There are many things you can do to improve your motorcycle; however, the best modification that you can do is not to your bike... It is improving your skills. The CBR250R is an awesome bike (I love mine and it's my 7th motorcycle!). It was not designed for maximum output (for the sake of all around usage and, moreso, longevity), nor was it designed with the "trickest" suspension (for the sake of cost). However, the miniature VFR (same design concepts- way more so than the bigger CBRs), is an excellent motorcycle. The stock 22.3 HP (at 9000 RPM) and torque of 15 lb-ft (at 6750 RPM) and Showa suspension is more than capable of tooling around the neighborhood or a nice performance jaunt. Where performance is generally dwarfed by a motorcycle's capabilities in the rider's skill level.
Many times I have seen someone on a brand new GSX-R1000 or even a CBR600RR who obviously lacks the skills required to confidently and, more importantly, safely pilot such a machine. The requisite pass-me-as-if-I-am-standing-still on a long straight, just to see the brake light come on and the tail section rise high then putt around a corner hanging way off to one side, while the bike is still upright. What to do... maintain speed and pass on the inside or slow down and let them do their thing? I'd rather just let them go... no need to freak anyone out in a corner when they're already about over their head. When we stop for a break a bit later on, I often see full exhaust systems and Power Commanders (etc), Fender Eliminators, Flush Mount LEDs and even custom paint jobs (frame sliders usually come after the first time they are needed and one finds out fairings are not cheap). Personally, I would love to have a 260+ HP MotoGP machine (in particular, the Suzuka 8 hour version of the Honda RC211V- complete with headlight), I would prefer something a bit more streetable (ie. comfortable and more practical). So, are performance upgrades the way to go?
Ask Valentino Rossi. He left Honda for the (at the time inferior) Yamaha for the 2004 MotoGP season... and won, not only the Championship, but also the first race of the season (becoming the first person in the history of ANY TYPE OF RACING to win back-to-back races for two different manufacturers. Proof that while superior equipment may make such things easier (watch Rossi's last few races on the RC211V- including crossing the finish line 15 seconds before anyone else (official time was closer to 5 due to 10 second penalty for passing under caution), rider skill is what makes it possible. The least expensive and most rewarding upgrade is your own riding skill.
Upgrade yourself, then work on the rest. After over 10 years of riding experience, I am still constantly trying to improve my riding... throttle control, braking, steering, etc. There are many books and schools out there, as well as experienced riders you can learn from. Just be aware that many veteran riders also have veteran bad habits that could get you into trouble.
So, you want to enjoy your ride? Improve your riding skills, make sure you maintain your motorcycle properly (service is not cheap, but greatly increases vehicle- and your- life expectancy), have, at very least, decent gear, and enjoy the ride. If you are scaring yourself often... you're already riding beyond a level you can maintain- step back a little. Then... if you still feel the need, upgrades and performance modifications can be fun.
Always more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow
Lot Technician at Apache Motorcycles in Mesa, AZ
1998 CBR600F3 SE
2003 Triumph TT600
2005 Triumph Sprint ST1050
2006 Triumph Sprint ST1050 ABS
2002 Buell Blast
1997 MuZ Skorpion Sport