The generator is King Canada Model no. KCG-6500GE, the battery is 12v and is in good condition. When I turn on the key to start it nothing happens, I do have power to the starter connection.
What could be the cause?
I see you said you have power to the starter connection. Below is a diagram of where the starter is located, with the detail inset showing the solenoid off of the starter (starter motor just above it). I'm going to assume you know this (I made this and then realized you probably know this stuff ... I couldn't let a good graphic go to waste :D)
Thanks for the clear analysis. My 7000 McCulloch wouldn't answer the key start, then I remembered '50s and '60s automobile starting problems, so I tapped the big post on the solenoid with a small hammer. Voila! Starts and runs.
There must be something about solenoids and infrequent use. Cars seldom have problems with starter solenoids, in my experience. Then they are used frequently.
However, diesel tractors, diesel power generators, and other infrequently used engines I have, which are stored outside, seem to be magnets for solenoid problems. Periodic starting, like once a month, has caused these problems to essentially disappear.
My hypothesis is that the copper disc and copper posts in the solenoid may corrode ever so slightly, and periodic use keeps them just a little cleaner. Oxides of metal tend to have more resistance than the base metal. A hammer tap exposes a slightly different area on the copper disc, as it is free to move when the solenoid is not engaged, or at least that is the theory I will advance.