The Dark Side of Japan – Buying a 2022 Yamaha MT-09 SP

In March of 2022, the long wait had finally come to an end. It had taken five months, but my new 2022 Yamaha MT-09 SP arrived at my local dealership. The upside of waiting so long was that I was in the front of the line for setup – to my amazement, Martin Moto had the bike ready for me to pick up the day after arrival.

Taking ownership of my MT-09 was bittersweet. On one hand, I was getting an amazing machine that I could grow into for years to come. On the other hand, I was giving up a motorcycle that I had grown very attached to in the two short years that I owned it.

You see, it all came down to the Pre-Owned Motorcycle Market. Despite having owned my 2018 Honda CB650F for nearly two years and riding it for roughly 9,000 Miles, the trade-in value on my motorcycle was nearly what I originally paid for it. In a sense, I feel like I was given the opportunity to own and ride my Honda for nearly two years and all it cost me was a few hundred dollars and periodic maintenance.

Additionally, I was in a unique situation where I was able to continue riding my CB650F while waiting for my Yamaha to arrive. Even better yet, the additional miles added to the odometer made a minimal impact on the value of my trade.

Difference Between 2021 and 2022 is Color

Making The Move – Trading in my 2018 Honda CB650F

As Theodore Roosevelt famously said, Comparison is the Thief of Joy.

In the Summer of 2021 a friend of mine, Untamed Ride, decided to get into riding motorcycles. I like to think I inspired him to do so – showing off my shiny new-to-me CB650F. He went out and bought himself a 2021 Aprilia RS660. It is a beautiful bike jam-packed with many the features you would fine in larger models. Cruise Control, Wheelie Control, Traction Control, the ability to manage Engine Braking – it seemed like this impressive middleweight machine did it all!

The more we rode together, the more I realized just how much my Honda was lacking in terms of tech. I didn’t even have a gear indicator, for crying out loud! The seed was planted and I often found myself wondering what it would be like to have a motorcycle loaded with modern tech. This, of course, lead to some light window shopping.

I began to toy with the idea of trading in my 2018 Honda CB650F, but if I did, what in the world would I replace it with? Over the next couple of weeks I came up with a short list of candidates. In my mind it was very unlikely that I’d trade in my CB650F but it was fun to play the game.

Passing on the Triumph Trident 660

The first motorcycle to pop up on my radar was the 2021 Triumph Trident 660. This motorcycle recently exploded onto the middleweight scene and there was a lot of speculation that it would replace the Yamaha MT-07 as the middleweight naked bike to buy. It had a lot going for it – modest price point, long service intervals of 10,000 miles, and technology that put it a tick above the competition.

Seriously, what’s not to love about the Triumph Trident?

Ultimately, there were two reasons why I felt that the Trident 660 wasn’t for me. The first of which was looks – seeing it in person made me think of a pug. It just struck me as having a weird mushed in face. Second was the simple fact that going from a CB650F to a Trident 660 felt like a lateral move. In spite of how much I liked the motorcycle, it didn’t feel like the right move.

Passing on the Kawasaki Z900RS

Naturally, the second bike on my wish list was the Kawasaki Z900RS. I say that because I’ve been lusting after this particular motorcycle for some time now. I’m particularly fond of the 2020 Color Option (Gray) of the Z900R Cafe. With the introduction of the upgraded SE option, with adjustable suspension, it seemed like a slam dunk!

The only drawback to this gorgeous retro motorcycle was the price tag. By the time you take MSRP and add on sales tax, freight, and fees – sticker shock slapped me in the face. While I’d love to own one of these wonderful motorcycles, I couldn’t bring myself to purchasing one new. Since buying new was the objective, the Kawasaki Z900RS was out of the running.

With that said, I’d love to find one pre-owned in a few years. As I said, I’ve been lusting after this bike for some time now.

Passing on the Triumph Street Triple RS

As I narrowed down my Motorcycle Wish List there was one other bike that I was considering – the Triumph Street Triple. Not only was this bike the front runner, I had actually planned on purchasing one. Between performance, looks, and technology, it seemed like a motorcycle that would do everything I wanted it to and more. While it may not be a forever motorcycle, I could certainly see myself owning it for a long time.

With my mind made up, I began consuming as much content about the Street Triple as I could. I became ravenous for it and sought out Reviews, Accessories, and Shoot Outs with the competition. This was when I became introduced to its competition – the 2021 Yamaha MT-09.

As I worked my way farther and farther down the rabbit hole, I talked myself out of the Street Triple. It became my Backup Bike, the one I would shift to if the MT-09 wasn’t everything I hoped it would be.

Buying a 2021 Yamaha MT-09 SP

On a whim, I logged onto the Martin Moto Website and began looking through their New Inventory. I was astonished to find three Yamaha MT-09 Motorcycles available. Two base models and two SP models. It just so happened that three of the four were spoken for and it looked like the last remaining 2021 Yamaha MT-09 SP could be mine.

That same day I made my way over to the dealership in hopes of possibly taking it out for a test ride (Martin Moto has an awesome test ride policy!). When I spoke to the salesman, I became a bit deflated. As it turns out, all four MT-09 motorcycles were temporary stock items. They had placed an order for them back in March of 2021 and they had been on back-order for months.

I decided to pull the trigger, sight-unseen, and put down a deposit on the available MT-09 SP. Then the waiting game began…

Waiting for my 2021 Yamaha MT-09 SP

On October 8th of 2021, I placed a fully refundable $500 deposit on a 2021 Yamaha MT-09 SP. At the time there was no anticipated delvery date for the motorcycle but I was willing to wait. I had the value of my 2018 Honda CB650F acessed and I was assured that another couple thousand miles wouldn’t make a major impact on its value. My plan was to continue riding until my MT-09 came in. The bike I wanted was on order and all I had to do was be patient.

By the end of the month I got word that Yamaha had updated the status of my bike and claimed that it would arrive Late November. Unfortunately, Late November came and went. The status returned to Unknown with no target date in sight.

In December, I stopped into Martin Moto to inquire about the status of my bike. My salesman was on vacation but I spoke with someone else who gave me terrible news. He spun his computer monitor around so that I could read the email for myself – Yamaha had canceled a number of orders and my MT-09 SP was one of them. The salesman was extremely apologetic and offered to transfer my deposit to something else or refund it entirely.

We talked for a few minutes and I told him to hold onto my deposit. Yamaha couldn’t cancel orders forever and my plan was to have them order me one as soon as they began accepting orders again. I left the dealership that day thinking that I’d probably have my CB650F for another riding season or two. The global supply chain wasn’t looking good.

Buying a 2022 Yamaha MT-09 SP

The following week, my salesman returned from vacation and gave me a call. He explained that the cancellation of my order was temporary. It seemed as though Yamaha canceled my order for a 2021 MT-09 SP and changed it to a 2022 model year. Along with this news, I was also told the shipping status was updated to 1st Quarter 2022.

In January, I received a text message from my salesman that my order status was updated yet again. This time they were now expecting the bike in Late February. I tried not to get my hopes up but deep down I was very excited.

As Late February grew closer and closer, I got another piece of bad news. There was a slight delay but they were expecting the bike in Early March. I braced myself for another round of disappointment but there was a ray of sunshine – this time the status update included shipping confirmation. The 2022 Yamaha MT-09 SP was in transit.

After five months of waiting, I finally got word Your Bike is in the Building!

Picking Up my 2022 Yamaha MT-09 SP

When I learned that my Martin Moto had received my new motorcycle, I was excited! As you would imagine, the very first question that came out of my mouth was When can I pick it up? My salesman explained that new motorcycles were prepped for delivery based on how long the owner has been waiting. Given that I had waited five months at this point, I was at the top of the list.

My new 2022 Yamaha MT-09 SP was ready for me the following day and I scrambled to prep my CB650F for trade. I removed all of the accessories that I wanted to keep (GoPro Mounts, Blaze Pro Saddlebags, and Quad Lock Phone Mount) and made my way to the dealership. Just as the sun began to set, I made my way home on my new bike.

I’ve had my MT-09 SP for nearly a month now and I am very pleased with the bike. It is everything I wanted in a new motorcycle and more! It was a long wait but very much worth it.


Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

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