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$9,871
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
40
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, March 26 2014 5:53 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated March 26, 2014

Odyssey Electric Trikes - The Way Forward

We are evolving transportation with a vehicle design that gives you abilities you never had in your commute.

Odyssey Electric Trikes - The Way Forward

We are evolving transportation with a vehicle design that gives you abilities you never had in your commute.

$9,871
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
40
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, March 26 2014 5:53 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated March 26, 2014

About

Mk. 5 Prototype
Mk. 5 Prototype

The Mk. 5

The Mk. 5 trike is legally a bicycle, but has the power and speed of a motorcycle. It has a 4kW electric motor capable of powering you through your commute and a removable high capacity battery pack that makes charging simple, yet versatile. It has options for on-vehicle storage capacity, options for lighting, options for gearing, and - we may not have mentioned it before- pedals!

The Mk. 5 represents the culmination of a five year development process. We ended up with an effective vehicle design that uses the best aspects of everything between a motorcycle and a bicycle, but has the stability of three wheels instead of two. We keep pedals on these trikes to make them street legal- in every state in the US.

As an emerging form of transportation, the trikes themselves need to have options. So, we make sure that riders have access to all the capabilities they need. 

The Mk. 5 has the option to remove the battery pack bag from its sliding rack for charging and also has significant carrying capacity, in the form of saddle bags that can be attached to the side of the battery rack. Add that to the fact that you can park this trike at any bike rack, and you end at transportation that gives you the options you need to use it on a regular basis.

One of a variety of saddle bags designs we utilize
One of a variety of saddle bags designs we utilize

Performance

It's fast. That's the easiest way to describe the way the Mk. 5 operates. It accelerates quickly and has a fast top speed. Specs follow:

Evolution

This is the fifth iteration of our trike prototype and we are proud of what the Mk. 5 has evolved into.

The model is based on a frame design with well-known operational characteristics, and is the culmination of a variety of new technologies that have matured to the point where they work, and they work well.

The Mk. 5 represents the logical evolution of transportation.

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Shiny.
Shiny.

Safety

The Mk. 5 has a well-designed, sturdy frame which will take the abuse of racing, trail riding, and even skipping the trails entirely. We know this because we have been there. We tested our prototypes to the point of failure and we were surprised at what it actually took to cause damage. 

In addition to superior frame strength, we integrate LiFePO4 batteries which are known for their safety compared to other lithium cells. When overcharged, the cells' electrolytes react to render the entire cell inert instead of bursting into flame like LiPO and other Li-ion cells.

We include disc brakes, which have demonstrated the ability to stop the trike in a hurry, and a bike flag and reflector for greater visibility.

Our Story

Odyssey Trikes was founded by Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass, both of Slinger, Wisconsin. Dustin is out of college with a degree in International Business and another in Industrial Engineering, and Ryan is still in school, studying IT Networking. Besides racing and trail riding our trikes, our other interests include aviation, electrical engineering and nuclear physics projects, and gaming. Take a look at our bio's on our website: http://odysseytrikes.com/About%20Us.php

Five years ago, Odyssey built its first trike as a side project in an airplane hangar in the neighboring town of Hartford, Wisconsin, as a high school business project.  

2009 high school newspaper article
2009 high school newspaper article

Our initial prototype looked relatively similar to our latest prototype, but had its share of issues. Due to the nature of our steering mechanism on our home built frame, we had a stability problem that presented itself starting at 10 mph and prevented us from surpassing 30 mph.

We also had some issues with the battery system. We originally used lead-acid batteries, which are known for being inexpensive but having a poor power to weight ratio.  

Later iterations of the trike improved on stability, battery range and general utility. The Mk. 2 was a marginal improvement. 

Mk. 4 Frame after recycling parts
Mk. 4 Frame after recycling parts

The Mk. 3, however, added a great deal of stability. It was only capable of going about 25 mph, but we incorporated a lithium-based battery that gave us the range we wanted. Battery problems eventually plagued this model, and we moved on to the Mk. 4- which was a serious improvement in speed and power.

Mk. 5 prototype and Mk. 5 production units
Mk. 5 prototype and Mk. 5 production units

We took a critical look at these improvements and designed the Mk. 5. It ended up being the perfectly engineered vehicle we needed!

Our Schedule

Once our Kickstarter campaign ends we'll be purchasing all our components and materials. The production, testing, and shipping processes will take place simultaneously. Our goal is to manufacture, test, and ship one trike every other day until our orders are fulfilled.

Gear that will accompany our trikes will ship out with those trikes, but other gear for other tiers of our campaign (shirts, bumper stickers, manuals) will ship out in May.

Production 

Our production process starts with some pre-built frame components and some raw materials. For the course of this production run we'll be machining all components (torque arms for the rear wheel, axle and dropout components, some brake and steering parts) while we wait for our outsourced parts to arrive.

Messy shop in the middle of a trike build
Messy shop in the middle of a trike build

We spend the rest of our time before our final assembly modifying our outsourced components as they arrive.

Then, we do the final assembly. If we have all the parts lined up, we can generally assemble one trike per day. This isn't always the case, but we make sure we allow ourselves plenty of time on our schedule to get through the assembly process.

Last, each trike will be test driven and later driven directly to our shipping center. There it will be crated and sent to its backer.

We can also ship our trikes via ocean freight. You will be in charge of picking your trike up from customs, and holding charges will be applied if your trike is left there too long.

Why We Need This Campaign

We believe we have an outstanding product that can become an integral part of people's lives. Kickstarter is the perfect channel to get this initial push we need to get our business's doors open. This campaign will help spread the word regarding what our trikes can do- how they can better your life- and how we can change the standards of transportation.

Risks and challenges

The first thing we'll have to do is decide on a shop location. We like the airport, but it's not necessarily a good fit for building trikes. A future location is up in the air, but we have some good options at the moment- including the possibility of building a mobile shop and being able to tour with it.

Next up, we'll be retooling one of our CNC machines for the build process. Nothing we haven't done before, but it's one of those things that can throw a wrench into our plans. If we can't machine our parts, we can still weld up what we need in-house.

One of our biggest immediate goals is to diversify the sources of our products. We know where to get the parts we can’t make, but we want more options- and we want to be able to produce even more of these parts ourselves.

Moving forward, one of our intermediate goals is to become energy and materials independent. We will be removing our shop from the power grid by integrating solar power with a few other technologies including gas generators and wind power. We already have the ability to melt down and recycle many metal components into blocks that we machine into new parts, but we want to expand on the philosophy of being completely independent.

We also will be aggressively experimenting with new technologies to integrate into our trikes. Our main focus at the moment is on new battery chemistries that offer longer ranges, lower costs and less manufacturing waste. With regards to these technologies, we prefer a very educated approach, so we actually experiment in-house with electrochemistry, electrical and mechanical engineering concepts to verify what we learn from outside sources. If there are claims for technologies out there, we’ll be among the first to verify claims and utilize those benefits.

Our biggest long term goal is the mastery of 3D printing. Our company has foundations within industries ranging from aviation to CNC manufacturing, and among the lessons we learned from these industries are the great benefits offered from being able to prototype in-house. We will be expanding on our 3D printing capabilities until we can print frames from scratch. Our 3D printing department is in its infancy now, but we are confident we will be able to innovate until we incorporate it into our production lines themselves.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Thank you for your support! Your name will be listed on a page on our website. Everything we receive helps establish our business, no matter the amount.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Get an Odyssey bumper sticker. Show your support for the evolution of transportation!

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    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll send you a Mk. 5 Trike Manual. Read all about the trike with our official documentation. You'll also receive a bumper sticker.

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    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    For your support, you'll get a polo shirt embroidered with our logo, the manual and a bumper sticker.

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Get involved! Be a founder of our Odyssey! You'll get both co-founders' attention for an hour-long video chat to discuss our company and make any suggestions you'd like. If you live in the area or want to travel out here, we'll make it a day trip and take you on a trike tour down our favorite trail to get a meal together. You'll also get a polo and a bumper sticker and credit on our website as a founder.

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    0 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,600 or more About $5,600

    Get the first shipment Odyssey Mk. 5 - a trike with the power of a motorcycle. 50 mph top speed, up to 50 mile range, 8 speed gearing for pedaling. Has a removable battery pack for charging indoors, whether it be at home or work. Includes the trike itself, the charger, a cycle computer (with cruise control and the ability to program power output), an embroidered polo, bumper sticker, and of course a manual. Freight shipping is also included in the cost. We'll be shipping a unit every other day starting in May.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    Accessorized Odyssey Mk. 5 - a trike with the power of a motorcycle. Includes a head light, tail light, two large panniers which will mount on the sides of your rear rack, and a heated seat. We will be shipping a unit every other day starting in June.

    50 mph top speed, up to 50 mile range, 8 speed gearing for pedaling. Has a removable battery pack for charging indoors, whether it be at home or work. Includes the trike itself, the charger, a cycle computer (with cruise control and the ability to program power output), an embroidered polo, bumper sticker, and of course a manual. Freight shipping is also included in the cost.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $4,500 or more About $4,500

    Early Bird shipment! Get the Odyssey Mk. 5 - a trike with the power of a motorcycle. 50 mph top speed, up to 50 mile range, 8 speed gearing for pedaling. Has a removable battery pack for charging indoors, whether it be at home or work. Includes the trike itself, the charger, a cycle computer (with cruise control and the ability to program power output), an embroidered polo, bumper sticker, and of course a manual. Freight shipping is also included in the cost. We'll be shipping a unit every other day starting in May.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)