Opening the ER's throttle yields smooth, uninterrupted acceleration in all six gears. Transitioning from off- to on-throttle is seamless, giving the engine an electric fluidity. The Gladius, on the other hand, suffers from an abruptness that throws the whole chassis into a fit. Touchy fueling, its robust midrange power and strong engine braking cause a pronounced pitching motion any time the throttle is rolled back, making smooth progress in first and second gear a challenge. An undersprung and underdamped fork intensifies this problem, blowing through its 4.9 inches of travel with the slightest provocation. Apply the brakes and the front end dives, throwing steering geometry out of whack and leaving precious little stroke for bump absorption. Employing the rear brake pedal becomes a habit, both to supplement the feeble front brakes and to quell the see-saw movement of the chassis. Cranking up preload on the fork (non-adjustable on the ER) and shock does little to improve matters.