I have been sim racing for 3 years now and slowly upgrading my equipment one part at a time. I initially bought a second hand DIY rig from a person who had bought it from someone else. Although it worked alright, with some modifications, I needed something that I could adjust to my needs.
There are many great rigs available and it has been hard to choose. My requirements were that it should be affordable adnd rigid, but flexible as I want to be able to adjust it if i ever get some new ideas. I had looked at some really great options, at OSR (open sim rigs) who offer designs for sale, and I had even started designing my own. I eventually settled on the US Dream from Motedis as that was cheaper than me buying the parts and putting something similar together.
The reason why i picked the US dream, instead of their other models available (on their European site) was exclusively the price. I wanted (needed) to keep it cheap, so I stuck with this model.
It seemed to be a pretty rigid design, with adjustable pedal position. The only downside i could see, was that the seat could not be tilted, but I am sure that I can add that at a later point if needed.
Let me start with the good things. Going from the cart and through checkout was very straight forward, easy and fast. They even accept Paypal and bank transfer. I had to exchange a few messages with them, raising my blabber factor (more on this later), asking for help with some spare parts. I needed help to find the right profiles and brackets I should order, and what legs/feet I could use.
The service is pretty good, and they are helpful at answering questions pretty well. What you need to know is, that Motedis has no idea about sim rigs. The sim rigs they sell are designed by one of their customers (Michael Herrmann), and they will redirect any questions for it to his blog/website. They eventually could answer most of my questions but I eventually gave up trying to figure out what legs I could put on it.
As good as the service and the product is, as terrible is the Motedis website. In a day and age where usability is not only an option, but an actually study with proven statistics and practices, Motedis have totally missed the point. The site is messy, category structure makes no sense and information is lacking. You end up going through the whole site again and again to find products that should be much easier to find. I could do a whole post about this, but honestly, you probably know this already and if Motedis needs advice, they can get in touch.
I ordered my rig in October, and got it approximately 10 days later. I am sure that this would have gone faster if I didn’t have complications with placing two orders, asking a bunch of questions and having to merge two orders to save shipping. This could have been avoided with a better website and better information, but I still think that 10 days is pretty fast! The rig was previously often sold out. Whenever it got back on stock, it would go through social media like lightning, and get sold out within a few days. I wrote to Motedis in August, urging them to have it on stock in October, where a Danish stimulus pack would be released to Danes, and I expected some of them to go towards a rig. If this is the reason why they were on stock and on sale then, I don’t know, but it was and made ordering so much easier, than keeping an eye on it every day.
The packages arrived to my door, and were surprisingly small, peculiarly heavy and remarkably well packaged!
There is only so much you can comment on, when it comes to quality. The actual design of the rig is very solid and simple. Except for the area around the pedals, it is very elegant, and well proportioned!
The actual parts that were sent from Motedis were correct, but some of them had signs of slights scratches and were at parts dirty with some sort of grease. Personally I didn’t care but if you expect this to be as clean as a opening up a new iPhone package, you’ll be disapointed
There are no instructions on how to put the rig together, but it really is not that hard. Looking at a few product pictures and thinking straight, should make it pretty straight forward. You will need to know that you actually can insert the T-Nuts directly into the slot, and don’t need to slide them in from one of the ends. Also you should know, that you some times will need to break off a couple of “toungues” on the brackets, to make them attach to the profile at an angle.
I ordered 3 x 50cm 40/40 profiles, as well as a bunch of brackets and bolts. I was not entirely sure what I was going to use them for but at the time I had plans on making legs for the rig, to raise it off the ground, and a shelf for the PC to rest on, that could be built onto the triple screen stand that I had bought from an other distributor.
It turned out that the Motedis profiles are not compatible with the European style profiles that my screen stand is made of, so i couldn’t use the spares on that. I ended up building a shelf on the actual rig, inverting the pedals and making a button box holder out of what I had. I also bolted a wooden shelf onto a profile that I assume is designed to hold the gear shifter.
I have always wanted to add legs to the rig, in order to be able to clean beneath it easily. I could not find legs on the Motedis site to do this, and the ones that I did find, I was not sure how to mount, what bolts I needed or if they were tall enough to raise the rig enough to be able to clean. I ended up ordering a bag of 8M legs on Amazon, and after a considerable amount of time on the Motedis site, I also found some T-Plates that I could use to mount the legs on. I also used these plates to mount a pedal plate onto the rig.
Once I placed my order, I was surprised to find a stat about me, called a babble factor. This is placed at the bottom of every order. It is a value calculated based on how many messages they had to reply, in relation to the number or orders and their size. This gives you a Blabber value pr. Euro. anything bellow 1 is good. Between 1 and 4 is acceptable. It your Babble value is over 4, they feel that they need to keep an eye on how much time they waste on you. After a few mails asking for information about their products, and advising them to have the rigs on stock for the Danish Stimulus package, my Babble value was at almost 19!
In a way I understand their concern of wasting too much time on advising customers on their project. They only sell parts not knowledge on how to use them. They try to sell their products as cheap as possible, and this requires them to be careful about expenses, including customer support costs. Non the less, they have had to make an info page about this, stating that:
- We believe that a technician does not need advice on our products.
- We cannot provide professional application advice, even if we wanted to, because of the wide range of application
- We are a digital factory outlet for technicians
- We leave out some functions. We do not make less of them … We do not make them at all.
- Instead, we have focused on Producing small orders at the same relative cost as large ones and Full automation of customer interfaces.
- We feel free to refuse non-automatable communication
Although this makes sense, I would suggest to maybe not show this babble calculation to the actual customer. Also a better website structure and functionality, as well as better access to information, would help a lot with lessening communications with them. Although pricing is low, I will still end up placing 4 orders to complete my rig the way I really wanted. This all adds to the costs of the rig
I am very happy with the rig, and would buy it again (although with some better modifications) if I was to order a rig again. I realise that some of you might be more sensitive to quality than I am (especially considering that I still run a T300 wheel), but you’re looking for an affordable rig, agree that it eventually will have wear signs anyway, and are willing to put some effort into putting it together, you’ll like it just as much as I do! Let me know if you have any experience with this rig and what your thoughts are