...My epiphany was realizing that I was not taking the curves under power. I was slowing down thru those curves, when instead I needed to slow down BEFORE them, so I could accelerate thru the apex...
Setting up for a turn at speed, you will use the brakes and the removal of throttle (engine braking) along with body position to settle the bike into the turn. A little drag on the rear brake can help getting it to fall into the turn. Once you are leaned over, you need to be rolling the throttle and maintaining speed, if not accelerating.
If you are coming in hot, first use the front brake to scrub speed, but be aware that it can tend to stand you up and fight the lean you're trying to put the bike into. I scrub as much speed as I can and then initiate the turn, leaning as much as is necessary (in really bad cases actually getting off the seat to the low side) to get the bike to steer. As soon as you have reached an equilibrium (if it's not decreasing radius) and you are full over, start applying throttle to maintain or increase speed. The bike will hug the corner.
If you feel out of control... trust the bike and look further into the turn. DO NOT look straight ahead or down, unless you want to go there (which you don't, of course). On a VFR or other sporty bike, there is more cornering grip and performance than you will be using unless you are going way too fast (which is not likely to be the case). In any case, SMOOTH input to the brakes, SMOOTH input to the throttle, SMOOTH changes of body position that are reflective of the speed you are going (if you're going faster, you willl have to transition faster, but stay smooth!).