The other day I jumped into my parents 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage and took it for a drive, which whilst quite an experience one thing that I noticed was the steering wheel. The more modern cars I tend to drive usually have a thicker wheel, giving a more positive feel. On top of that I noticed that the thinner wheel in the AM was causing me to grip the wheel quite hard, this after a while made my hands feel rather tired.
A few years ago I swapped out the standard wheel in my E46 for a re-trimmed and thicker wheel, the improvement was night and day. A lot of us spend hundreds if not thousands upgrading our cars suspension, brakes and wheel/tyre package to increase handing and road feel.
So why do so many Petrolheads ignore the one thing that interfaces us with the car itself? The difference a nice steering wheel, quickshifter and weighted gear knob can make is astonishing, so what our the options.
You can buy a number of replacement Motorsport steering wheels from the likes of MOMO, Sparco, Omp and many others.
The benefits are huge range of choice in terms of diameter, dish and style. The downside is that most cars have an airbag, and in many countries this will also cause your car to fail its MOT/annual inspection.
Re-trimmed steering wheel
This option is one that people often do not consider, usually as the cost is assumed to be high. In reality there are a number of specialists out there that offer a bespoke service allowing you to pick the thickness, material, stitching colour and optional centre indicator. One company that has been serving the BMW community in the UK is Royal Steering Wheels.
The only downside is that you are limited to the stock diameter and dish, in reality both are probably optimal for the car anyway, and do not forget that you can also keep your airbag!
What do you have in your BMW?