REVIEW: Moza R12 base, steering wheel, pedals and handbrake combine for an amazing sim racing experience

    If you’re a gamer who is into the racing genre, then you likely start with a controller and quickly realise you’d love to have more control, more immersion, that feeling of tricking your brain into thinking you’re actually driving that car, on that road.

    To achieve this, your next step is to invest in a racing sim. There are loads on the market and the seat and mounting points will likely come from a different manufacturer than the wheel, pedals and accessories.

    One of my favourite sims is the GT Track by Next Level Racing and recently I bolted new components to it from Moza Racing.

    The setup now includes the new R12 Wheelbase with the ES Steering wheel and Moza SR-P pedals. Moza has plenty of accessories to further expand your racing setup and also provided the HBP Handbrake so I could try out some drifting fun.

    This week the planets aligned and one of my favourite new games, Japanese Drift Masters released an update to support the Moza hardware, which provided another title to really showcase the setup.

    Having used this setup for a couple of weeks now, it’s time to break it down in a full review.

    Design, Features and Performance

    There’s a lot to talk about in terms of design, so let’s step through each component of the setup, and then talk about how it all works together at the end.

    Moza R12 Wheelbase (link)
    The Moza R12 Wheelbase is substantial while being efficient in its size and having switched from the Logitech Pro wheelbase, the change was significant. The base itself features a matt-black aesthetic, with the Moza logo subtly adorning the sides of the base in a white font, straddling the passive cooling vents of the metal chassis.

    The front connection offers a connection to a variety of quick-release wheels, just make sure you point the arrow up before attempting to mount and your life will be made much easier. On the back of the base, you’ll find all the connectivity, power, pedals and ports for accessories and the USB data cable that runs to your PC.

    The base has a couple of different mounting options, the simplest is using a dual-clamp system which does a fantastic job of holding the base in place. I’ve given the wheel a thorough workout and haven’t seen it move once. The second option is to use mounting holes in the bottom of the base, to your racing sim, assuming your sim has the correct mounting locations.

    Once mounted, you’ll need to consider the angle of the base as this sets your wheel angle. For those using the clamps, you’ll have angled brackets that sit between the clamps and the wheelbase to provide the best angle, however, those who bolt it directly to a sim will need to rely on the sim having adjustments that allow you to set the angle as desired.

    Standalone ES Steering Wheel (link)

    From the moment you clip the MOZA ES wheel into place and put your hands on it, you feel comfortable as if you’re in a sporty GT car. The leather-wrapped wheel is a common finish and for good reason, but the angles of the grip at 3 and 9 o’clock positions, provide a comfortable, commanding position for ultimate control while driving.

    The wheel is a simple T-shape design, what’s included in the middle is anything but. There are no less than 22 programmable buttons on this wheel, making it incredibly adaptable to a wide variety of racing titles. I appreciate the reachability of these button placements, most accessible with your thumbs without removing your hands from the wheel.

    The wheel is 12″ in diameter and for someone with larger hands, these were easy to get to, even navigating menus with the Plus pad and ABXY were very friendly. The large Start and Radio buttons were great, as they took a lot less muscle memory, being larger they were easy to guess your way to their positions.

    Given the amount of customisation that can be done via the Moza Pit House software, I do question the merit of actually putting physical labels on these buttons as many owners will have these buttons mapped to other functions.

    The shift paddles on the rear of the wheel are great, they’re really accessible and being metal gives you a satisfying response when you pull another gear. I will say the noise that you get is pretty clicky, which is noticeably sharper in pitch than the Logitech Pro, but unless you have a direct comparison (most won’t) then you’ll likely be very happy with the feel here.

    The great thing about this setup is that you can switch to another wheel, like a Formula-style wheel in seconds, but pull forward on the quick release to remove the wheel and replace it with another. You will have to be pretty deep into the sim racing world by the time you’re prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on a wheel that often sits in the corner and waits patiently for its turn. For this reason, most will start with a wheel like the ES as you can race both GT and Formula-style racing, and if you really go chasing the most immersion, you would entertain buying a second. What isn’t present on this wheel is the clutch paddle, instead those who opt to do manual clutching would have to use the clutch pedal.

    Having raced a variety of racing types, from grip circuits with GT3 cars, to off-road racing in Raptors, rally in Evos and of course, drifting in R34s, I am happy to say the wheel works amazingly well for all types of racing. The software is really the magic here, offering different profiles for different race modes, which you guessed it, can be mapped to buttons on the wheel. There’s a crazy amount of control over the force feedback which lets you turn it way down, or even off for drifting, while racing F1 I preferred it right up.

    At its highest setting, the forces on the R12 are strong, like, giving your arms a workout strong. This base offers 12 Nm of force through the direct drive system, excluding the 11 Nm offered by Logitech Pro. If you can race at the max, you’re better than me, I tried and you will have sore arms for the next 3 days. My advice, find where your max limit is, then wind it back to 90%. What is crazy is that Moza actually offers an R21 DD wheelbase that features 21 Nm of peak torque, good luck holding on to that thing, having used the R12 that sounds like overkill and I’d definitely suggest you keep the ‘Hands-off Protection’ setting enabled.

    There’s also great control over the maximum wheel rotation. You can control this with a slider in the software, but more commonly you’ll use the presets 360, 540, 720, 900, 1080, 1440, 1800. When you are drifting or if you’re into truck simulation, you’ll want this in the 900+ range, which takes more rotations of the wheel to reach full lock but offers you more control over your steering angle. When it comes to racing F1, you want absolute precision, with minimal rotation and in that you may set your max steering angle as low as 360.

    Other settings in the software include Game Force Feedback Intensity, Maximum Hweel Speed, Wheel Spring strength and Wheel Damper. There’s even a dedicated slider for Road Sensitivity, all great controls that allow you to customise the feeling of the wheel while racing.

    Finally, the wheel offers shift lights, integrated into the top of the wheel and you guessed it, these too can be customised based on your preference. You can either have these represent the RPM of the engine or the shift lights as you reach the top range of the selected gear. Every driver is different and the amount of warning you want as you proceed through the green, into the orange and ultimately at red, can be set differently (Early, Normal, Late, Custom).

    SR-P Lite Pedals (link)
    The wheels are presented in a similar professional, serious, matte black paint scheme and unlike many other pedal sets, use the same pedal design for all 3 pedals. In a way, this makes sense as the size of your feet don’t change, however is a noticeable change from the Logitech Pro pedals. Both of Moza’s other pedal sets (SR-P and CRP) do feature a larger accelerator pedal, so its not clear why they decided the SR-P Lite would stray from that.

    The pedal positions are adjustable but the star of the show here is the brake pedal. I got the Performance Kit which offers a spring and damping block combination to provide a higher braking resistance giving it a more progressive and realistic pedal feel. When you need to stand on the pedal to arrest the speed of a car doing 300km/hr you can really plant your foot hard and this pedal will take it.

    When you’re racing without assists, modulating the brake pressure to avoid brake locking is one of the hardest things to get right and only with a great pedal feel can you nail it. I’m happy to say this brake pedal is really well done and having compared the before and after of the performance kit, it’s an easy $33 to spend.

    HBP Handbrake (link)
    This is the first time I’ve had the chance to use a dedicated Handbrake in sim racing. Generally, I’d made do with a button on the wheel, but this was a digital on-or-off experience, rather than the more realistic handbrake axis which is available here.

    The handbrake works much like a pedal in that you can input a little, or a lot, depending on your wants and needs. The handbrake design is fantastic, offering two mounting options, a horizontal mount, like it would be in a regular passenger car, or a vertical mount, as it would be in a professional drift car (I chose the latter).

    The handbrake is made of metal, dressed in a matching matte-black finish, with an extremely comfortable cylindrical handle. When you pull the handbrake it depresses a spring in the base, which transfers your force into digital measurements of force applied, which are then sent to your car in-game, but only after passing through a filter of your settings for the handbrake in the Pit House software.

    Make no mistake, this is one of my absolute favourite accessories now, using it while driving is incredibly intuitive. As you head into a sharp corner, just put some angle into the wheel to set the direction, pull back on the handbrake to lock the rear wheels and get the back of the car sliding out, while at the same time counter steering to catch the drift and accelerate out. While that sounds relatively easy as a concept, there’s no substitute for hours and hours of time in the seat, practising over and over and over again to get this right.

    I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to nail a series of corners, drifting through the corner sideways with loads of smoke pouring out of the rear tyres, this is what sim racing is all about, feeling as if you’re actually driving the car on screen. If you’ve played around with the idea of getting a handbrake, then stop, and just hit buy, this A$159 accessory is well worth the price of admission.

    Personally, I found myself being completely fine with the digital sifters on the rear of the wheel, in combination with the manual handbrake, but others may want to consider the Shifter accessory as well if you do a lot of manual racing. This is another A$239 and offers 7 gears plus reverse.

    You can buy the R12 and accessories from Moza directly at – or via resellers like PagnianImports –


    There’s really not a lot to complain about here, with these products coming together to create a great racing experience. The biggest issue I would call out would be the game support, and time required to inform each game of what your setup looks like.

    In the Moza Pit House software, you’ll see a list of games on the right of the Home screen and you’d think if a game was listed in the launcher, it’d kind of automatically work, wrong. To get this to work at all with something like Assetto Corsa, I had to download a config from the web, dive into the game files directory and install the config manually, that’s pretty clumsy and something I hope gets resolved.

    Other titles were not able to detect the wheel and pedals from the USB connection alone, instead, you needed to do the full wizard to calibrate, but thankfully this is a one-time deal (per game), unless you change your setup.

    The final call out is the sound of the paddle shifts, being clicky can be a problem if you have someone trying to sleep in the next room over.

    Price & Availability

    There’s so much to love about a dedicated sim racing setup, it dramatically upgrades your racing experience and yes, that does come at a cost, one that nobody other than you can place a value on. If you’re getting into racing for real, then investing in simulation work will help you on track and at that point money is likely not a problem.

    If you’re only in it for the fun as an enthusiast, then you should consider your budget and perhaps buy accessories over time, rather than all at once.

    Moza offers a range of bundles, which are typically the cheapest way to buy. Moza offer an R3 Racing Wheel and Pedals Bundle that is compatible with both Xbox and PC as a value price point. The R5 bundle steps up to a modest price point of A$829.00, or the R9 racing bundle starts at A$1,119.

    The Moza R12 is not currently offered in a bundle at this stage, so you would need to buy the components separately.

    The R12 wheelbase is currently priced at A$999, down from the normal A$1,059 price.

    Next, you’ll want to select a wheel and the ES Steering wheel is a great option, starting at A$239 or you could opt for the more expensive RS V2 Steering Wheel for A$759.

    When it comes to pedals, I was using the SR-P Lite pedals which come as part of the R3 or R5 bundle, along with an additional A$59 for the clutch pedal and a Performance brake kit for A$33.90. That HBP Handbrake costs A$159.00 which I highly recommend.

    While the collective price for all these pieces is significant, it is a really nice progression from those casual racers on something like the Logitech G920/923 that have confirmed they love sim racing and are ready to get a little more serious.

    Having a modular system has pros and cons, the biggest of which is the ability to select the setup that best matches your needs. Being modular also enables buyers to extend their investment over time, rather than all at once.


    The Moza R12 is a powerful direct-drive wheelbase that finds a great home between the entry-level and the flagship top end. For those racers who are looking to move up from the basics, perhaps from force feedback to direct drive for the first time, this would be a great choice.

    The wheel base features a great design, paired with a great software configuration that really puts you in the driver’s seat and offers a level of control over the driving experience that you could only dream of. By assembling the right set of accessories, you have the ability to create a racing setup to kick off your professional sim racing career.

    Once I got everything updated, configured and working, the products from Moza offered a seriously immersive, seriously enjoyable experience, with a special call-out for that amazing handbrake that fundamentally changed the drifting experience.

    I love the ability to jump between racing genres. I played everything from iRacing, to Forza Horizon 5, to Assetto Corsa, the new Japanese Drift Masters and WRC Generations, all of which offer something different.

    To wrap up, I love what’s on offer here, and while there are some improvements that could be made in the future, on balance, the R12 + accessories represent great value for money that left me with an incredible smile on my face after having hours and hours of fun.


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    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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    What Moza have put together here with the R12 is something sure to delight the enthusiast racer, semi professional and everything in between. REVIEW: Moza R12 base, steering wheel, pedals and handbrake combine for an amazing sim racing experience