2010 Ducati Monster 796 – Click above for high-res image gallery

There are a handful of automakers making motorcycles these days: Honda, Suzuki, Peugeot, and of course BMW. That's about the extent of it, but the latter's German rivals won't be letting the Bavarian automaker keep the market all to itself for much longer. At least, not according to a recent round of rumors.

A couple of months ago, a report surfaced that Volkswagen could team up with Suzuki to revive the old NSU motorcycle brand under its own umbrella. Now reports suggest that Mercedes-Benz could follow suit, potentially partnering with Ducati on a two-wheeled venture of its own.

The rumors are spurred by displays during Ducati events, where Mercedes unveiled a special edition SLK and marked the Italian debut of the SLS GT3, but don't seem to have much more traction than that. A partnership between the German automaker and the Italian motorbike firm could also potentially damage the latter's close ties with Ferrari, but if the industry has taught us anything in the past few years, the sky's the limit when it comes to joint ventures.

[Source: eurocarblog]

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