Keep your head down and wear the right gear
I have been riding in the cold commuting to work and beyond for onsite software support for 15 yrs. I've made some brutal mistakes but I have it down, finally!
Last year I got these BMW gloves as a Christmas present - they make ALL the difference. My hands used to suffer the most. Now, I'm fine. They're not heated, they're just awesome. I never got into that whole heated electric thing. If the high for the day isn't predicted in the 40's, I probably won't take the bike. I totally avoid hitting the street in the am unless the temp is several degrees above freezing. That dude went out in the snow on an R6 - that's MADCOW crazy. But I like it. };-p
You also need more than one jacket. I don't have a one-piece liner like someone mentioned, but I heard it's fantastic in the cold. I do have 2 different jackets, both great, so I can adjust the amount of layers I wear depending on the season. My summer jacket is an AGV, super high-tech with a waterproof liner that's good well into cold but not bitter temps. I did a post on my jackets.
I go 30 miles at 80-90mph, so I know about cold. I havta disagree about the bala clava. I can't get used to it. That said, the cold will numb your face off if you don't keep your head down. I have a $150 Nikko Motoracing helmet - doesn't offer a lot of wind protection, but it LOOKS AWESOME in orange with the Repsol. Ha! So I do The Thinker pose. I curl my left hand over the tank and rest the chin of my helmet on my thumb. This tilts the helmet up so I can keep my head down halfway under the screen, roll my eyes up and see. Riding position is important. If you don't hunker down you're defeating the purpose. Also I squeeze the bike with my legs and jockey up a bit, keeping core muscles taught. Special forces teach maintaing core temp through isometric muscle contraction. Must sound bloody ridiculous to anyone stumbling on these posts but they don't understand how much we LOVE to ride! At work they say "You didn't take the motorcycle TODAY, did you?!??" };-)
Throttlemeister helps too if my right hand needs a break. Sometimes I steer with my right hand on the right preload adjuster, inside the windscreen, throttle locked, and of course "the thinker".
Luckily my new job doesn't hassle me about my engineer boots. I keep 'em looking nice - they make cold temps do-able as well. Dress shoes kinda suck but I did ride for years in the cold in shoes. Prolly cause the sportbike offers wind deflection down there.
I do six layers on top and four on the bottom. Under shirt, thermal long sleeve shirt, thick dress shirt, sweater vest, and a Fox Creek leather with a removeable quilted lining. Then a soft cotton restaurant style napkin which I use year-round to protect shirt collars from dirt, and an expensive, soft scarf. The scarf/neck protection is important cause I don't like to button the top of the jacket - too restrictive.
Pants are underwear, thermals, casual or dress pants, and then a runner's warmup pants over them. The runner's pant has a mesh lining, so technically it's 4 layers. The warmup pant has a reflective stripe, which adds some safety.
The warmup pants come off right away, but I wear the rest including the sweater vest all day. I'm a wood stove guy at home, and it's almost never too warm for me.
2009 CBR Repsol, 2nd owner
Yoshi R-77 full, SS shawty/Pirelli Angels/Hotbodies tail kit/Throttlemeister/Brembo RCS19/GB Racing engine covers/Honda eCushion seat/Carbone Lorraine brakes/Spiegler orange lines/Cox radiator guard/Radiator spaced for fan clearance/Engine Ice coolant/Dynojet PC-V/Dynojet IRC/K&N AF/Flapper mod
FIAMM Freeway blaster horns/Repsol 4T Racing 3L oil/SportRider suggested suspension settings (preload left stock)