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Rumors of a possible motorcycle brand for Volkswagen aren't anything new. It's a well-known fact that Ferdinand Piëch, Chairman of Volkswagen's Board, wishes that the German automaker had purchased Ducati back in 1985 when the Italian bike manufacturer was in dire financial shape.

As recently as last year, Piëch – himself a Ducati rider even at age 72 – commented that Volkswagen could still purchase an unnamed motorcycle manufacturer if the conditions were right. Strike up the rumormill again, boys and girls. The Italian motoring press is reportedly signaling that Volkswagen is making renewed overtures toward Ducati, which, like pretty much all other motorcycle manufacturers these days, is seeing sales and profits take a dive due to the sorry state of the global economy.

Just a few weeks back at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Piëch indicated that the Volkswagen Group was looking to expand, and some took that to mean it would procure a sizable stake in Suziki, another long-rumored target of the German automaker. KTM, maker of the bonkers X-Bow roadster, has also been bandied about as a potential partner. So, is there any truth to the two-wheeled VW rumors? We'll see how it all pans out soon enough, but we're not exactly holding our breath.

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