On every major intersection here in Chiang Mai you will always find a plethora of mopeds and motorcycles lined up and waiting for the traffic light to change. Almost everyone who has lived here for more than a few months can drive a motorcycle. These two wheeled contraptions may seem strange and scary to most people who are visiting Asia for the first time, but for locals it's usually the preferred mode of transportation in the city. Easy to maneuver and with great gas mileage, motorcycles also have the advantage of lane sharing, which means that they are allowed to squeeze in between cars to get ahead.
Most people in Thailand who drive motorbikes don't regularly wear helmets or any other safety gear. The police don't do very much about it, rarely setting up roadblocks to ticket violators.