Ensemble-averaged and in-cycle axial and swirl velocities have been measured by laser Doppler anemometry in the three-dimensional flow field of a four-stroke model engine motored at 200 rpm with a compression ratio of 6.7 and various cylinder head and piston geometries. The inlet configurations comprised an axisymmetric port with a shrouded valve and an off-centre port with two valve and swirl generating vane geometries. The piston configurations comprised flat, cylindrical and re-entrant axisymmetric piston-bowls. The results indicate that with the off-centre port a complex vortical flow pattern is generated during induction, which later either collapses in the absence of induction swirl or is transformed into a single rotating vortex in the transverse plane when swirl is present. The axisymmetric port with the shrouded valve gives rise to a double vortex structure and higher turbulence levels at TDC of compression compared to the off-centre port. The in-cycle swirl velocities indicate that the swirl centre oscillates during the compression stroke in phase, on the average, with the piston motion with associated turbulent fluctuations of smaller magnitude than the cycle-to-cycle velocity variations.