Matti Lehikoinen's Custom Nukeproof Mega - First Look

Jul 5, 2016 at 15:11
by Olly Forster  
Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
Dripping in SRAM, RockShox, Mavic and Nukeproof parts, Matti's custom Mega will be a serious head turner at this weekends Megavelanche.

This year's Megavelanche in Alpe D'Huez, France represented a unique opportunity for a brand with strong ties to this iconic one-of-a-kind race. That brand is, of course, Nukeproof who in honour of this brutal race, named their longest standing bike, the Mega, after back in 2010.

And after six years, Nukeproof are returning to these hallowed slopes with a special bike to show the world. And what's more, they have one of their longest serving athletes at the helm to send it down the mountain. Matti Lehikoinen is a rider and a racer who's achieved more than most with a long and successful career that's seen him win competitions all over the world, from enduro to World Cup downhill. But lining up for this year's Mega on board his Mega, Matti and Nukeproof thought it was the ideal time to celebrate this crazy spectacle while paying homage to a personal hero of Matti's, and to a fallen brother...

Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
Inspired by the custom red, white and blue Yamaha of his childhood...
Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
hero, Jarno "the flying Fin" Saarinen, this bike is a serious head turner.

Matti Lehikoinen/ Jarno Saarinen Bike: "Every child grows up with a hero. Someone to look up to and inspire you. Nukeproof has an incredible roster of riders that we hope are helping inspire the next generation of mountain bike riders.

As a downhill World Cup winner racing for the legendary Honda program and now, residing as Nukeproof's longest serving pro athlete, Matti has been heavily involved with much of the development behind Nukeproof's products. Matti's skills, drive, determination, and personality are a great reflection of the Nukeproof brand attitude. Now in his 5th year with Nukeproof, Matti is focusing on racing his Mega 275 in the Enduro World Series and other adventure races.

Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
Would you like to own this bike? Well, you'll have the opportunity later this year...

As a rider hailing from an area covered in snow for over 6-months of the year and in a relatively flat area of Finland, who was it that inspired Matti to ride? As with many racers, Matti is a huge moto fan. Be it Supercross, MX, rally or cruising around on his Harley... Matti loves speed! Growing up around speed his hero is naturally Finnish bike racing legend, Jarno Saarinen (1945-1973).

Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms

Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega - First Look
When this bike goes under the hammer later this year, all proceeds will go to the Stevie Smith Foundation.

Jarno "the flying Fin" Saarinen is Finland's only moto road racing World Champion winning the 250cc title in 1972. Racing against the sporting legends likes of Agostini and Barry Sheene he looked set to repeat his success in 1973 in the 250cc and 500cc class, but tragically lost his life in an accident at the Monza race. He was a factory Yamaha rider and rode to glory aboard his custom red, white and blue Yamaha. We took this colour scheme as inspiration for Matti's Mega 275.

Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms

Matti Lehikoinen s Custom Nukeproof Mega. Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
All photos: Laurence Crossman-Emms, Alpe D'Huez, 2016.

Earlier this year Matti's teammate from 2009, Stevie Smith, tragically passed away. He will ride this one-off frame as a gesture to his hero Jarno Saarinen and also to his friend and former teammate, Stevie. Further to this, at the end of the season, we will auction this unique frame, with all proceeds going to the Stevie Smith Foundation."


MENTIONS: @Nukeproofinternational / @SramMedia / @mavic / @oakley


  • 57 1
 Always classy Matti. #SisuMatti #longlivechainsaw
  • 6 74
flag torero (Jul 6, 2016 at 6:35) (Below Threshold)
  • 2 0
 I agree rayy. After blasting his way to 11th in the pro race at Megavalanche, Matti came pedalling across the campsite to ask whether I'd managed to fix my chain. He must have seen me having to split it and add a quick link after I bent it on my first practice on the glacier three days earlier. I'm nothing more than a tourist in this sport, so I was pretty surprised that he'd take the time to enquire about my mechanical. That's the mark of a true sportsman and a classy guy. #SisuMatti.
  • 18 0
 Really Lehik that paint job.
  • 5 0
 To koin a phrase...
  • 2 0
 en excellent choice of words.
  • 12 1
 The new Mega is a lovely looking bike made even better by that colour scheme!! #longlivechainsaw
  • 9 0
 That's a cracking colour scheme.
  • 7 0
  • 1 0
 Link to Stevie Smith Foundation? Google is showing something named similarly, but based in Charlotte, North Carolina... is there some real organization, beyond that GoFundMe campaign from before?
  • 2 0
 Quick question? How do they know its Nukeproof?
  • 1 0
 It's not made in Japan.
  • 2 1
 the Nukeproofonda Megablade
  • 2 1
 Great looking bike with external routing Smile
  • 1 0
 I will be bidding on that bad boy!
  • 12 11
  • 4 3
 i had to look at it twice too. weird
  • 2 1
 Oh yeah...
  • 1 1
 Might be the Finnish spelling of saw?
  • 1 1
Finnish translation of chainsaw is "moottorisaha" according to google
  • 2 2
 @sha1234: hmmm, saw saha shaw. I could see that being a translation error.

Bilingual people have a tendency to use letters that make sense in their language. maybe "ha" makes a W sound in Finnish? Like how G makes an H sound is Spanish.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: Lehikoinen speaks fluent English, you'd hardly even hear by his accent that he's Finnish, pretty sure he knows how to spell saw. Guessing it's the sticker maker at Nukeproof who's just been tired at work or something.
  • 2 1
 @Padi: I'm assuming if that's what it is, that he had a local Finn do the paint. Who may not be as fluent.

Also... did the pic change? it looks right to me now.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: pinkbike edited the H out by now to stop us
  • 1 0
 Nice looking rig 4 sho
  • 2 3
 when did nukeproof go horst link? Did i miss it?
  • 1 3
 I know nothing about suspension, but that design looks decades old. Can someome explain?
  • 1 3
 Looks like a Covert... Wink
  • 1 3
 MegavAlanche No "E" in the middle,pay attention. Wink
  • 4 7
 Stay off your face brother!

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