intense, less aggressive.
Even though the base is relatively small, the power is there. At peak torque, you’ll feel virtually everything your simu’s car does, from loss of grip to lane changes, vibrators and collisions. I say almost everything, because there are a few blurbs here and there in the sensations conveyed by this base. It’s powerful, yes, but not as thin as an 8nm CSL DD, and that’s perfectly normal. Fanatec has many years’ experience in the game (over 20 years), while Moza Racing has only been around for a few years, and their teams still have some way to go to fully compete with the big names in sim-racing.
In my opinion, the basics are there with an excellent engine that drives from R9All that’s left is to fine-tune the software to make the whole thing perfect. In addition, you have Moza Racing’s in-house software (Pit House), which allows you to make several settings on this base.
As with virtually everything else in the segment, the R9 is only compatible with the Chinese manufacturer’s products. In other words, if you’re planning to delve into the world of Moza Racing, you’ll need to acquire all the brand’s sim-racing products, especially the bases and steering wheels. For the record, this is what Fanatec, Logitech, Thrustmaster, Simucube and virtually all the others do.
In terms of platforms, the R9like the entire Moza Racing range, is PC-compatible only. It’s a real shame, especially as the brand’s main competitor (Fanatec) offers products that work on all platforms (PC and consoles).
Value for money
Priced at €480, the Moza R9 offers excellent value for money for such a product. The big plus of this basic model is its 9 nm torque, which is not found in the main competitors at the same price level.
The build quality is excellent, performance is well up to scratch (apart from a few problems with driving details) and the price is rather attractive, especially when you consider that a CSL DD 8 nm, which is frankly the R9’s main competitor, costs close to €500 in normal conditions, and €450 on special offer.
Honestly, I really enjoyed my time on the Moza R9Whether in terms of driving feel, force feedback or the sensations provided by my sim-racing sessions. Would I recommend this base? Absolutely, especially if you’re a PC-only sim-racer and aren’t afraid to venture into a new ecosystem, because let’s face it: Moza Racing has only a few years’ experience in the game. If you’re a console user, I’d advise you to wait a little, as Moza plans to offer compatible products for Playstation and Xbox.