Without a single doubt, the riskiest place to be on a motorcycle is in Bangkok. It's the most demanding and unpredictable environment of all, and you need to be as sharp as a fighter pilot to avoid trouble.
A lot is happening, and much of it it can change quickly. It all needs taking in, and to do that, you have to slow down and pay full attention. At some points of a journey through busy downtown traffic, 45 or 50 km/h can be way too fast. Take it dead easy.
Do it long enough and you'll develop a sixth sense for what people might do or what might happen next. In the meantime, realize that many hazards can be hidden until they present themselves right in front of you.
Pedestrians can be one of the worst offenders. They can suddenly walk out between parked cars, sometimes looking the wrong way. Drivers can also emerge from behind doors flung open without warning. And taxi's now-a-day move 4-lain if they see somebody calling for a ride. Children and animals are most unpredictable, expect them to do anything. Delivery vans, taxis, buses, and any other commercial vehicles using Bangkok's streets can often be in a hurry and have different priorities to you (to say it polite). Look out for them especially.
Gaps in lines of stationary traffic you're riding down the outside of should be treated with plenty of suspicion. T-boning an emerging car that another has let out isn't pleasant.
Keep an eye out for slippery sections of road. Junctions where traffic stands still or brakes hard can be covered in oil and rubber. Also keep in mind that Bangkok was not designed for two-wheels, so you can encounter (slippery) metal pieces in the tarmac. A piece of debris like a flattened tin can may well prove to be your undoing if it's right on line mid-corner.
And never expect your route to be guaranteed clear if traffic lights are on green. REMEMBER this is BANGKOK. Have a peek at the junction to make sure opposing traffic has stopped first. Ten years riding in Bangkok taught me just how risky Bangkok city riding can be. It can make racing at the MotoGP child's play.Tag: MotorcyclingTrafficSafetyDangerGear