Two from MSOE looking to change the face of transportation

SLINGER (WITI) -- Many of today's most successful companies came from humble beginnings. Apple started in a garage, as did Google. Two men in Slinger are starting in a garage -- determined to change the way we think about travel.

The "Odyssey Trike" was conceived by 22-year-old Ryan Bass and 23-year-old Dustin Herte when they were in high school.

"The epic voyage. Odyssey. That's how it got its name," Herte said.

The two have known one another since middle school, and now, they're on to something big.

"You can pedal if you want. It works as an exercise recumbent trike, but it also works as - with the motor on the back - you can go up to 50 miles-an-hour," Bass said.

It all started with a trip to the EAA.

"I saw a power-assist BMX bike once at EAA. Putting it on a three-wheeled vehicle would add so much utility to it.  That was the 'ah-ha' moment," Herte said.

Bass and Herte aren't spinning wheels. They've joined the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter -- and they've already sold their first bike.

"Four thousand dollars going all the way up to six thousand -- which is premium and comes with a heated seat, one of these bags on it," Bass said.

The two are in talks with police departments in Slinger and Fort Atkinson to try to get law enforcement officers to trade their bicycles for a trike.

"It takes the officers out of the car and puts them in the environment," Herte said.

The trikes are "street legal" if they are kept below 20 miles-an-hour -- or if the rider pedals.

The Odyssey trike runs on a lithium iron phosphate battery pack.

"Pretty much everything on here is environmentally friendly - and very safe as well," Bass aid.

If all goes according to plan, Bass and Herte will soon be riding off into a very bright future.

"There sure is a trend in big cities today to loop toward cycling, and if you have a longer distance to travel or go faster, this is the ultimate vehicle for that," Herte said.

Herte is a Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) grad. Bass is finishing up his studies there.

The two say they're going to try to go all summer with the Odyssey trike as their only form of transportation.

CLICK HERE to donate to Bass and Herte's Kickstarter project -- Odyssey Electric Trikes - The Way Forward