I have experience with street cars on tracks and i used to race dirt bikes with the same 125cc 2 stroke engine so I think I just might jump right onto a shifter. It it really that crazy for a beginner to be using a shifter?
I jumped straight into a shifter this year. To be perfectly clear, I spent quite a while running the rental karts at Driveway Austin, and was consistently at the sharp end of the timesheets. I was very, very well aware of what I was getting into, since I have been sitting on the sidelines for about three years now, just observing. I decided to skip TAG/Rotax and dive into the deep end.
It IS that crazy for a beginner to jump into a shifter. They are terrifying in terms of speed and ability, and I am not even pushing that hard yet. It is a decision only you can make. Is it possible? Absolutely. Is there a better way? Depends on what your eventual goal and budget looks like. I feel confident that I would have benefitted from going TAG first; however, I made a decision based on budget and time. I like the low maintenance and low cost of running the shifter. It is a bigger initial investment, but I feel I would rather have the challenge of learning the shifter instead of the burden of maintaining a TAG.
You are the best judge of your own abilities. Having said that, you better have tons of confidence, and loads of patience to start slow and work your way up. If you think you are going to dive right in and hang with the big boys, I fear you will be in for a rude awakening. I have a mountain to climb in order to get proficient enough to go wheel to wheel in Stock Honda. But I like climbing mountains. I like the challenge. And I have loads of respect for what this kart can do to me if I get it wrong.
2010 Spirit [Birel] SP32 // SRS CR125 - Stock Honda [#08]
Hill Country Kart Club - New Braunfels, Texas - http://daledaugherty.wordpress.com/