An Italian family and the previous Italian owner have joined the bidding to buy Ducati, along with Polaris, KTM, Can-Am Spyder company BRP, and Indian manufacturers.
The latest list of potential buyers comes from Reuters which has been reporting on the deal since December 2015 from inside sources.
Harley-Davidson had been listed as a possible buyer, but Reuters says they have dropped out as the price is too high.
HD boss Matt Levatich this week refused to comment.
“It’s a rumour and speculation; we don’t comment on it,” Matt says.
“We are firmly committed to the Harley-Davidson brand and to do the things we need to build ridership.”
Volkswagen has put Ducati on the market to help pay its multi-billion-dollar fines and settlements for cheating on its diesel emissions.
Reuters news agency says the latest bidders are the Italian Benetton family through their investment company Edizione Holding.
Their bid is said to be about $US1.2 billion.
VW’s Audi division bought Ducati for $US1.12 billion in 2012, including $261 million in debt. Ducati is now estimated to be making $109m a year and on the market for $1-$1.6 billion.
Previous Italian owner of Ducati, Andrea Bonomi, is also believed to be interested.
They say the remaining bidders are Polaris Industries which makes Indian Motorcycle and in February axed Victory Motorcycles, private equity funds and Indian motorcycle companies Eicher Motors who make Royal Enfield and Bajaj Auto in alliance with KTM.
Reuters says Chinese manufacturer Loncin Motor has also dropped out.
Bidders are expected to be shortlisted as early as this weekend for a second round of discussions with Evercore who is managing the sale for VW.