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Moza R5 Review: Build a Sim Racing Setup on a Budget

Moza R5 desk mounted direct drive wheelbase

The Moza R5 bundle stands as, in our opinion, an excellent “first timer’s” entry point into sim racing. With a price of around USD $499.00 excluding VAT, this package, the “R5 Bundle” is a 5.5Nm Direct Drive wheelbase, a steering wheel and pedals combo.

The R5 positions itself as a budget offering in a market that often demands premium prices for top-tier experience or brand association. While it may not be completely flawless, the experience, especially considering its price point, makes it a valid option for those new to sim racing who want to “dip a toe in” before upgrading to a complete sim racing cockpit. So with that in mind, I decided that I’d set the R5 as a desktop project, and build a desktop simulator.


mounted Moza R5 direct drive wheelbase to desktop
Mounted: Moza R5 direct drive wheelbase to desktop

The Moza R5 Bundle – what do you get?

Moza kindly supplied me with the R5 bundle, an SR-P Lite Clutch Pedal and the Performance Kit for the SR-P brake pedal. These arrived in a few separate boxes, in about a week directly from China. Moza has EU and US distributors too (Advanced Sim Racing in North America and G-Performance in the EU are our partners).

Moza R5 wheelside QR hub
Moza R5 wheel side QR hub

From the wheelbase, ES Steering Wheel, and SR-P Lite Pedals to the accompanying power supply, USB cable, RJ12 pedal cable and a myriad of essential screws and tools, it’s really easy just to get going, particularly if you have a decent desktop PC with a gaming GPU installed. I didn’t feel the need to read the assembly instructions until I wanted to know how to align the ES wheel with the hub to get it to lock. Otherwise, the whole setup process is incredibly self-explanatory.

My desktop sim racing setup
My desktop sim racing setup


The Technical Stuff

When you open the box, you find the R5 wheelbase which, is absolutely tiny, far smaller than I expected it to be! It’s manufactured in aluminium alloy and feels solid in the hand. It’s a tidy little unit, with the pedals, power and USB port sockets all located at the rear of the R5.

closeup of the Moza R5 casing
Closeup of the Moza R5 casing

The R5 uses a servo motor-based Direct Drive system that delivers a maximum torque of 5.5Nm. The encoder resolution, which impacts the precision and feedback of the motor, is 15-bit. It also supports “infinite rotation”, indicating a continuous rotation capability without any stops. So, it’s a strong all-rounder for the money; and the appeal clearly isn’t just for track racing – you could run a drift simulator with this DD wheelbase and in my opinion, be really happy with it.

Accessories

The table clamp is excellent – the R5 isn’t moving unless you say so! With a bit of loosening, the table clamp can be moved out of the way for when the inevitable “serious work” lands on your desk.

R5 underside and (angled) table clamp
R5 underside and (angled) table clamp

The clamp has a thin foam coating on the contact area with your desk, so it can’t create any visible damage. It’s a nice touch and helps to maintain plenty of grip.

Moza ES steering wheel
Moza ES steering wheel

The ES Steering Wheel rim, covered in artificial microfibre leather, gives a quality, grippy feel. The wheel has 22 momentary function keys which, while not being exactly the pinnacle of high-end steering wheels, do work well enough. Note the console-style up/down/left/right joystick on the left-hand side of the wheel.

I miss a bi-directional encoder, but this is a very low-budget device – and, for the money, the wheel definitely does the job, with each button assignable for say, the black box in iRacing.

Moza ES steering wheel showing QR hub
Moza ES steering wheel showing QR hub

The R5 bundle is supplied with the dual (brake and throttle) SR-P Lite pedals from MOZA’s R5 bundle. At a glance, these pedals are clearly an introductory offering, but they work well enough once you get used to the brake.

SR-P lite pedals with Clutch and Brake performance kit add-ons
SR-P lite pedals with Clutch and Brake performance kit add-ons

Moza elected to use Hall sensors on both the brake and accelerator (and the add-on clutch). While this setup is undeniably smooth and accurate on the throttle, I had to spend a moment getting used to consistent load application on the brake pedal.

SR-P pedals (rear)
SR-P pedals (rear)

I’ve always been partial to the pressure-dependent measurements you get with traditional loadcell sim racing pedals and the high-end hydraulic pedals (my high-end preference being the SimTrecs ProPedal GT).

They tend to give that tactile, real-world feedback that can make using your muscle memory learn that much faster. Adding the performance kit to the brake helped establish a reasonable sense of brake pressure and, several front wheel locks later I’d come to terms with these pedals.

The trick is to re-learn your braking and adapt if you’re an experienced racer. As a new racer, I think you’ll naturally not use huge braking loads – a light touch is the trick to getting the most out of the brake pedal. A smooth application of light force while really thinking about the tyre noise in the simulator seems to be how to get the best performance from the pedal. I think the modding scene will be rife with Moza pedal mods over the next few months to help improve this pedal set. in the meantime, Moza’s own brake performance kit is easy to install (see steps below) and helps to make a positive difference to the “feel” of the pedal:

Brake performance kit prepped and ready to install
The brake performance kit is prepped and ready to install

Adding the brake performance kit is very simple – the only initial challenge I found is that opening the box and releasing the sprung component from its packaging separated the individual components out. I referred to a picture to reconstruct it in the right order – as you can see in the photo above it’s an elastomer stack, plastic bush and spring arrangement.

Brake performance kit placement
Brake performance kit placement

The performance kit sits neatly in the pedal base via two shoulders (see image above). Being sure that you’ve added the two nylon spacers at the top, you insert a threaded collar through the pedal arm to secure the other end of the performance kit:

Inserting the threaded collar through the pedal arm to secure the performance kit
Inserting the threaded collar through the pedal arm to secure the performance kit

Once the performance kit is held in place by the collar, you just use two small screws to fix the kit in place:

completed brake performance kit installation
Completed brake performance kit installation

Once you’ve got the performance kit added, replacing the pedal is very easy and mounted to its base via four screws. If you’ve got the clutch kit, the pedals are arranged very evenly and are easy to connect to each other:

Adjusting Moza pedal separation on pedal base
Adjusting Moza pedal separation on the pedal base

Where the SR-P Lite pedals shine is in their usability, especially when set up at a desk. Firstly they’re very easy to connect to each other through the RJ12 ports on the side of each pedal:

Completing pedal installation by connecting the RJ12 plugs in the correct sockets
Completing pedal installation by connecting the RJ12 plugs in the correct sockets

The pedals work immediately upon activation in Pit House and require very little calibration. Once the calibration is set, that’s it, they’re ready to go!

Pit house main page: You can theoretically do everything from this page to get started, although there are far more advanced FFB calibration options in the wheelbase page of the software
You can theoretically do everything from this page to get started, although there are far more advanced FFB calibration options in the wheelbase page of the software

To calibrate the pedals, press a pedal down, click “set max”, release the pedal and click “set min”. That’s it! The throttle is smooth, and the rubberized feet (see image above) help prevent them from slipping on the floor. The fact they’re not mounted does limit the amount of brake force you can use, but you can drive light and smooth and still get a really good lap time on the board.

The SR-P Lite Clutch Pedal and the SR-P Lite Brake Pedal Performance Kit are very worthwhile add-ons to the bundle. The performance kit adds resistance and rebound using a spring and elastomer damper. This helps with “feel” – though it’d be nice to have a hydraulic damper version of this (very easily installed) add-on.

SR-P pedals installed (below my desk!)
SR-P pedals installed (below my desk!)

What I really appreciate about these pedals is how, frankly, they offer remarkable value. As part of the R5 bundle, they provide a solid starting point for those new to sim racing, delivering more than satisfactory performance for the price. The whole lot is technically very respectable for the price – enough, in my opinion, to worry other lower-price-point manufacturers.

Software

A vast majority of popular sim racing titles are supported via the Moza Pit House software. Ultimately (and as I understand it) the Pit House installer also installs the USB drivers for the pedals and wheelbase. It’s slightly irksome that Windows doesn’t recognise the wheelbase when you first plug it in because it makes you feel like something might be wrong.

After installing Pit House, you’re given a list of items to activate – and calibration can begin.

Use this page to make sure the buttons are sending data via the wheelbase
Use this page to make sure the buttons are sending data via the wheelbase

I note that since I last tested Pit House with the HGP shifter, Pit House has improved significantly. It’s faster, makes more sense from a UI perspective and once everything is set up, doesn’t have to be left open on your sim racing PC while you’re racing.

Mounting and Flexibility

The mounting options are versatile. With the provided table clamp, desk setups are a breeze. However, for those looking for a more permanent rig setup, the 4 threads at the base’s underside would suit the wheel deck of a proper sim racing rig; and, if you are on a budget – read our guide to building a cheap racing simulator here.

Moza R5 and ES steering wheel mounted firmly on my desk
Moza R5 and ES steering wheel mounted firmly on my desk

Feeling

My first reaction to the unit was (genuinely) “Wow”, the FFB, even at 5.5Nm is pretty good – better than I expected it to be. The first thing to consider is whether 5.5Nm is “enough”. My view is that for this type of beginner setup or in a kid’s rig, the R5 is absolutely enough.

My desktop sim racing setup with a Moza R5 Bundle and a Samsung G9
My desktop sim racing setup with a Moza R5 Bundle and a Samsung G9

The texture on the track was enough to rattle loose items on my desk and the feeling of this direct drive motor’s FFB is very familiar. 5.5Nm is strong enough to get a good sense of the vehicle’s dynamics on track, without any need for serious mounting hardware and an aluminium profile rig.

So, it’s sim racing at a tenth of the cost of a profile rig-based setup. On FFB quality, overall it is very good, with the resistance to your input and the detailed feedback from kerbs and track detail a pleasant surprise. My only gripe – I noticed that understeer seems to create a little “dead” feeling – the developers at Moza need to look at what causes this. You feel understeer through a DD wheelbase usually through subtle vibrations to tell you you’re “pushing” the front tyres beyond their maximum steering angle. I think this is simply development – I’ll send that feedback to Moza and I can imagine a firmware update later, they’ve sorted it.

Looking at the bigger picture for a moment – I have come from a Simucube 2 Pro to a Moza R5 and I’m still impressed.

FFB settings

I tested in iRacing which needed no real FFB settings changes (except for the max FFB which I set to 100%) – if you’re into Assetto Corsa, as I understand it, you may need to put more emphasis on tuning the wheel before you get started. The MOZA discord has sub-channels for each game with drivers often sharing settings: https://discord.gg/CCBgHxJAdX

Moza's subreddit is very helpful for Moza FFB settings
Moza’s subreddit is very helpful at r/Moza

Moza R5 FFB settings for iRacing and Assetto Corsa

If you’re looking for FFB settings for the R5 I recommend you take a look at this sticky post kept updated in the Moza subreddit or, join the Discord. In iRacing I mentioned that understeer felt a little “dead”. The solution is in the FFB Effect Equalizer tab in Pit House:

Moza FFB effect equalizer

The solution I found to the initial lack of feedback from understeer was to change a setting in the FFB Effect Equalizer, specifically, increasing the 25Hz level as indicated by the arrow in the image above. This adjustment helped alleviate the issue you mentioned. The equalizer is a pretty cool feature, to see FFB presented as an audio-style equalizer is very reminiscent of my explanation of how FFB actually works.

For Assetto Corsa, I found these R5 settings in the Discord:

R5 FFB settings for Assetto Corsa
R5 FFB settings for Assetto Corsa

and the advanced FFB Assetto Corsa settings:

advanced FFB Assetto Corsa settings
Advanced FFB Assetto Corsa settings for the Moza R5

Conclusion

The Moza R5 bundle is a solid offering for sim racing beginners of all ages. The pricing, in my opinion, is incredibly reasonable. While the R5 bundle has areas that could benefit from refinement, its overall package provides a balanced introduction to sim racing with almost no barriers to getting started.

For enthusiasts or those with prior experience, I would recommend looking at the more powerful members of the Moza stable and going for a more featured wheel and pedal option. But if you’re looking for a good mix of price, performance, fun and features, the R5 bundle is a fair buy. It might not overshadow its top-tier competitors, but it firmly establishes its place in the sim racing market.


Moza R5 Review: Build a Sim Racing Setup on a Budget

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