Replacing the crank cover on my 03 K1200gt. the old cover was damaged when I got the bike and finally getting around to replacing it. Gaskets look good, but previous cover had a layer of tan gasket adhesive all around. The mating surface on the block looks great, gasket is pliable, looks perfect. Should I put on a layer of sealant anyway, or just a dab in the corners where the block and the front cover come together?
(1) Just to clarify... I am assuming your question is for the LEFT side cylinder-head cover (also called valve cover). Your terminology above "replacing the crank cover" could also be interpreted as the right side cover (crackshaft side).
As stated in BMW Shop-Manual AND ALSO in CLYMER repair manual (chapter 4), for the valve cover, gasket sealant need to be used ONLY at half-moon corners surfaces (black arrows in 1st attached photo). May also need just a dab at the RED arrow position as there is a timing-cover junction with cylinder-head that will sometimes show up as a small ridge (when both machined surface did not match perfectly).
(2) ON THE OTHER HAND, if you are indeed referring to RIGHT side cover, then you only need to take care of where the block creates a ridge at matching surfaces (front and rear at Yellow circle of 2nd photo). Even this is normally not needed unless a ridge can be felt with finger / nail.
For BOTH of these covers:
Applying too much (or all over the gasket) is counter-productive as this type of gasket is made to seal by itself (thick and full of ridges). In addition, I have seen cases where someone had put so much sealant that excess were laying inside - potential disaster for oil passages blockage.
So, unless you are trying to save a damaged gasket, there is no need to apply sealant at any other places.