Back in my college days there were times when I had to rely on my bike for all travel. Many times I had to ride 45 -50 miles at night in upper 30s low 40s temps. The single most important thing I learned is to block airflow through the layers you are wearing. Wind proof one piece coveralls with tight cuffs and neck plus windproof gloves and warm windproof boots were the ticket. Back then there wasn't the great range of touring clothing to choose from - work or hunting coveralls were the most effective things on the market. Gloves not only need to be windproof, but just loose enough that they don't impede blood flow in the hands.
If you can stop air flowing through your outfit and near your skin, you can adjust the inner layers to the outside temp and stay pretty comfortable. Keep the neck warm even if you have to use a scarf or balaclava type wrap.
Even though I'm in FL now, I see myself taking the bike back up to those old cruising grounds during winter months and putting together some cold gear again.
another option is rain gear for wind blockage......I got a one piece
Ducati Corse Rainsuit from BCM and they may still have some left.
Made wel,l dual purpose, looks cool, has clow piping for visavility on those dark winter commutes, and was $50.00 dollars cheaper at BCM. Can't say enough about Patagucci capaleine either....
down to the mid 20's ill wear from 1st layer to last: "long johns" or cotton/lycra tights and shirt, jeans and cotton shirt, sidi boots, vanson insulated vest, nylon wind breaker with neck closure and waist closure, polartech jacket with neck and waist closure, first gear insulated pants, first gear kilimanjaro jacket or thick leahter riding jacket, balaclava or polartech neck warmer(from ski shop), thinsulate glove liners, joe rocket dry tech gloves. whew! belive it or not it only takes me about 10 minutes to put all this stuff on/off. this works best for the climate here in virginia, i can ride year round. ill wear the leather from the 20's-30's and the first gear from 30's on up. obviously if the temp increases during the ride you can remove the layers as necessary.
No matter what kind of Windbloc gear we used or all the things we tried thru all our riding years, we still get very cold fingers and can't stay out long. And you have so much on you can't move. That is why we went electric, you are much more comfortable riding , it is more enjoyable and you don't feel like the Michelein Man.
When we ride with our friends who don't use electric, they are ready to head home long before us and at each stop they are shivering and blowing on thier hands. And complaing about how much stuff they have to remove to go to the bathroom!!
But they never fail to call us "wussies" ( all in fun) But I'd rather be a warm wussie then a shivering tough guy!!
Nothing beats that feel of heat on a cold day!!!!!
A dealer once told me, when I was buying a pair of windproof gloves and asked " will these keep my hands warm?"
His reply was, " put on coats and gloves, get in your CAR,and go for a drive, don't turn the heater on, are you going to be COLD?"
Yes, you will and you don't even have any wind chill there. Once you try the electric heat , you will wonder why you didn't do it long ago!
Okay, I will shut up now , I have voiced my STRONG opinion about electric heat enough!!! :-/ ;D
For toasty fingers, I use military inner flying gloves. Most surplus stores sell them....They are made of silk & are very light & thin, but work wonders when worn under gloves. I use Alpinestar Jet Road Goretex Gloves. 100% waterproof (well, near as dammit!!)