This paper describes information of the swirling flow in a direct-injection diesel engine which has over-head valves and a troidal cavity. The forward-scattering laser doppler velocimeter was used. The “SIDE VIEW” optical arrangement was adopted in the engine to measure the flow in the cylinder and in the cavity with little modification on the configuration of the combustion chamber.The properties of the swirling flow were discussed for three kinds of cylinder heads which produced different intake flows. As a result, the relationship between the mean velocity, the turbulence and the cycle-to-cycle variation was revealed. Further, the variation of the flow pattern and the swirl intensity was indicated as a function of the crank angle and the axial distance.