Firstů.thank you for your service!
I bought my 02 RC51 in 04. I had one friend riding a new Honda 1000rr, another on a new R1. We would be out riding, we would trade bikes, but they never wanted to trade me back! Yes their bikes were faster, but the 51 was just more unique, and drew a larger crowd.
Probably the best bang for the money is a gear change. The most popular change is a -1 in front, and +2 in back, most go to a 520 chain, I stayed with a 530. That gearing pulls the bike out of corners quite a bit better. I see yours has Yosh slip-ons, does it have a Powercommander? There are a few free mods, they help a little, if you're out running it harder, the soft rev limiter mod helps also. There is tons of info on here about all the mods.
You're welcome RAZR, I appreciate it! I did the hose disconnect and screw plug for the airbox/flapper valve mod, but I haven't removed any of the pieces. I'd like to do the soft rev limiter mod, PAIR, and the chain conversion. She doesn't have the PC yet, but that's something I definitely want to do! Pardon my ignorance RAZR, but what is the "530" and how does it compare to the -1 front/+2 rear set up, as far as pros/cons? Again RAZR, many thanks for the knowledge!
"Common Sense is an Uncommon Virtue".