vehicle setup

Safety in the Desert

Safety Flag

All vehicles must be fitted with a HI-VIZ safety flag. This is a National Parks requirement for all vehicles in the Simpson Desert.

  • Minimum 300mm wide and 290mm high.
  • Fluorescent red/orange or lime/yellow.
  • If mounted on bullbar or front of vehicle must be 3.5m from ground level.
  • If mounted on roof rack must be 2m from roof level.

Radio Communications


A UHF Radio is required in each vehicle during the event for convoy operations. It’s preferred that they be installed in the vehicle but handhelds are adequate.

We use Channel 10 and this is the standard frequency for all vehicles in the Simpson Desert.

  • UHF Radio in the Desert is Channel 10.
  • Channel 40 for on the Highway

Carrying your Bike

Transporting bikes to and from the race can potentially damage the bike. Rough roads, dust and long distances can cause damage if bikes are not packed carefully.

1. Bike Box: The best method is to pack your bike in a box (available from bike shops) and carry it (upright) inside the vehicle.

ISI Carrier System
ISI Carrier System

Space is always at a premium though, so you may want to consider other options below…

2. Towbar Mounted: (4×4 specific)
The ‘ISI Bike Carrier System‘ is the only recommended towbar mounted rack for use in the desert. It is a well designed product that has been proven in the desert and provides the ground clearance that prevents bottoming out in ruts. It’s designed specifically for off-road conditions.

Conventional towbar mounted carriers are not recommended.

For the ISI Carrier Systems Website Click Here

bike rack on 4wd

3. Roof Mounted: A rack mounting on the vehicle roof is a good option. Be careful using mounts which attach to the front forks with the wheel removed. These have been known to bend the forks. Make sure that the frame is braced so the forks don’t take all the strain.

Plan to arrive at Purni Bore with plenty of time to rebuild, check and adjust the bike.

20 PSI

Tyre Pressures

Experience over the years has shown that correct tyre pressures are critical. In the gibber country on the way in, and around Birdsville, pressures around 25-35 psi seem to suit most.

Once we hit the sand, around 25 psi rear and 20 psi front suits most.

Over-inflated tyres are often the cause of bogging, tyre damage and increased track degradation.

Vehicles at Birdsville tip
Support Vehicles at the Birdsville Tip

Managing your rubbish

We endeavour to have a minimal impact on the desert as we cross it. No rubbish is buried or left at our camps. All your rubbish must be carried with you.

Rubbish Dumps are at Dalhousie Hot Springs and Birdsville.

Camper Vans


Camper vans are difficult to tow across the Simpson Desert. Bogging on sand dunes is frequent and can slow down the convoy significantly. You will need a high powered vehicle, recovery gear and good sand driving skills to get across.

Your trip will be much more pleasant without this worry. We recommend that you do not tow anything.

SDBC2024: 1 October to 5 October 2024