The Wheel of Death - Before and After - 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda Miata: The Wheel of Death - Before and After

February 18, 2011

1997 Mazda Miata: The Wheel of Death - Before and After

Ok, let me break this picture down for you guys. As you can see, my right leg is pressed right up against the rim of the original steering wheel. It's like that for two reasons. The first being the diameter of the old wheel was a little big. The second reason is because the steering wheel did not telescope. While my legs were happier with the seat moved all the way back, with the seat in that position my arms were all but locked out when I would turn the wheel past fifteen degrees. In a car with an old-skool airbag, getting in an accident, even a minor one, with your arm crossed over the airbag would likely give you and ulna induced lobotomy. I'll pass.

Click on through to see what the new wheel hath wrought.

1997 Mazda Miata: The Wheel of Death - Before and After

That's better. Because of the dish the new Momo wheel offers, I can move my seat back. That makes my legs happy, as well as my knees, which are no longer pressed against the bottom of the dashboard. There is also around a three-finger gap between the bottom of the wheel and my leg. Now I can finally pull off some heel-toe trickery.

Something that will take a little time to get used to is the distance of the new Wheel of Death to the turn signal stalk.

1997 Mazda Miata: The Wheel of Death - Before and After

It's not an impossible distance, but the first couple of times I swiped for the stalk, I whiffed. Every time since, I've reached it without a problem.

I should also mention that as someone who runs an aftermarket wheel in my personal car, this Momo is a really nice piece. The leather wrap feels great and the overall construction of the wheel is top notch.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 129,340 miles

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