MOZA R9 vs R12 Wheel Base: Which Direct Drive Wheel To Buy?
Here is our detailed head-to-head comparison of the MOZA Racing R9 vs R12 wheel bases. This guide finds out which MOZA direct drive racing wheel is better and if either are worth considering in 2023.
MOZA launched the R9 wheel base a little while ago now, and it has been the company’s best-selling wheel base. Being a small form-factor direct drive wheel base that is well-priced has helped this sim racing wheel stand out from the crowd.
Now, MOZA has released the MOZA R12 wheel base which serves as an upgrade over the older R9. But does it go far enough to replace the R9 wheel base as the best small direct drive wheel of 2023?
In this comparison guide I’m going to put both the R9 and the R12 head-to-head across a range of categories to see which wheel base you should consider buying.
Watch our MOZA R9 vs R12 comparison video
Below is a complete video comparison of both the MOZA Racing R9 and new R12 wheel bases. If you’d rather continue to read through our comparison, continue scrolling.
Quick overview of the MOZA R9 and R12
You’ll see from the comparison below that there isn’t too much difference in the appearance of both wheel bases. However, there is a difference in the price and the headline performance figure with the R12 pushing 12Nm of peak torque while the R9 is limited to 9Nm.
MOZA R9 Wheel Base
Racing Wheel – MOZA R9
Compatibility – PC
Price – £409/$439
Where to buy – Buy from MOZA
The R9 wheel base was released as an attempt to capture some of the sim racing market from the powerhouse Fanatec. Fanatec’s CSL DD and GT DD Pro revolutionised sim racing by lowering the cost of entry for higher-performing direct drive wheel bases.
MOZA created the R9 as an answer to both of these wheel bases in an attempt to improve on them with a slightly higher performance figure. Both of Fanatec’s wheel bases were limited to 8Nm of peak torque, even with the additional Boost kit that is available.
MOZA went one better than this with the R9 by ensuring it surpasses both the CSL DD and GT DD Pro in the performance category. The R9 is capable of a peak torque of up to 9Nm.
MOZA R12 Wheel Base
Racing Wheel – MOZA R12
Compatibility – PC
Price – €599/$559
Where to buy – Buy from MOZA
While the MOZA R9 performed incredibly well, and quickly became one of the most popular sim racing wheels. One of the main critisms that it faced, which was also directed at Fanatec’s smaller wheel bases was that 8 or 9Nm of peak torque was just under the ideal amount.
That was certainly my opinion as well, with my performance preference being that around 12-14Nm of peak torque is the ideal range. Enter the MOZA R12.
The R12 wheel base takes the R9 as a base, and increases the performance fairly significantly to 12Nm of peak torque, right in that sweet spot.
There are also other improvements to the R12 which include the incredibly immersive vibration and rumble effects that the motor can produce. It also expands the compatibility to include all of MOZA’s current lineup of products, other than some original wheels. The only wheels you cannot use are older wheels including the RS V1, GS V1, and CS V1 wheels. All other MOZA wheels are supported including the updated versions of those wheel rims.
Design of both MOZA wheel bases
You’ll see straight away that both wheels look pretty close to being identical. There are some small differences throughout such as the R12 logo on the R12 wheel base along with some others. But both wheel bases follow the exact same design philosophy.
The R12 is ever so slightly longer, but has a shorter and skinnier driveshaft. Ultimately, both wheel bases look almost the same, so this shouldn’t really be a differentiating factor when considering which of the two to buy.
- Winner: Draw
Performance comparison of the MOZA R9 vs R12
The performance of both wheel bases on the other hand is a much bigger topic and is the main point of difference between the MOZA R9 and R12.
As mentioned earlier, the R9 creates a peak torque of 9Nm, while the R12 increases this output to a peak of 12Nm. This means a 3Nm increase in performance or 33%.
A 33% increase in performance is pretty significant, and this improvement is immediately evident when comparing the wheels back to back.
While the MOZA R9 performs incredibly well, the R12 adds another dimension to the force feedback. The strength increase is immediately noticeable and is a welcome addition putting the R12 into the real sweet spot of force feedback performance.
But the standout feature is the way that the MOZA R12 handles vibrations and rumbles. When driving over a kerb or pushing the car beyond the limits of grip in the R9, you’ll notice a small vibration, but only very minor in comparison to the overall force feedback.
When you do either of these things with the MOZA R12, there is an extra layer of rumbling which is sent throughout your sim rig. You can really feel the rumbling in your arms through to your seat and your pedals, and it’s incredibly immersive.
The vibration isn’t a bad vibration that feels like it could shake your sim rig to pieces. Instead, it’s a subtle, low-frequency rumbling that almost feels like a Buttkicker is mounted to your sim rig.
The force feedback that the MOZA R12 produces is incredible, and really elevates the overall performance, making this an easy win for the R12 wheel base.
- Winner: MOZA R12
Compatibility of both wheel bases
The compatibility is another area where MOZA has made improvements with the R12 wheel base. Around a year or so ago, MOZA slightly tweaked their quick release technology.
The changes bought in an extra set of contact points on the quick release itself. These extra contact points allowed extra compatibility for the MOZA R5 wheel base.
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Since the launch of the R5, all steering wheels including the new KS steering wheel use these extra contact points. This means that some newer MOZA steering wheels won’t be compatible with the R9 wheel base.
The good news is that the MOZA R12 does include this update, meaning it is compatible with all current MOZA steering wheels other than original versions of the GS v1, CS v1 and RS v1.
It also has a few improvements at the rear of the wheel base. There are additional connection ports allowing you to connect peripherals such as your pedals, handbrake and shifter directly to the R12 wheel base. This tidies up the cables and reduces the amount of cables going into your PC.
The R12 is an easier winner of this category with better compatibility than the R9 throughout.
- Winner: MOZA R12
Which MOZA racing wheel is best? The R9 or R12?
So that leads me onto having to decide which wheel base is a better buy in 2023. As you’ve noticed at all points throughout this review, the newer MOZA R12 has beaten the R9 in every category.
The only real consideration that may prevent someone from choosing the R12 over the R9 is the price. The newer R12 costs approximately €100 or just under $100 more than the R9.
That isn’t a small amount of extra money to find, however, when you consider all of the improvements, I would certainly say its worth it. You get extra compatibility and future-proofing with the R12 and the performance increase is pretty staggering.
Overall, I’d have to recommend the MOZA R12 over the R9 in almost every scenario.
The only reason I would say to give this R12 a miss, is if you already own an R9. Unless you can sell your R9 for close to its full value, it probably isn’t worth re-buying another wheel base.
I can really see the R12 becoming the best-selling MOZA wheel base in the coming months and years. It really covers that sweet spot of force feedback that often gets missed by other sim racing brands, and it is still very affordable compared to its competition.
Where to buy MOZA Racing products
MOZA ship products globally from their own store front, making it the best place to find any MOZA product.
You can shop the whole MOZA product range using the links below;
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