If the bike is no longer making you happy get a new one. I think you are stuck on this "should" etc. If you want to go faster than your friends do track days and get training. On some tracks the personal best for some riders in motor America on a 600 and on a 1000 is less than a second apart.
But we do this to have fun. Get a new bike if you want one. Also put some blue loctite on the kickstand bolts.
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I completely agree with everything Razgreeze said. Technology in bikes is constantly improving; lighter materials, more powerful engines, better suspension. But, older bikes can certainly be setup to be faster and more agile, as well. So it really becomes a matter of "do you want to invest in what you have? Or start over from scratch?" Sounds like you already have your mind made up, though. Me personally, I'm not a fan of liter bikes, for kind of the same reasons I traded in my Harley Road King for my Triple. Just too much bulk for my 160 pound a** to throw around. I felt right at home on the road track Monday though. That was my first time on a road track.
And yeah. Blue Loctite those bolts so they stop rattling loose.