They may look ungainly, but the aerodynamic advantages of recumbent bikes and trikes give them an edge – especially if you throw a 4 kW wheel hub motor into the mix. Case in point is the Mark 5 Super from Odyssey Trikes, which boasts a top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h) and a range of 300 miles (480 km) on a single charge.

Using a range of lightweight, 3D-printed parts manufactured in-house, Wisconsin-based Odyssey Trikes asserts that its Mark 5 Super comes with the most comprehensive and extreme electronics and mechanics packages possible to build into an electric trike. With a 750 watt maximum power limit factory set on the controller, this can be tweaked by the owner to deliver maximum power of up to 4 kW and speeds of up to 60 mph (96 km/h). Add an extra cost an auxiliary battery pack, and up to another 105 miles (168 km) of additional range is possible up to the claimed maximum 300 miles (480 km). At lower speeds you can also cover extra distance by using the pedals.

Carrying on from the previous iteration of the Mark 5, (and despite an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign), the Mark 5 Super sees the 80 V lithium-iron-phosphate battery replaced by a 88 V lithium-manganese pack from Blue Line Batteries.

Motivation is via a 4 kW wheel hub motor driving a 24-in single speed wheel out back, powered by batteries mounted on the frame. The two front wheels are both 16-in with disc brakes.

Standard with an array of accessories, the Mark 5 Super comes with a frame mounted battery, a headlight and taillight package, an APM display cycle computer, a charger and a rear rack with a Topeak rack bag, and a helmet.

With a top-end speed and power output now much higher than other electric recumbent offerings, such as Outrider's Horizon off-road machine or the HP Velotechnik, the manufacturers claim the top-of-the-range Super model is also the most affordable, high-performance alternative vehicle currently available.

"We spent years designing, prototyping and perfecting our trike design ... We got to this level of performance through a variety of new manufacturing techniques, but the most important among them is 3D-printing," said Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass, co-founders of Odyssey Trikes. "All our trikes have around a dozen 3D-printed parts, and this gives us unique engineering abilities and the option to keep the cost a lot lower than our competitors. We are innovators in this sector and are currently developing new 3D-printing technologies that we will share with the world, once they're ready."

Model prices in the 2016 Odyssey range start at US$4,499, with the souped-up Super selling for $9,899 ... with this caveat: "Change this power setting at your own risk! Study and abide by your local law!"

The manufacturers say to expect 45 days between payment and shipping in the continental US, with free freight anywhere in that area.

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