Logitech MOMO Racing Wheel
Product Name: MOMO Racing Wheel
Review Date: 03.18.03
The parts in the box included the wheel, the pedals, an AC power supply, a plastic knob, and an installation CD packet with instructions. As part of the triple clamping system, the plastic is used to help secure the wheel to a table or desk.
Let's have a closer look at the main wheel and pedals. The wheel is constructed with full rubber. When I touched and help the wheel, the rubber gave a very tight grip. When holding the wheel on both the left and right side, the wheel feels very similar to an actual steering wheel in a car. It is very comfortable and easy to rotate. Just by looking at the wheel, it looks professional and and well constructed. There is an aluminum metal strip at the top of the wheel so you can always feel where the center of the wheel is.
The base is the wheel is very stable. It doesn't not wobble at all and the base feels very durable when pressing the pedals with my feet. Initially, the base moved around a lot since it was on a carpet floor. Then I looked under the base and noticed a special grip system for the carpet. By pressing the large button on the bottom of the base, the "spikes" pop out. When placing the base on the carpet again, the base held its ground and did not move at all.
When playing racing games with the wheel, there are 2 ways to shift when using the wheel. First of all, there are 2 paddle shifters located right behind the wheel for those who want to keep both hands on the wheel. Others might prefer to use the shift stick instead to have a more realistic experience. Just to note, the shift stick can be easily moved to the other side if you want. ?????
Installation & Performance
Securing the wheel to a table or desk is usually the negative side of most other wheels because they can only fit on certain tables. This is true for all wheels, but it is just a matter of how many different types of tables or surfaces it can secure to. I used a ruler and measured that the wheel can clamp onto a table as thick as about 2.5 inches. I would recommend having 4-5 inches clear below the wheel in order to clamp the wheel properly onto the table. I use a wooden desk and I had to take the drawer out in order to use the wheel.
The wheel uses a unique 3 clamp system to secure the wheel to a table. The first 2 clamps are tightened by remove a panel above the wheel as seen above. After removing the panel, there are 2 plastic screw knobs that are used to tighten the clamps which are located below the wheel.
At the very back of the wheel are 2 ports that are used to setup the wheel. The round connector to the right is used to connect the provided AC adapter. The rectangle like connector on the left is used to connect the pedal base to allow it to function.
Finally, in order to get the wheel fully working, I installed the software on the provided CD. The software allows you to program the buttons on the wheel if you need to. In order to test the wheel, I tried two racing type games: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and Rallisport Challenge. Initially, I was not able to get Need for Speed working at all with the wheel. After installing the latest patch (242), force feedback effects were enabled and I was also able to get the pedals working properly with the game. I had to program the shift stick to defined keyboard buttons in order to get it working with the game.I had an easier time setting up the wheel with Rallisport Challenge. The game naturally recognized the wheel and I had to do minimal configuration.
After getting everything set up properly, everything ran well. It took some time getting used to the wheel since I would usually use a gamepad to play those games. After a short amount of the time, I was able to get used to wheel and the wheel truly did make the games much better. In Need for Speed, I was able to feel the car's grip on the road and when it would start sliding. By focusing what I felt on the wheel, it was fun driving in the game just like driving in real life. Although I'm not really a fan of rally racing, Rallisport Challenge held my interest with the use of the wheel. The force feedback effects were phenomenal! When driving on the road, I could feel the tension of the grip of the road as well as sudden release of the wheel when the car was skidding. The wheel's effects corresponded to other aspects such as the type of road and whether the car collided with other objects.
Logitech has made another fine product along with their other products. This wheel is very durable and sturdy. The full rubber grip on the wheel gives it a realistic feel and precision. The force feedback effects were consistent and strong and worked well with the games. The wheel made it fun to drive in the games and added a degree of realism not experienced before. This is a solid product with ease of installation and use. The parts are of high quality and follow Logitech's high quality standards. At the price of approximately $100, this product is great for newcomers who want to try the force feedback technology.