Friday, September 11, 2015

4 Royal Enfields go "Downtown" in Macklemore music video

Incredibly, the reins really do steer this four-motorcycle chariot.
(As seen on
Four Royal Enfield Bullets pull a chariot shaped like the head of an eagle through the streets of Spokane, Wash. in a new music video. It's not just a digital dream — the motorcycles and the chariot are real.

The video is the catchy, upbeat Macklemore and Ryan Lewis piece "Downtown."

John Lavin was art director for the music video. He's a production designer and art director, prop maker and painter, based in Seattle. On his website he explains how the eagle chariot came about.

"In the video there is an awesome, fully functioning, four-motorcycle chariot, which was custom made by Keith Wong, from the Seattle Hot Rod Shop Zacky's.

The Royal Enfields are the Black Chrome model Bullets.
"I made the chariot look like an eagle. It is a silver metal eagle with a gold-leaf beak, and headlight eyes.

"The chariot really works, and it really steers with the leather reins that I had made by a saddle maker in Spokane."

In a separate email, Lavin elaborated on the chariot's drive-ability:

"By the way, that thing really works. It’s for real. It drives like a stick shift, with pedals (gas/brake/clutch) in the chariot, controlling one of the bikes...

"Eric Nally (singer who drives it in the video) was a quick learner, who learned how to drive it in a parking lot the night before the shoot!

"As far as the origin of the idea, it came from Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) and Ryan Lewis, as far as I know. They knew what they wanted, and already had Keith on the job figuring out how to make it work, by the time I signed on as art director.

"They knew that they wanted it to look like an eagle. Ryan and I talked about it; I showed them some drawings of how I thought I’d approach it, and Ryan gave me the go-ahead. It all came together pretty quick. We had just started discussing the concept two weeks before shooting the video."

Here's a clip of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis chariot in action.

But, really, you have to see (and hear) the whole thing for yourself. Here's the video:


  1. Excellent article. I can't believe the thing actually works from the reins!

  2. That would be nice to drive up to Buckingham Palace on!


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