News Culture

Please Stop Converting Steering Wheels Into DIY Yokes

This is senseless steering wheel violence and it needs to stop.
Streetspeed717 Youtube

Okay. I’ve had enough. I’ve run my mouth about burble tunes and other senseless car modifications, but the phenomenon of the cut steering wheel is one that I can’t fathom in any way. For most of this trend, people have cut the top half of their steering wheel off in peace, usually allowing a semi-round wheel to still work with. But this custom steering wheel that Streetspeed717 installed on his C8 Corvette Z06 is a new level.

Nothing against Streetspeed717 himself because he was skeptical of the mod before he installed it, but ended up liking it. In fact, I’ll preface this by offering more power to anyone who wants to modify their car. Please tinker and mess with cars, personalize them, and make them better. Arguing that the cut wheel is dangerous isn’t the entire point.

In fact, the vast majority of modifying cars is about bringing you closer to danger (read: going faster, having more fun) by making the car more capable of dealing with high-performance situations. We all like a bit of artificial danger, and upgraded brakes make sure you stop quicker with your fresh ECU tune that removes the top speed limiter and adds power, while better tires and suspension make the ultimate limit of the car much higher than before. It’s safer but brings you in closer proximity to speed, offering a thrill that you otherwise can’t get. There is a performance benefit from the mod.

The issue is that this wheel is pointless and impractical. You may argue that race cars have had cut steering wheels as far back as the ‘80s, like the Momo Mod 27/C. Yes, open-wheel cars with ultra-fast steering racks requiring barely half a turn of lock used them, while tin-top sports cars have only just adopted a “butterfly” wheel style like F1.

The reason for that is that modern race cars have all adopted an ultra-fast steering ratio and handle with incredible precision, making minimizing steering wheel movement a priority. Thus, the driver’s hands stay at nine and three because there is never a need to go hand-over-hand. Also, racing drivers don’t get to relax, sit back, and hang on the wheel often enough to need a full round wheel.

The steering wheel before it was installed. Carbonsteer Facebook

A street car is never going to be a race car, and street cars often require hand-over-hand maneuvers in emergencies like correcting a slide or even just low-speed parking lot maneuvers. This double-cut steering wheel leaves two grips hanging out, with nowhere else to hold the wheel and a high probability of it slipping out of your hands during a hard maneuver. Also, it’s not my aesthetic cup of–Okay, it just looks terrible. Finally, you can’t sit back and underhand the steering wheel at six o’clock on a long road trip. That is a true problem.

Can’t we just have a round, thin, well-shaped steering wheel? Or install something cooler? All I know is, you won’t catch me buying one of these anytime soon.

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